This Is A True Story
In May 2001, Theatre Tarquin staged the debut performance of the theatrical monologue, This is a True Story.
This is a True Story is the true life story of Howard Neal, a prisoner on Mississippi's death row. Burdened with an intellectual disability and a shockingly abusive childhood, Howard learned to read and write on death row. While there he has written an autobiographical account of his life and his plight.
The theatrical monologue was developed from Howard's own words by Nicholas Harrington and Tom Wright. Nicholas Harrington directed the production and Tom Wright performed in the role of Howard.
The play opened at the Carlton Courthouse in Melbourne, Australia and was subsequently performed at the Man in the Moon theatre in London, England. In March 2002 the play was translated into French and performed by Theatre de Poche in Belgium.
ReprieveAustralia and Reprieve (UK) have supported the productions of This is a True Story and in April 2002 Theatre Tarquin and Cultural Capital Pty Ltd donated their rights in the production to ReprieveAustralia to help it continue its work.
This is a True Story is a moving account of a tragic life and stands as a stark indictment of the state that is so determined to kill its author. The impact of this production on its audience can be measured by the words of some of the reviewers:
Here is a series of monologues so arresting you have to remember to catch your breath . . . This is a True Story (already seen in Australia) is that rare thing: an incisive, intelligent fusion of political truth and theatrical storytelling.
London Time Out, 24-31 October 2001
If you want a cosy, entertaining night out, don't go out near This is a True Story. If you want to be outraged and fired up by the injustices of the US justice system, if you want to make a tiny gesture and in the process maybe help save a life, then book your ticket without delay . . . You leave the theatre a slightly different person from the one you were when you went in.
The Guardian 26 October 2001