An Extra Pair of Hands
A deeply moving story of what it means to care for those we love by bestselling author Kate Mosse, a celebration of older people and ageing, and of finding joy in the smallest acts of everyday caregiving
As our population ages, more and more of us find ourselves caring for parents and loved ones - some 8.8 million people in the UK. An invisible army of carers holding families together.
Here, Kate Mosse tells her own personal story of finding herself a carer in middle age: first, helping her heroic mother care for her beloved father through Parkinson's, then supporting her mother in widowhood, and finally as 'an extra pair of hands' for her 90-year-old mother-in-law.
This is a story about the gentle heroism of our carers, about small everyday acts of tenderness, and finding joy in times of crisis. It's about juggling priorities, mind-numbing repetition, about guilt and powerlessness, about grief, and the solace of nature when we're exhausted or at a loss. It is also about celebrating older people, about learning to live differently - and think differently about ageing.
But most of all, it's a story about love.
Published: 3 June 2021
Commissioned by Sandi Toksvig for Sky Theatre Arts Live, Syrinx is Kate’s first play.
A one-act, 30 minute drama, for four actresses. Set in the present day, in a head teacher’s office in a country market town on the occasion of a school prize giving, it’s a story of haunting and female friendship. The headteacher, Marion, is retiring and has decided to use the opportunity to bring together her two oldest school friends, Susan and Julie – whose children have passed through the school – to repair the breakdown in their friendship following a tragedy some years before.
A story of grief and remembering, about the ‘What If’ moments in life, Syrinx had its debut at the Sky Television Studios in London in July 2009. Directed by Patrick Sandford, the cast was Gabrielle Lloyd as Julie, Sian Thomas as Susan, Penelope Beaumont as Marian and seventeen-year-old Eleanor Tomlinson as Sarah. The first amateur performance was by the Lapworth Players in May 2011.
To celebrate the reopening of the Bush Theatre in London, after a major refurbishment, Artistic Director Josie Rourke leads a team of directors presenting Sixty Six Books, a sequence of dramatic monologues interpreting each of the books of the King James Bible to celebrate its 400th year. The list of pieces by leading contemporary novelists, poets, songwriters and playwrights – including Jeanette Winterson, Anne Michaels, Stella Duffy, Andrew Motion, Wole Soyinka, Jackie Kay, Neil la Bute, Owen Sheers, Moira Buffini, Kwame Kweih Armah, Carol Anne Duffy, Toby Litt, Billy Bragg, Archbishop Rowan Williams, Brian Chikwava, Kamila Shamsie, David Edgar – will be present in three hour, six hour and two epic 24 hour events. Kate’s text is the final book of the New Testament, The Book of Revelation. To be directed by Philip Franks and starring Zoe Waites.
Kate Mosse answers some questions about The Book of Revelation here.
Productions to come in 2022 & 2023
The Taxidermist's Daughter
Adapted by the author, a major stage adaptation of her highly acclaimed No 1 bestselling Gothic novel, set in Fishbourne in 1912 (2022).
The Queen of Jerusalem
Based on an original story by Kate Mosse, a major history play celebrating Melisande, the extraordinary woman who ruled Jerusalem in the 12th century, and her three sisters. A major piece of untold women's history set in the Holy Land during the Crusader era (2023/4).