About Matthew Campling.
Since 1980 I have combined writing plays with other, possibly more practical activities. In the media area, I have been a features editor (AD Magazine, Johannesburg) and an Associate Editor (Bona Magazine, London), a film and theatre critic (Jhb) and an agony uncle (Boyz, GT, London). I’ve co-written a regular radio show (Round the Bend, Jhb) and I’ve been a regular TV guest expert (ITV’s Trisha Show, Richard and Judy and various radio programmes, London).
As a therapist I have written three non-fiction books: Eating Disorder Self-Cure, (2007; Therapeutic Weight Loss, ( 2010), The 12-Type Enneagram (2015).
From 1994 I began working as first a counselor (Diploma in Client-Centred Therapy, 1998; BACP Accreditation, 1999, BA Hons in Client-Centred Therapy, 2000) and then as a psychotherapist (MA in Psychotherapy, 2011).
Writing plays has always been a great passion. From my first (Late. Gone Late/Market Theatre, Jhb, 1980) I have always sought to express life through the medium of the stage. Here is a breakdown of all the plays:
Late. Gone Late. Upstairs at the Market, Jhb,1980. Two young shop women, bored and boyfriend less, start a dangerous game when they inadvertently invite a stranger to visit their flat. This play is part of the inspiration for my new play Blackbirds (2017)
The Logic of Fear. Box Theatre, Wits University, Jhb, 1980. A seemingly charming and helpful neighbour turns out to hold the key to retribution when a housewife plots to kill her husband.
Full Frontal. Square Space Theatre, Durban, 1981. A small-town South African woman dreams of stripping her way to stardom.
The Good Woman of Sandton. Market Theatre and Grahamstown Festival, 1985. A seemingly average housewife sets fire to a supermarket. Her reasons unfold in an inquisition.
Endpapers. Lyric Theatre, Jhb, 1985. In a stage set piled high with crumpled newspapers a few survivors attempt to understand what has happened globally.
Blind Faith. Soho Poly, London, 1987. A charming young cleaner picks up a handsome stranger. The stranger is a priest.
Sweetest Gift. Hen and Chickens Theatre, London, 1996. A son tries to escape his mentally ill mother but she is eventually triumphant.
Abominations. Etcetera Theatre, London, 2016. A young man’s first boyfriend turns out to be the son of his homophobic boss.
The English Heart. Etcetera Theatre, London, June 2017. Broken-hearted SA returnee to London Andre buys a country house and becomes involved with both the wife and the husband next door.
The Secondary Victim. Park Theatre, London, November 2017. Female counsellor’s life ripped apart when a male ex-client makes sexual misconduct allegations.
Ghost About the House. King's Head Theatre, London. Two time settings. The young man of the house in 1936 becomes the ghost in 2016, adding supernatural meddling to an already complicated sexual and emotional triangle.
After The Unthinkable. Tells the story of Ed, Frida, and their daughter Dawn in war-torn England after the end of WWII. Examines themes of profound loss, attempts to deny and hide oneself from the world, and the desperate need to find your identity.
Poor Whites. Shortlisted for Verity Bargate Award (Soho Theatre, 1996)
Abominations. Nominated for Best New Play (Broadway West End Awards, 2016)
The Secondary Victim. Offie Nomination - Best Actress (Susannah Doyle)
Ghost About the House. Offie Nominations - Best Supporting Actress (Sioned Jones) and Best Actor (Joshua Glenister)