"'A surprisingly sophisticated piece' The Stage - Smoke
'Ingenious, yet ironic and very entertaining'
Time Out - Smoke
Morning Star - Smoke
'remarkable...Challenging and reassuring at the same time'
Times Educational Supplement - Riverscross Project
Time Out - Worlds Apart
What's On in London - Extensions of Love
British Actors' Equity
The Writers' Guild of Great Britain
The British Watch and Clock Makers' Guild
BA (hons) Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama
John Cass College
BBC Writers Academy
Worlds Apart - Time Out
Darren Rapier's new play follows a family as they escape from post- partition India to pre-swing London. In setting the play in both countries, divided by 14 years, Rapier studies how Vincent and Conny Richardson are perennial foreigners in their own land. As members of the Anglo-Indian middle class, they no longer hold any sway in the new Indian society, and as immigrants to an England whose quota of immigrants is `full', they feel unwelcome and disillusioned.
It is a disillusionment fed by an antiquated vision that their community had nurtured. The play juxtaposes Conny's dreams of an England of sandwiches at the Savoy with the reality of scrubbers on scrubland. Vincent unwittingly bonds with a prostitute called Rose in his local north London park while practicing his 'kite fighting', a noble sport of kings in his homeland. His meditative practice becomes a means of escaping the everyday mundanity, and of connecting with a Buddhist philosophy that underpins the play ('we tug at strings, but have no control of the wind'). The threads of the story are cleverly entwined by this image (people are always wanting to `cut the thread' of their various ties, whether of blood, marriage or nation).
The simple and elegant set also reflects this motif, with sepia prints hanging from diagonal strings. The stagecraft is equally economical and effective. This stasis suits the dignified performances and contrasts vividly with Rapier's political and poetic writing and overriding message, namely that immigration has always been an issue in Britain; moreover, for immigrants and Buddhists alike, nothing is ever still.
Doctors - Tuning Out
BBC1 31st March 2008
On Monday March 31st 2008 Series Ten of BBC1s ‘DOCTORS’ begins. The first episode (‘TUNING OUT’) is about a young man in the early stages of schizophrenia and is written by Darren Rapier, who has worked in an adolescent psychiatric unit for the past ten years. In this episode Darren wanted to capture the reality of a much misunderstood disease and has used Voice Over to take us right inside the patient’s head.
As Doctors is essentially a writer-led show, with each episode having a ‘story of the day’ it is one of the few continuing drama series on the television where writers can still make individual choices on style and content.
‘I didn’t want to portray him as an axe wielding maniac, I wanted to show the reality of what can be a very confusing and worrying state of mind’.
Darren has done this by allowing us access into the mind of an adolescent sufferer - Tate. The audience dip in and out of Tate’s head, to give us an idea of what it’s really like coping with his own different voices and echoes on a daily basis.
‘As far as I know using Voice Over in this way hasn’t been done on Doctors before. I wanted the voices not to be ‘Hammer Horror’, but real and even funny, as they are in many cases of psychotic episodes like this’.
Darren has worked at Guy’s Hospital for the past ten years running drama workshops at the hospital school and the adolescent psychiatric unit. This has given him first hand experience of working with young people with schizophrenia and other mental health problems. As research for this episode he also interviewed one of the consultants on the unit, to try and make sure Tate’s story was as true to life as possible.
Darren started writing on Doctors in 2004, after initially coming to their attention via the BBC Talent Drama Writing scheme.
Madelaine Stevens - Young Minds
A selection of recent work
‘EASTENDERS & DOCTORS’ - BBC TV
OFF THE WAGON dir Poitr SzkoPiak
WHEN WE WERE YOUNG dir Poitr SzkoPiak
TUNING OUT dir. Terry Iland
FIRST IMPRESSIONS dir. Rupert Such
RUOK? dir. Michael Murphy
STICKS AND STONES dir. Michael Baig-Clifford
HOW TO BE HUMAN dir. Bruno Centofanti
DEEP BREATHS dir. Gareth Fient
SEALED WITH A KISS dir. Darren Rapier
9 MONTHS dir. Gareth Fient
FAIRY ON THE RUN dir. Darren Rapier
RED HOT LINE dir. Darren Rapier
BLIND MAN'S BLUFF dir. Darren Rapier
IT IS dir. Darren Rapier
THE RACE dir. Darren Rapier
THE THIN FILM dir. Darren Rapier
SILVER STREET, dir Nasreen Ahmed, Continuing Drama, BBC Asian Network
VITAL STATISTICS, dir David Hunter, BBC Radio Drama & Hampstead Theatre
JAM TOMORROW dir.Jeremy James, Greenwich and Lewisham Young People's Theatre/Phoenix
PAYBACK dir. Darren Rapier/ Claire Newby, (Part devised/ Youth Theatre) Greenwich and Lewisham YPT
1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS dir.Kenn Michaels, In the Wings Productions, Secombe Theatre
CLARA AND THE NUTCRACKER dir.Kenn Michaels, In the Wings Productions, Charles Cryer Theatre
THE LITTLE MERMAID dir.Kenn Michaels, In the Wings Productions, Charles Cryer Theatre
THE SNOW QUEEN dir.Kenn Michaels, In the Wings Productions, Charles Cryer Theatre
WORLDS APART dir. Stuart Murdoch, Spanner in the Works, The Brockley Jack Theatre
EXTENSIONS OF LOVE dir. Stuart Murdoch, Undiscovered Productions/Oval House, The Oval House Theatre.
THE BEANS AND THE MAGIC BOOK dir. Darren Rapier, In The Wings Productions, NW Kent Tour
BOOM dir. Nick Pilton, Bexley London Borough, NW Kent Tour
SMOKE dir. Nick Pilton, spanner in the works, The Union Theatre SE1
THE GALLERY dir. Derek Elwood, Union Theatre Company, The Union Theatre SE1
PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES dir. Helen Walls, Insight Theatre Company, The Brockley Jack Theatre
RAIDING PARADISE dir. Stuart Murdoch, RBC, The Barn Theatre
THE THIEFTAKER dir. Frances Moore, Full Scale Productions, Bridge Lane Theatre Battersea
THE GLASSHOUSE - Sci-Fi feature
THE THIEFTAKER GENERAL - Period (1720s) screenplay based on the play
THE ROAD TO WEOBLEY - Comedy Drama screenplay
HIGH SEAS AND LITTLE 'B'S - Feature, Comedy screenplay
SECTIONS - Drama Series
THE HARVEST - Thriller
Film and Television Includes:
Little Howard's Big Question, Scientist, CBBC, Dir. Bruce Webb
The Be All and End All, Doctor Palmer, Whatever Pictures/Tubedale Films, Dir. Bruce Webb
And When Did You Last See Your Father?, Salman Rushdie, Archer Street Productions, Dir. Anand Tucker
Yum Yum, Raj the Postman, C2’s Productions , Dir. John Rowe (Nickelodeon)
Casualty, Doctor Philip Broughton, BBC, Dir. Sven Arnstein
Rare Books and Manuscripts, The Geek, Whatever Pictures , Dir. Bruce Webb
Beat Girl, Security Guard, Reactive Entertainment, Dir.Mairtín de Barra
Ellipse, Network, Sci-Fi London, Dir.. Ilana Rein
The Grass Arena, Jack, BBC, Dir: Gillies MacKinnon,
The Trouble With Tipo, Saabir Khan, Junglee Productions, Dir: Aamina Ahmad
Theatre Credits Include:
Sheriff of Nottingham, Babes in the Wood, In the Wings Productions, Dir: Kenn Michaels, South East Tour
Aladdin, Abanazah, In The Wings Productions, Dir: Kenn Michaels South East Tour
Dead End, Brian Wedmore, Drama Studio , Dir: Odi Ashkenazi Grange Court Theatre
The Thieftaker, Jonathan Wild, Full Scale Productions , Dir: Frances Moore, Bridge Lane Theatre
Fiddler on the Roof, Perchik, Lewisham Arts , Dir: Kevin Spicer, Lewisham Theatre
The Dumb Waiter, Gus, Bullshot Theatre Company, Dir: Sue Dunderdale, Greenwich Studio Theatre
1789, Lord and Storyteller, Greenwich Theatre, Dir: Michael Crompton, Greenwich Theatre
Training Films & Corporate:
Dealing With Fire Aboard ship, Ship’s Master Videotel Productions , Dir: Richard Hackett
Personal Protective Clothing, Purser Videotel Productions , Dir: Julian Grant
Dosh, Presenter Channel 4, Dir: Nick Hole Motivation Sounds Ltd.
Method and Epic Acting/ Improvisation/ Physical Theatre/ Dialects and Accents/
Workshop Leading (schools & arts organisations) / Fencing/ Skiiing/
Archery/ Cycling/ Horology/ Writing/ Bricklaying/ Photography.
COMPANY DIRECTOR, Film production company.
Royal Albert Hall
‘Tosca New Writing Project’ and 'Carmen New Writing Project' – Developing and running a writing workshop for ex-offenders from Edmonton’s Youth Offending Team’s list and The Irish Traveller Womens' Group in Ealing. Breaking down and re-working the operas into a half hour contemporary play written by the young people. The production was then performed as a rehearsed reading at the Royal Albert Hall, directed by Phil Daniels.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Small scale productions and drama based educational workshops in schools, hospitals and museums. These have included the adolescent psychiatric unit at Guy’s, TS2K, Evelina Hospital school and the Livesey Museum. CD and film projects. Current projects include the Riverscross soap opera project, a full scale professional TV soap created by young people at the Snowsfileds Unit at Guy's Hospital.
National youth Theatre
WRITER/CO-DIRECTOR ID1000 Heritage based project with young people aged 13 – 21 to devise a show over three weeks based on personal and geographical heritage. Looking at identity and what it means to be British in today’s multicultural environment.
Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre
WORKSHOP LEADER/CONSULTANT: running and devising TiE projects in and around SE London. ‘Writing for Performance’ leader for Summer Arts College; writer for the 14+ play ‘PAYBACK’ in 2007; Facilitator Tower of London Writing and Acting Project; facilitator 14+ group; Project Manager/Facilitator Heratage Royal Arsenal Project; Facilitator Whatever Youth Theatre; Facilitator on 'Lost' open air performance schools project; Facilitator on 'SPEAK OUT' speech therapy project.
Freelance Writing, Drama & Film Workshop Leader/ Personal Tutor
Theatre technique, Applied Theatre, text analysis, acting, directing, writing, screenwriting,devising and stage fighting. GCSE, A level and Degree standard. Also curriculum based subjects for younger children, devised performances for schools and colleges. Dartford Youth Theatre co-ordinator and workshop leader (2003/4). Running workshops or being a consultant for companies such as The London Bubble, Greenwich and Lewisham Young Peoples' Theatre and The Half Moon. Independant projects like Make Your Mark in Film and Sci-Fi Londn India. Lecturer SAE Institute (screenwriting), BFI (screenwriting), Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (writing MA/MFA), Rose Bruford College (Screen Acting), Greenwich University (Applied Theatre).
CARE Partnership (Charlton Athletic Racial Equality)
CARE TRAINER: Delivering drama workshops in schools and communities within the London Borough of Greenwich.
Bexley London Borough /Arts Council
CO- DIRECTOR, environmental projects for Thamesmead primary schools. Director - Youth Theatre ‘Primary Colours’ project for 7 - 11 year olds. Co- director - ‘Landmarks’, production at The Millennium Dome and at the Danson Millennium Festival. Director of devised theatre project for HM The Queen’s visit to the borough, with 16 – 18 year olds.
WORKSHOP LEADER, Page to the Stage (National Youth and Music Theatre).
Writer’s Guild of Great Britain
EDITOR, Guild Network. Currently regular contributor to ‘UK Writer’ Magazine for Guild.
Futures Theatre Company
CO-PRODUCER/WORKSHOP LEADER. These included workshops on Balinese Culture, The Ramayana and the Kacak.
Other Information, Specialities and Interests
Active member of the Education committee of the Writers' Guild.
Horology (member of the British Watch and Clockmaker’s' Guild).
Early Eighteenth Century History/ Balinese Culture/ The Brechtian Epic.