Kabaka Lear

Kabaka Lear

by David Allen
     
 

For an ageing Tom Adams a chance encounter re-awakens memories of the 1960's and his time as a teacher in Uganda, East Africa. His involvement in the local expatriate theatre scene with its clashing egos and hot-house sexual shenanigans leads him, a naïve and unwilling participant, into the equally murky world of Ugandan politics and an outcome of betrayal…  See more details below

Overview

For an ageing Tom Adams a chance encounter re-awakens memories of the 1960's and his time as a teacher in Uganda, East Africa. His involvement in the local expatriate theatre scene with its clashing egos and hot-house sexual shenanigans leads him, a naïve and unwilling participant, into the equally murky world of Ugandan politics and an outcome of betrayal and personal compromise that he realises, even though forty years have now passed, he must face up to and resolve.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781909047044
Publisher:
WritersReadersDirect
Publication date:
10/29/2012
Sold by:
Bookwire
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
528
File size:
8 MB

Read an Excerpt

'Howl, howl, howl!' Startled, he jolted awake. On stage, Lear was dying over the body of Cordelia. The play was nearly over and he had missed most of the second half, drifting in and out of consciousness as the theatre's air-conditioning had taken its toll of his jet lag. It had been a mistake driving to Stratford after the twenty-two hour flight from Sydney. He should have stuck to his original plan and gone straight to his London hotel, making sure he would be fresh and rested for the meeting on Monday. But then, wheeling his trolley out of Baggage Collection, he had seen the RSC poster, and on an impulse partly generated by the memories it evoked, and partly by the surge of thankful well-being he always experienced at having survived any kind of plane journey, he decided to pick up a hire car and head north on the chance of there being a seat at the door for the evening performance. He was out of luck. The evening was booked out. But there had been a seat for the matinée. A very expensive seat in the stalls. Expensive and comfortable. Too comfortable for a sixty-five year old who hadn't slept properly for two days. After the final curtain call, dislocated and still only half awake, he made his way to the theatre café for a black coffee. He needed to pull himself together and find somewhere to stay for the night. An excited group of teen-age girls came in, a school party, heading for the counter. They were mostly Asian, Londoners by their accents. Behind them the voice of authority rang out. 'Stay together, girls, please! And wait for me.' A different accent, middle-class English, very proper, but with an inflexion that transported him back forty years and ten thousand miles. He looked up. Her hair was grey and her face older, but the eyes, although a little tired, were still lustrous. And she recognised him at once, he could see that, almost as if she had been expecting him. Just as he-he now realised-had surely been expecting her. 'You,' she said neutrally. And then she smiled, like the instant bright warmth of sunrise in Africa. Chapter 1 On New Year's morning 1966-another time, another era-when twenty-four year old Tom Adams stepped off the BUA VC 10 into the blazing African sun, he discovered that he'd gone deaf, lost the power of speech and been struck blind. Whether (metaphorically speaking at least) he ever really recovered those faculties during his time in Uganda, was a whimsical concept that he often pondered in the years to come. Physically of course he returned to normal fairly quickly. The expensive Polaroid sun glasses recommended by the Ministry of Overseas Development instantly solved his sightlessness; the deafness brought on by changes in cabin pressure righted itself within a couple of days; and the phobic dumbness resulting from eight hours incarceration in a claustrophobic metal tube was taken care of by a couple of drinks at the City Bar, to which Trevor Crossley had driven him at break-neck speed after picking him up at Entebbe airport. Nevertheless-six months later and once more ensconced on the City Bar's verandah-Trevor was still harping on about Tom's arrival dysfunctional manifestations with a fascination that time had not diminished. 'Psychological stress,' the Yorkshireman opined yet again. 'Flying off into the unknown. Darkest Africa. And you'd never been on a plane before. It can play havoc with the nervous system. Mbili Tusker.'...

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Meet the Author

DAVID ALLEN was born in Birmingham, England in 1936 and has an Honours degree in English. He taught in Uganda, East Africa between 1966 and 1970 and migrated to Australia in 1972 where he lectured in drama, worked as a theatre director and wrote extensively for the stage, radio and television. His plays have been produced all over Australia and in the UK, Germany, Holland, Ireland and the USA. They include Cheapside, Gone With Hardy, Pommies, Modest Expectations and Upside Down at the Bottom of the World. Television credits range from Neighbours, Flying Doctors and Rafferty's Rules to Snowy, GP and Blue Heelers. David has taught at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, won two Writers Guild 'Awgies' and the Victorian Premier's prize for drama. As well as the novel Kabaka Lear David has written Foul Papers, a satirical novel set in Sydney as it gears up for the Millennium Olympics, and In the War, a tale of growing up in the English Midlands during the Second World War. He is married, lives in Sydney and has two daughters and four granddaughters.

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