I have been invited by the National Theatre in London to be involved in an event they call "Platform".
These are panel discussions that take place before the main performance of a play. In this case the play will be J.B. Priestley's Time And The Conways. This is one of the three so-called "Time Plays" that Priestley wrote in an attempt to explain and popularise the theories of philosopher-engineer J.W.Dunne.
The discussions usually last for around forty five minutes. The first twenty five minutes involves the guest and the chairperson in an interview-like format in which they discuss a particular theme and then the final twenty minutes allow audience participation.
The theme will be Dunne's theories and will involve myself and a physicist (yet to be decided). The theatre are interested in having me involved because in my first book I discuss in some detail Priestley's "Time Plays", in particular the rarely performed I Have Been Here Before". Indeed this play contains many elements of my "Cheating The Ferryman" theory so I am delighted to be given a (literal) stage to present this theory. Priestley, like myself, was fascinated by the implications of Dunne's famous (at the time) book An Experiment With Time. Indeed it was my intention in writing my first book, to attempt a version of this book for the 21st century. It is for others to decide if I have succeeeded.
The list of individuals who have done Platform discussions before me is a real roll call of the famous and talented: Julie Walters, Richard Attenborough, David Attenborough, Shirley Williams, Roy Hattersley, Vanessa Redgrave, Corin Redgrave, Doris Lessing, Helen Mirren, Peter Hall, Judi Dench, Germain Greer, Alain de Botton, Lauren Bacall, Alan Bennett, Jane Fonda, Phillip Pullman, The Archbishop of Canterbury and ..... Anthony Peake!
Words cannot express how honoured I am to be involved in this presentation. I am hopeful that this may be the first event that will bring "Cheating The Ferryman" out of the shadows and into the public domain. It is then up to the public to decide if it is a valid and rerasonable attempt to understand the human condition.
For those interested in attending the event will start at 6:00pm on Friday 24th July 2009. It will be in the Lyttleton Theatre.