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Posted in Game Tirades, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 6, 2016 by helenparker1212

Cerebral wandering through the memories of a wonderfully strange games developer


When I found out Jack King-Spooner was making another game, I didn’t know whether to be happy, or to be sick in my mouth a bit. His previous nuggets like Will You Ever Return and Sluggish Morss, have taught me to handle his small, subversive, artistically experimental and intimate ‘hand-made’ games with extreme care. You never quite know what JKS is going to show you (or rather force you to look at) and some things you just can’t un-see.

The risk however, is always worth it, and with that ‘handle with care’ label stamped all over it comes Beeswing, the fourth addition to King-Spooner’s warped something-ilogy. But this one is really odd, and that’s really saying something if you consider its predecessors.

Read the review at


Posted in Game Tirades, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 6, 2016 by helenparker1212


A philosophical trek through time and space; this duo will mess with your head

Sluggish Morrs

It’s easy to understand, while you’re being chastised by a pair of psychedelically coloured elephant-like beings over your inability to collect enough coins, why this new game from indie developer Jake Clover has been described as the most WTF game ever.

Aboard the spaceship Sluggish Morss, bound for a planet called Sedno Keir, your character (a pink mole-like being who is constantly smoking and languidly lounging) is disturbed from their reggae reverie by a pair of Technicolored elephants, who order you to collect coins which will lead you on a journey to find out just WTF is going on.

Check the rest of the review out at

Jeff Meets The Devil In A Little Chef – a play wot i wrote.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 15, 2013 by helenparker1212


DEAD SPACE 3 review

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by helenparker1212



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Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by helenparker1212

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My short play in Dirty Stop Outs: Reviewed

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2012 by helenparker1212

So I had another short play on this year, part of a series of course, not quite there yet. Here are the reviews so far –



Vivienne Kennedy reviews Dirty Stop Outs at Bristol Bierkeller Theatre

 This evening, Monday 19 November, I visited the Bristol’s Bierkeller Theatre to watch Dirty Stop Outs, a collection of six new pieces of writing inspired by the venue itself, directed by Emel Yilmaz, Anna Girvan and Nancy Medina. Writers Eleanor Blaney, Carrie Rhys Davies, Heather Lister, Rebecca Megson and Helen K Parker were each invited to write for a specific area of the theatre, on a theme of one night at the Bierkeller Night Club; they had twenty minutes and a maximum of four actors to play with.  The result is an event that takes the audience on a tour of the theatre, visiting a backstage dressing room and the toilets on the way.

Some moments feel very intimate, almost intrusive, others are less so. The scenes contain humour, pathos and strong characters, many of whom will be recognised by anyone who has ever visited any nightclub.  Each piece of writing is very different in style but the connections between them work very well and the transitions are smooth. A couple are quite poetic and one is wordless but incredibly moving. I was close to tears at times and laughing out loud at other moments. The writing, acting and direction are strong throughout.  I particularly enjoyed Eleanor Blaney’s work; she was responsible for writing two pieces – Backstage Burlesque and Toilets – and probably had the hardest spaces to write for. I would never have guessed that the same writer was responsible for those two particular sections of the evening.

I also really liked the final piece, How to Make an Exit by Carrie Rhys Davies. This was by far the funniest section and could very easily have been the result of observing a certain party animal that I know well. As soon as it finished my colleague turned to me and said “Oh my goodness that could have been ….”. I’ll leave the name blank to preserve the person concerned’s blushes.  All in all Dirty Stop Outs provides a great evening of entertainment, showcasing some very talented writers and making excellent use of the Bierkeller Theatre space. The only shame was that there weren’t more people there this evening to see it.



Reviewer: Jacqui Onions

Ever arrived at a night club a bit too early? That’s the slightly awkward anticipation in the air as the audience slowly drift into the Bierkeller Theatre for SanaRT Theatre’s Dirty Stop Outs. The DJ on the stage, reminiscent of a school disco, is blasting out tunes while a few, already well intoxicated lads enjoy having the run of the place. A few other actors are dotted around the room but it is hard to tell initially who is cast and who is audience.

The actors are signalled, rather unsubtly, by the flicking of the lights behind the bar off and on again and so the action begins in the first of six new short plays written specifically for and inspired by the unusual space that is the Bierkeller Theatre; presented in a promenade performance.

First of all, a piece called One Last One by Helen K Parker makes the audience the customers of a bar, observing the drunk, loud-mouthed yuppie that we’ve all experienced before, arguing with the barman over being served that one last drink. Some interesting themes of class divide and prejudice are explored in this piece but unfortunately some of this is lost due to the site-specific nature of the performance, with the yuppie pacing up and down the bar and often directing his lines away from where the audience have chosen to sit.

Next the audience move on to three very different women out to celebrate a divorce in Rebecca Megson’s Dancing to the Moon. There are potentially three very interesting characters to eavesdrop on here, with three very different stories to tell, but unfortunately, due to the short nature of this play (each writer is given a maximum of 20 minutes for their piece) it is not possible to fully explore each of these characters. This prevents the audience from really making a connection with any of them and therefore Dancing to the Moon feels a little less believable that some of the other works on display.

Swoop by Heather Lister also introduces three very different characters, but in this case they address the audience, each telling their story, and therefore create a much better connection. After this engrossing piece of theatre, Backstage by Eleanor Blaney is a bit of an anti-climax as it is ultimately just a stripper putting on her fringe underwear and nipple tassels rather than taking them off.

Blaney more than redeems herself with Toilets, which very cleverly turns on its head the cliché of women going to the toilet in groups by focussing on the toilet habits of the men at the club. Of course, being site-specific, the action actually takes place in the toilets. A witty script, well performed; this is one of the highlights of the show.

The best is definitely saved until last in the form of How to Make an Exit by Carrie Rhys Davies. This monologue explores the challenges of drunkenly leaving a party. Funny without glamourizing binge drinking, yet not appearing preachy either, this script is pitched perfectly and given a performance to match. Dirty Stop Outs is worth checking out for this piece alone.

What is particularly clever about Dirty Stops Out is how each of these very distinct stories, under the direction of Anna Girvan and Nancy Medina, flow to form a single, coherent piece of theatre, depicting an eventful evening in a nightclub. With the colourful language you would expect in a sleazy bar and more flesh on show than some people may feel comfortable with, Dirty Stop Outs will understandably offend a few but for most it will provide an interesting night out.



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 10, 2012 by helenparker1212



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Pills, Thrills and Bellyaching: Eddie King and the Death of Rave

Posted in Uncategorized on August 4, 2011 by helenparker1212

So i got asked to write a monologue for a promenade performance, and i did, and it is BEING PERFORMED RIGHT NOW!! I finally have a Venue quote to put to my name, and can call myself a professional writer!!

This is big. This is very BIG.

Hopefully it’s the start of people taking me seriously as a writer, and looking twice at my work instead of giving it that cursory glance before they put it straight back in the stamped, addressed envelope with a single paragraph about how they really liked it but don’t feel they can do anything with it blah blah blah.

Anyway, here’s the blog post i wrote concernign my ‘process’, and below is the Venue and the Bristol Evening Post review of the performance.

I reprint it all here for posterity people.

‘FOR REAL LOVE’ : a blog post for Darkstuff Productions

Writing on a subject I know nothing about is a challenge I usually avoid as a new writer, so when I was presented with the opportunity to create a monologue set during a rave, my first reaction was something akin to panic. I knew I wanted to write a strong piece for a female actress. I also wanted it to be dark,  something for an actress to really sink her teeth into. Trouble was, I knew nothing about rave, and my speciality as a writer is dialogue. OK, I told myself, play to your strengths and go with what you know.

First off, and I admit this unashamedly, when it came to the monologue structure I used a loophole. Thinking of the Listener in Beckett’s ‘Ohio Impromptu’, I included a second, mute character who actively participates in the piece, but has no words to say. As a result, I not only maintained the monologue structure, but I created two meaty roles for female actresses, instead of just one. Bonus.

As for the subject matter itself, my own standout memory of the 1990s rave scene is of the media frenzy surrounding the death of Leah Betts. Teenagers like myself were being told that if we took even a single E then we’d either die like Leah, or become junkies like the kids in Trainspotting. And that’s when I realised I did know something about rave after all – I had been a first-hand witness to its media trial and public execution.

And besides, what better way to symbolise the death of rave than to have a death, at a rave? But I didn’t want to mirror some inglorious and grubby story like the ones the media had revelled in when I was a teenager. I didn’t want to vindicate that ignorant and small-minded perception. I wanted a bigger subject. A more universal explanation for the carnage human beings cause, to themselves and to others. And for me, you can’t get much bigger than love.

We’re all looking for love, right? For real love.

And some of us will do terrible things to get it.

Here’s the VENUE review…

Tobacco Factory, Bristol (Tue 2-Thur 4 Aug)

THEATRE This was the third instalment in Darkstuff Productions’ ongoing ‘Eddie King…’ series. The titular Mr King is a curious (and we mean that positively) creation, a raddled, cynical soul sitting defiantly on the edge of events, a sort of snarling Greek chorus. Here, as in the two previous EK offerings, King’s tirades and poetic wanderings serve as stepping stones between short new monologues/dialogues by local playwrights, all grouped under an overarching theme.

Tonight, with a blur of neon and a thump of bass, the Tobacco Factory bar and theatre revert back to the early ‘90s rave scene. The performance is presented as an evening at one of the bigger and more unwieldy of that decade’s infamous raves, at a vast disused warehouse somewhere in the English shires. Four pieces, in which we meet various of the straggled menagerie of stoners, ravers, little girls lost and more – a sort of Canterbury Tales for the Ecstasy generation – are bookended with King’s asides. The latter, unfortunately, are the least successful part of the evening: replacing Stuart Chapman as the titular Mr King, Gerard Cooke, while watchable enough, has none of the original’s sneering arrogance, striding authority or tinderbox unpredictability. His scripts, by Phil John, also fall wide of the mark, aiming at a kind of poetic impressionism but mostly fairly incomprehensible.

Thankfully, the four playlets have more about them. David Lane’s ‘Trumpton’ follows a mother (played with great quiet desolation and fish-out-of-water awkwardness by Nic Rauh) who has spent the past few years slipping incongruously into these raves, thronged to bursting with monged-out kids 20 years her junior, in the forlorn hope of catching sight of her adored son who left home to go to a free party four years ago and hasn’t been seen since. There’s something powerful about her extraordinary and tragic situation, her utter solitude in among all this noise and togetherness, and the touching, troubling chink of domesticity in among all this youth, abandon, energy and chaos – and how she has, in some ways, assimilated to it, is almost at home in this dark jungle as she is back in the outside world. This was, in fact, the strong point of the whole evening – it captured completely the all-consuming otherworldliness of the rave, with its darkness, noise, impossibility of communication (the music’s too loud, your fellow revellers’ mental states too altered): a strange, dark womb, throbbing to its own primeval soundtrack, where the rules of life back above ground go into abeyance.

Further on inside, Helen K. Parker’s ‘For Real Love’ was another success. Somewhere in the rave’s darker, quieter corners, a savvy, neon-wigged teenager (Anna Westlake) nursed her friend (Francesca Wraith) as the latter shivered, dry-heaved and generally looked close to death. The relationship between these two was nicely, troublingly ambiguous: at times Westlake would cradle the head of her friend, at times she seemed strangely indifferent to her fate, even (with reference to a spiked drink) to have caused it. All sorts of troubling insights here, about how the unbounded hedonism of a rave could, despite appearing to be the ultimate human communion, really be  a series of individuals all pursuing their own selfish (and possibly destructive) ends.

The two monologues after the interval felt marginally more confident. Gill Kirk’s ‘Passion’ was a splendidly fast, fevered monologue by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate Ali Watt, as a sped-up, loved-up Scot for whom the rave was a place less of hedonism than of to-the-death love and solidarity with his fellow men. This man, we learned from the more comprehensible moments of his hyperspeed Glasgow babble, had seen the best and worst of human nature in the first Iraq war, and for him the rave was a veritable Eden of love and togetherness.

Lastly, Simon Harvey-Williams’ ‘Ashputtel’ (‘Cinderella’ in German) followed an ingenue in a white dress (Corrinne Curtis) who had been guided to the rave by a mix of awe, fear and curiosity from her nearby home. Curtis showed a nice mix of naivety and articulate confidence, and the mix of emotions that both drew her to and repelled her from this place felt convincing.

A mostly successful evening, with some promising short pieces and, under Anna Girvan’s direction, a pungent atmosphere of one of youth culture’s most extreme and hedonistic byways.

Copyright Steve Wright 2011

Pic: Graham Burke


And here’s The Bristol Evening Post one…



Thursday, August 04, 2011

Not much substance to druggie rave tales

Pills, Thrills and Bellyaching – Eddie King and The Death of Rave: Tobacco Factory

THERE are some ideas that are great in theory but don’t quite come off in practice.

And while Pills, Thrills and Bellyaching has potential, the latest offering at Southville’s Tobacco Factory definitely fell into that category.

With a title inspired by the classic Happy Mondays album, Pills looked at the rave culture of the early 1990s.

It focused on five main characters, each giving monologues recounting their experience at a warehouse rave. A promenade performance, the audience followed the characters as they moved between rooms to tell their stories. To create atmosphere, the main stage and the bar at the venue were transformed into a night club.

That meant a loud acid house sound track, moody lighting, glow in the dark paint and DJs.

This was certainly not a performance for people who want to sit down for two hours and applaud politely.

There can’t be many plays that have Jericho by The Prodigy as the warm-up music but it all worked surprisingly well.

Unfortunately, the writing wasn’t as impressive as the set dressing.

There’s undoubtedly a rich creative mine in the dark side of clubbing but monologues are tricky to pull off, and the five in Pills were very hit and miss.

The strongest was For Real Love, an unsettling tale of a girl who spikes her friend’s drink.

Anna Westlake performed a well-written piece that was the closest to a coherent story of the five.

It was followed by Passion, which saw an impressive turn by Ali Watt as a soldier looking for his mates.

The other scenes felt light weight by comparison though, bordering on pretentious.

If the five stories had been as strong as For Real Love it might have worked, but as it was Pills felt like a case of style over substance.



Me and Tom’s Ghost Photo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 30, 2011 by helenparker1212

Ok, so while we were at Aberystwyth Uni me and Tom bought this massive tv, and i was so impressed by it I made Tom take a photo of me ‘worshiping’ it. When we got the photographs back from the developer Tom realised there was a reflection in it. not our reflections, someone else. The same reflection is on the negative (checked by professional photographer and digital photographer). The power was off, the tv had been off for a while, there were no ‘remainder images’ the thing was dead. I think it looks like an old man drinking  a pint. apparently we later learned the building used to be a pub. We’re not interested in doing anything with this photo because we already believe in ghosts, but people have been hounding me to put it out there, so, here it is. make of it what you will. Except money, if you steal this image i will find you and sue you innit.