Get ready to meet the baddest of bad bastards – the critically acclaimed play I’M FRANK MORGAN is back and rewiRED ready to impress audiences with a whole new act of material. Louder Than War’s Emily Oldfield takes a closer look…
You’ll be able to see for yourself as the story of Frank Morgan, The Shark, the town tough guy, unfolds. He’s the infamous owner of The Ace of Spades Night Club in the fictional neighbourhood of Paradise Heights – a loan shark and poker player with more than a few tricks up his sleeve.
This new interpretation premieres at The Kings Arms, Salford on 12/13 & 14th April. It then moves onto Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Chapel Street, Oswestry 3rd and 4th May – with more dates to be announced.
Think Martin Amis’ ‘Money’ meets ‘Trainspotting’ and then some – as we watch a man increasingly haunted by his own demons. How deep does it delve? You have to see for yourself. Last seen at LASS FEST 2013, no wonder Frank Morgan is set for an explosive return in 2018.
This is a unique and innovative piece of theatre created by writer, director and actor Joe O’Byrne who has brought Frank to life – at first a background character in a novel he first began in 1998 – PARADISE HEIGHTS.
This is character not to be messed with, with a stirring sense of violence and more than a few secrets.
According to O’Byrne himself:
“Frank Morgan was the first character created in a Tales from Paradise Heights rich fabric of characters, created then as a stand alone tale. I had no idea that I would go on to create a whole volume of work set in the fictional community of Paradise Heights. I diidn’t expect the great critical and audience reaction to the stories, nor did I expect to be working with the high calibre of talent that I have collaborated with on the tales over the years, it’s been great fun and an honour to work with them all and I’m sure I’ll be working with many of them again in future tales.
“The thing about Frank is that he is such a strong character that even in tales where he did not appear (DIANE’S DELI, STRAWBERRY JACK and RANK) just the mere mention of his name made audiences feel his presence. Frank’s a sociopath, a gambler, an opportunist and something of a lone wolf among a criminal community, he does things his way. The way things are today, particularly from a political perspective, there are world leaders that operate under those same personality traits and approaches to life and dealing with people. Frank was created in 1999 but today is a world he would really thrive in. So I thought, you know what? Bring him back.
“Frank didn’t own The Ace of Spades club back then, didn’t have a singer in that club (you will hear the voice of Stella Grundy as a singer in Frank’s club in an original song I wrote for Strawberry Jack and you’ll also hear the guitar of Tangled Man who wrote the music). Nor did he have the doormen for that club seen in Strawberry Jack, so again if I was going to bring the character back I would have to acknowledge all that. So I ripped into the original script, taking out a small amount of material but writing a whole lot more to graft into the tale, this is a whole new version of that play – in fact this is a new origin tale if you like, a rebirth – reincarnation. The original story was a single act play, this is now a two act production taking us into The Ace of Spades.
“I’m also delighted to be working with Darren McGinn again who has produced some great social media imagery and posters and flyers, and that Justin Wetherill is again creating sound and some wonderful musical compositions purely for Frank.
“After all, this is quite a bold new interpretation, I’ve taken some leaps…but what’s the point in feeling safe? I’m taking chances, risks, I’m balancing on the edge with this one. Fans of the series are going to see a few surprises too…or perhaps shocks?”
For more information and dates, visit: https://www.talesfromparadiseheights.com/im-frank-morgan.html
Words by Emily Oldfield, also on Twitter as @EmilyvOldfield.