Freelance journalist Jasper Rees, who is best known for providing arts features for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times, turns playwright when the stage adaptation of his book I Found My Horn opens at the Tristan Bates theatre in December.
With the London premiere of I Found My Horn, Rees joins the list of arts writers plying their trade on either side of the journalistic divide. Spectator theatre critic Lloyd Evans and former co-critic Toby Young staged A Right Royal Farce at the King’s Head in 2006, while Evening Standard critic Nicholas De Jongh’s Plague Over England was staged at the Finborough theatre earlier this year.
Rees’s piece was written in conjunction with Jonathan Guy Lewis, the former Soldier Soldier and London’s Burning star who plays Rees and everyone else in the new play.
The plot follows a man who wakes up at 40 to a broken marriage, a beckoning bed-sit and the realisation that he has done nothing to make himself memorable. Then he clambers into the attic… After a lay-off of 25 years, he seeks redemption via the 16 feet of treacherous brass tubing he never mastered in his youth. Resuming his old French horn, he sets himself an impossible task: to perform a Mozart concerto in front of a paying audience of horn fanatics.
A tale of Rees’s own musical adventure, I Found My Horn was published in January 2008 and was subsequently serialised on Radio 4’s Book Of The Week. The stage adaptation was premiered in June as part of the Aldeburgh Festival.
I Found My Horn is directed by Harry Burton, who directed Lee Evans and Jason Isaacs in The Dumb Waiter in 2007. The show runs at the Tristan Bates theatre from 1 to 20 December.