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The plays, all set in east London, use fairytale stories and theatrical conventions to reveal the traumas of their young protagonists.


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To date there are five plays in the sequence, although Ridley has intimated there will eventually be seven. The five written to date are Karamazoo , Fairytaleheart , Moonfleece , Sparkleshark and Brokenville ; note that although this is not the order in which the plays were written and performed chronologically, it is the order Ridley intends the finished "sequence" to run.

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An anthology bringing together the plays so far in the sequence was published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama in late Karamazoo is a fifteen-minute monologue from an east London teenager called Ace. Two versions of the play exist, for male and female actors respectively.


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In Fairytaleheart , two year-old youths deal with ruptured families and homelessness by embracing their hopes and fears in a derelict community centre. Kirsty's mother died two years ago, but she is still grieving whilst watching her father announce his engagement to her 'stepmother' she flees her own birthday party and sits alone in the community centre that was once her mother's 'kingdom', where she then meets Gideon: the complete opposite to popular, pretty, pretentious Kirsty.

He's a scruffy boy with 'rat tails' for hair.

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Together by the catharsis of storytelling they enter the magic world of karamazoo and search for the 'luminous butterfly'. Finally finding it in themselves to see their problems in a new light.


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The story ends seeming as though they are about to kiss. Sparkleshark is a play about a teenage boy called Jake.

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As he is sitting alone, on top of the block of flats he lives in, writing stories, a troubled girl who is polly she's a carer for her younger brother who has started in his school, who recently moved into the block of flats comes up to quietly fix a satellite dish. At first he is abusive and defensive but lightens to her when she compliments his work. More people come up to the roof for different reasons. Natasha, the popular girl, goes up to find Polly; Carol, the wannabe, follows Natasha after getting bored. As Russell and his boys go to dangle Jake over the roof they are stopped by the offer to hear a story by Jake, at first a little hesitant to tell one as it was Polly's idea, but eventually he does, and as he does the others start acting it out.

The story has a happy ending with all being resolved and the play ends with all the group promising to meet up on a regular basis to read and act out stories. Moonfleece is the story of Curtis, a young right-wing activist in East London who arranges a meeting in a flat in a derelict tower block where he grew up.

Years ago, when he was a child, Curtis lived happily here but, then, tragedy struck and his elder brother died.

Short Stories: The 12 Best Collections of 2018

With the aid of Gavin and Tommy, fellow members of the right wing political party of which he is a leading figure, Curtis aims to find out why this ghost is haunting him. Things, however, do not go as planned. For a start, there are two squatters now occupying the flat. However, there are some narratives that deserve special attention.

The sun drifts behind a mountainous ridge and dusk floats down, spreading gray light across the Sheenetz River. I can see the rest stop. In this novella, a man is forced to deal with crippling fear and a shattered sense of masculinity after burglars break into his house while he and his family are away and take some of their priciest possessions and mess with a family photo.

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Unfortunately, the burglars seem to want more than his earthly possessions. What follows is a tense, atmospheric, gripping narrative with a Lovecraftian touch that quickly spirals into a surreal nightmare of deadly proportions. Coming of Age at Harvard and in Hungary. Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. Sign up for our newsletter to get submission announcements and stay on top of our best work. Enjoy strange, diverting work from The Commuter on Mondays, absorbing fiction from Recommended Reading on Wednesdays, and a roundup of our best work of the week on Fridays.