An Odyssey through Community Theatre

Hi Jack


"Hi Jack" a friend greets me, "and everyone jumped out of the window," he adds. Every time!

My name is Jack, Jack Blackburn. I decided to write a book about my work in theatre. Having directed eighty-two productions and created an Arts Centre in a twenty year period when my professional role was to develop Community theatre.

As I began writing the book I found increasingly that aspects of my personal life meshed with the work produced. Strange the threads that stitch a life together.

The book became an odyssey through two decades of learning and adventure, of endeavour and risky initiatives, of trials and tribulations, challenging confrontations and comedic encounters, of fun and failure and friendships and love, and a final homecoming.

The book, "Strange Threads" subtitled 'An Odyssey through Community Theatre" (with a second hidden subtitle 'Old Man Mad About Theatre') has the structure of a theatre visit: Prelude, ACT 1, Interlude, ACT 2, Postlude.

I encouraged friends and colleagues to send me their memories of working with ACT (Arts Centre Theatre), and extracts from their accounts which enrich the text are included in the book.

Their full accounts will be found in the archive section of this website.

Image from AFRICA, a company created project presented at the Edinburgh Festival.

Strange Threads book cover