Third year English student Michael Walker’s play, Through Emerald Embers, will be performed at the LPAC on Saturday, February 20.

Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (Photo: Gregor Smith)

The play begins with a dead man: Austin Lancaster. An aspiring writer who manages to escape from his abusive drunken father.

His success is however short lived as he ends up alienating his ambitious yet struggling partner Kate and his best friend Sol as his life quickly spirals into disharmony.

Under the watchful eye of Reginald Silverman, the whiskey-drinking billboard man who hangs over his every step, Austin will always be haunted by his past.

The real question is: why is Austin ‘Ozzy’ Lancaster dead?

Michael told The Linc about how the play came to be written: “The real inspiration came last year when my friend, Matt Riley jokingly said I should write my own play after we attended a Drama society meeting.”

“Sadly, Matt, who was a Psychology student at Lincoln, passed away whilst travelling in Asia last September.”

After researching various British playwrights, Michael came across the story of Joe Orton, who died in the early sixties after his boyfriend became envious of his success.

“The play explores envy and its effect on the human psyche and people close to them,” Michael explains.

Michael was inspired by the work of James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway as he wrote short stories and practised creative writing as part of his English degree.

As a member of the Drama Society last year, Michael presented his idea and manuscript to the president, who was impressed with his work. The president, Kate Beresford, is also directing the production at the LPAC.

Michael also gives advice to other aspiring playwrights. He says: “Persevere, through thick and thin, be truly dedicated to your ideas and grow to love them and the characters you incarnate.”

“Spend your time surrounded by things that inspire you, whether it be an old film-noir film, which are my main sources of inspiration, or simply places you find beautiful and relaxing.”

“Above all, believe in yourself and your ideas, don’t let people put you down because if you work diligently enough, it’ll pay off in the end.”

Michael has also written and is directing a short film based on the play, called ‘The Demise of Ozzy Lancaster” for which he is currently seeking funding from Channel 4.

Tickets are £5 for students and £10 for staff and are available from the LPAC website.