Jonathan Holmes

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Plays by Jonathan Holmes

Into Thy Hands

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

In 1611 John Donne was living in a restless, changing world, in which a new Bible, a new science, and a decadent court tore at longstanding loyalties and deeply-held convictions.

Unceasingly protean himself, Donne lived several lives at once, writing political tracts as well as popular songs, translating the Song of Solomon at the same time as translating Galileo, and finding his rise in theological circles impeded by his colourful rakish past.

At various times a politician, soldier, poet, musician, lawyer, courtier, theologian and cleric; a man born into one of England's most distinguished Catholic families who would die as one of its most renowned Protestants; Donne was always becoming something new. Into Thy Hands is a portrait of this fascinating, eloquent and brilliant man, and his struggle to be faithful to all parts of his body and soul.

First presented in 2011 at Wilton’s Music Hall as part of Jericho House’s 1611 Utopia season, Into Thy Hands is a play about faith, sex and the translation of the Bible.

Katrina

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Katrina uses survivor testimonies and the rich cultural tradition of New Orleans to tell the story of the eponymous hurricane and its immediate aftermath, charting the infamous devastation that will live long in the American psyche.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina narrowly missed New Orleans. The resulting storms breached rotting levees and emptied Lake Pontchartrain into the city. Marooned by floodwater that swamped over 80% of their homes, the inhabitants had to wait a week without food or clean water before their own government came to their aid.

Shedding light on some of the more extraordinary and under-reported aspects of the tragedy, the play is an odyssey through a drowned space, a series of encounters with individuals displaced and abandoned within their own city. The plot follows from the death of Virgil, a decadent old New Orleanian, who has been killed by Hurricane Katrina. Trapped by the rising floodwater his partner Beatrice determines to take his body to safety at the City Hall. During her journey she encounters a number of other survivors and hears their stories.

Katrina was first performed in 2009 at The Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf.

Picture of Jonathan Holmes

© Andrew McNeil – National Theatre Wales

Jonathan Holmes is the director and founder of Jericho House. In 2007 he wrote and directed the testimony play Fallujah. In 2008 with The Sixteen he revived Henze and Bond's opera Orpheus Behind the Wire at the South Bank Centre, and in 2009 his testimony play Katrina, about New Orleans and produced in association with the Young Vic, sold out for a month in a warehouse in Southwark. He has a PhD from The Shakespeare Institute and for six years he taught Drama and English at Royal Holloway, University of London.