Tales from the Golden Age

Award winning monologues

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Eighteen monologues about love, death, revenge and other serious matters

At the Hen and Chickens Theatre 109 St Paul's Rd, Highbury, London N1 2NA

In nine double bills from 30th June to 10th July 2021 at 7.30pm

The Beast

A monumental ego and a self seeking ruthlessness have propelled Grossman to the top of his profession. An 'alpha male' in every sense, Grossman surrounds himself with flatterers and sycophants who fear and loathe him.

Knowing his reputation for preying on young female employees, Caroline keeps her distance but an opportunity to advance her career propels her into Grossman's lascivious clutches.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Melanie Thompson

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

A filmed version of 'The Beast' can be seen on YouTube:

(Filmed by Ian Dixon Potter & edited by Howard White)



“Melanie Thompson's easy articulacy is engaging” “Fertile ground for debate in a way similar to Mamet’s “Oleanna” – where the lines and boundaries of morality are a valid subject for heated argument” “To say more would spoil the interest in this piece. Writing and acting are strong, and it is a worthwhile 28 minutes”

★★★★★ (four and a half Stars) Theatre Monkey

“One might not agree with Caroline’s course of action, but this is a thoughtful and compelling production. ” “An interesting take on what it is to climb the career ladder whilst making compromises along the way to achieve one’s ambitions” “Caroline’s engaging nature certainly helps keep the viewer interested"

★★★★ London Theatre 1

Call Back

After a botched attempt to repair a damaged smartphone, Danny has accidentally discovered a means of sending a message backwards in time. How is his serendipitous discovery linked to a series of freak storms and a mysterious epidemic which are devastating a small English town?

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Tom Everatt

(Previously performed by Ramzi DeHani at the Canal Café Theatre).

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

A filmed version of 'Call Back' can be seen on YouTube:

Filmed by Tom Everatt and edited by Howard White.




“Everatt works on a higher energy level than most actors, delivering an incongruous story with complete credibility and even more enthusiasm. It is a real pity television is a closed world and the new Doctor Who won’t be a newcomer, because this is a fresh Matt Smith who can deliver complex ideas with effortless simplicity"

“Less complicated than it sounds, and neatly tied off by explanations in the final scene" "This is a neat Philip K Dick style effort with an excellent central performance.

★★★★ Theatre Monkey

There’s a lot of detail in Call Back, which goes at quite a brisk pace.  It may be a mindboggling story, but it’s also a very amusing one, with an excellent punchline at the very end. The direct engagement with the audience in both monologues ('Call Back' & 'Iago') helps to maintain interest, and overall, this was a brief but thought-provoking evening.


★★★★ London Theatre1

A Strange Romance

Can you fall in love with someone if you don't know their gender?  Peter is about to find out when he falls for the sexually ambiguous ‘Blue’.

Their relationship poses a challenge to Peter’s identity, forcing him to face some difficult questions: To what extent are we all encouraged to conform to narrow culturally defined stereotypes, to label and to pigeon-hole ourselves?  Are these labels a form of straight jacket, by adapting to them do we compromise our true nature and can we defy the ultimate label of gender?

Casting caution to the wind, Peter’s passion for Blue provokes prejudice and hostility from friends and family in a tale of sexual liberation and shattered taboos.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Razvan Suiogan at The Hen & Chickens Theatre & by Tom Everatt at The White Bear Theatre and Canal Café Theatre.

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

Adapted from 'Boy Stroke Girl' by Ian Dixon Potter

A filmed version of 'A Strange Romance' can be seen on YouTube:

(Videography by Howard White)



“A remarkably purposeful piece of Ian Dixon Potter's writing.”


“Theatre at its best is about creating a space to explore an idea. Among a fairly impressive vintage car collection, this play raises the bonnet to examine the engines of relationships from many contrasting angles.”


“an outside perspective allowing both contrast and commentary without distracting from the central character’s own dissection of his feelings.”


“Everatt is very much led by the dialogue. Howard White’s videography provides the cutaways and angles needed to bring pace to a necessarily slow exploration and final revelation. In fact, the ending is cuter than that”


“Unlike live theatre audiences being pushed at the moment into involuntary bubbles, this is a self-created one containing many fluid colours. To be allowed a glimpse inside is a rare and intriguing new experience worth seeking.”


★★★★★ Theatre Monkey

"Everatt is absolutely compelling in the role”

“A Strange Romance poses a simple question – if one is fortunate enough to fall in love with another human being, does it matter how the other define themselves in terms of gender? - Dixon Potter provides exactly the right answer to his own question.”


“Everatt persuades us that knowing or not knowing is missing the point about love.”


“A fiercely intelligent script”  “Thomas Everatt’s faultless performance.”


★★★★ London Theatre 1

"Tales from the Golden Age, a series of monologues, has been one of the treats of the summer".


“Ian Dixon Potter’s series of monologues continues with this winning love story between a Cis man and a trans person"


“possibly Dixon Potter’s most ambitious tale so far”

“Despite the complex politics behind trans issues, Dixon Potter’s writing is plain, and never becomes didactic. With moments of gentle humour the story is unexpected, and across its 40-minute running time, it’s never quite clear where it’s headed.”

“Tom Everatt is eager and bright-eyed in his storytelling” “at the end of the monologue that we glimpse other layers to Peter’s character.”

“Dixon Potter plans to take five of these Tales of the Golden Age to the White Bear Theatre this autumn, and we can only hope that A Strange Romance is one of them.”


★★★★ The Reviews Hub

Trivial Dispute


Two worlds collide when self made millionaire Trevor, owner of the third largest chain of tanning boutiques in East Surrey, committed Tory and card carrying Brexiteer, suddenly finds himself at odds with a retired academic, the cosmopolitan and liberal minded Ewan. Although at first a trivial dispute, Trevor resorts to unusual tactics and matters start to escalate...

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Neil Summerville

Videography by Howard White

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

A filmed version of 'Trivial Dispute' can be seen on YouTube:

(Filmed by Ian Dixon Potter and edited by Howard White)


“It’s a difficult task to keep the attention of an audience, even with a likeable character, but to tell a story through the eyes of a protagonist whom we find arrogant and repulsive is a true skill. A skill which relies heavily on the  director and the actor to find a rhythm which pushes you away before clawing you back in as the stakes stack higher and higher.”

“Summerville gives an excellent portrayal of the self-obsessed Trevor. Giving his character some bite at the right moments, Summerville manages to make Trevor not entirely pleasant, but frustratingly interesting. Dixon Potter challenges the viewer to sit back and listen to Trevor’s testimony without interrupting. The conflict is as much between Trevor and Ewan, as it is between Trevor and the audience.”

“Trivial Dispute is a play that lingers with you. I spent a long time turning the characters of Trevor and Ewan over and over in my mind. Their differences should not lead to such a heated conflict, but in Dixon Potter’s world, their differences aren’t exactly trivial.”


★★★★ A Younger Theatre

"Dixon Potter draws out the everyday experience of this community and the ways in which small issues become quickly magnified into personal crusades"


"Trivial Dispute is a working class story about groups who feel left behind, where ideas of patriotism, nationalism, class and wealth contend, filtered through the day-to-day experiences of the people they affect the most. As frustrating as Trevor is – certainly to the metropolitan liberal elite he despises – he is never a caricature and always a product of his age, status, geography and experiences, while Dixon Potter doesn’t make the unseen Ewan any less appealing"

"As Trevor, actor Neil Summerville gives a compellingly off-kilter performance of a man whose reputation is as prized as his classic car collection."

"The monologue neatly captures the voice of a generation of people who feel disenfranchised from the global pace and who are powerfully entrenched in their own worlds. We may not like what they have to say but as Dixon Potter creates a snowball effect within the drama it is clear how easily the individual and the state can lose control."

★★★★ The Reviews Hub

“Some excellent observations are made about social media etiquette and how words on a screen may not be taken with the sort of tongue-in-cheek manner that would be more discernible in spoken conversation. A startling reminder, too, that one should never take oneself too seriously, even in a global pandemic.”

“Patience is rewarded for those of us who feel we have had our fill (and then some) of discussions about the consequences of That Referendum in 2016.”

“one little lie is covered up by another one, and another, and so on, until it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain an entire network of untruths. Eventually, of course, it all starts to unravel, albeit in a very British and understated way,”

“I wouldn’t have guessed the plot’s ending from a mile off.”

★★★★ London Theatre 1

“For those who find Alan Bennett’s “Talking Heads” a little twee, Ian Dixon Potter has come up with an up-to-the-minute antidote” “Increasingly edgy as his tale unfolds, he holds out attention for the entire 40 minutes. The writing is equally consistent. The tone changes around the mid-point as we shift from everyday life into something considerably more personal and toxic”

“Worth a look as a lively diversion and bookmarking the channel for future episodes.”

★★★★ Theatre Monkey

Marlowe's Ghost

William Shakespeare, now retired and living in Stratford-upon-Avon is haunted by the ghost of a fellow playwright, assassinated nearly a quarter century before.
Marlowe's Ghost provides an answer to two great mysteries; the reason why Shakespeare aged forty seven, retired at the height of his powers and also why he shunned the recognition due to him, even during his prolific years, to the extent that there are many who question the authorship of his plays.
“Two things motivate men above all else, the desire for immortality and the desire for revenge. In my work I satiated both desires but the latter was far stronger.”
William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon 1615

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter


Adapted from 'The Dead Shepherd' by Robert Pope & Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Mark Shaer

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

Costume for the live performances by Cloud Downey.

A filmed version of 'Marlowe's Ghost' can be seen on YouTube:

(Videography by Howard White)




“Marlowe’s Ghost is an enjoyable and relaxedly educational monologue.”

“Dixon Potter is a very capable writer and here demonstrates considerable skill in the way that he presents a great deal of material in a very accessible manner.”   

“Shaer makes an entertaining guide through some of the darker aspects of the theatre world in the late sixteenth century.”

“production values are surprisingly high”

“The Golden Age Theatre Company is new to me but, on the strength of this and other productions that are also available on YouTube, it is certainly one to watch, especially when the veil is finally lifted and we see the return of theatre proper.”

★★★★ London Theatre 1

“Mark Shaer’s performance is compelling. Indeed, deserving of the attention of casting directors looking for a well-modulated speech-pattern and steadiness over the course of a lengthy scene requiring animation in ways not disturbing an overall effect of stillness.”

“Howard White keeps the videography in sympathy, altering the angle only occasionally to relieve monotony. Neil Thompson serves up appropriately period music to do likewise.”

Dixon Potter manages to mix the few known facts with reasonable conjecture and a little dramatic licence to season”

“A neat piece for those wishing to learn a little more about Shakespeare’s often overshadowed contemporaries.”

★★★★ Theatre Monkey

“Mark Shaer holds Shakespeare in high regard, with an intrinsically powerful stance, an enviable clarity and expression in this monologue.”

“As engaging as it is educational, Potter’s writing staves off a stale vibe, instead, capitalising on the bard’s life which was as dramatic as his onstage creations. Thankfully refusing to bury the past, Marlowe’s Ghost shines a light into the bleaker corners of the late sixteenth century, not solely diving into the history of the bard but the fundamental nature of script-writing, of theatre’s history.”

“With a delicate sense of humour, Shaer’s recitation of the monologue is a powerhouse in control. Never allowing emotion to overflow, it takes considerable nerve and robust skill to deliver a speech laden with historical facts (all with a side serving of dramatic liberty of course), and Shaer excels. Exuberant prowess in his conviction of the script, clarity, and diction, he has fun with it, savouring every inch of the role.”

“Love, life, faith, art – death. Everything is dissected and composed with an astute sense of writing in Marlowe’s Ghost, which transcends history and steps out into the contemporary era as an engaging monologue which draws on an immense pool of mystery and wit. Carried by a strong performance from Shaer, this adaptation of Potter and Robert Pope’s The Dead Shepherd makes for a compelling and accessible piece.”

★★★★ (Three and a half stars) The Reviews Hub


Given the chance, would you choose to be immortal? To expand your mind beyond the boundaries of human experience?

What would it feel like to upload your consciousness to the cloud? Would you yearn for interaction with the physical world?

Transhuman explores issues of mortality, identity and personality - challenging our notions of what it means to be human.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Thomasin Lockwood & Nicolle Smartt

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

A filmed version of 'Transhuman' can be seen on YouTube:

(Filmed by Ian Dixon Potter and edited by Howard White


REVIEWS (of the full length version of Transhuman):

“What it means to be human becomes the focus of Dixon Potter’s story as the lead character is pushed to further extremes in her pursuit of continued existence.” 

“In keeping with Dixon Potter’s other work, this references a notion of British protectionism and its consequences for those with few financial options. The commercialisation of death and its effects on the living are chillingly represented and as Transhuman plays out, the true transition comes from the seemingly harmless longing for immortality becoming a practical monstrousness in its stead.”


“Thomasin Lockwood convincingly suggests all of these facets as her character’s experience evolves and warps as the audience is given greater knowledge of the circumstances of the transition and the digital afterlife. Lockwood introduces a reticence later in the performance, almost an undercurrent of guilt that competes with an overriding determination to carry on living in the fullest sense.”

“Transhuman develops a rather nasty bite. There are notes of regret, resentment even bitterness about her physical absence that lead the story to some much darker places."  "an intriguing twist"

★★★★ The Reviews Hub

“Transhuman is particularly strong at evoking this desperation to keep living, whatever the cost.”


“Dixon Potter manages to personalise with greater intimacy than usual the potential benefits and restrictions such possibilities may bring. As a short work intended for the stage, this crams in considerably more ideas than the initial scenario suggests.”


“Lockwood provides a study in stillness and concentration even as her tale builds.”


“Her character holds our attention for the entire recording. Dixon Potter avoids in the main science-fiction cliché, presenting rationally some likely unfeasible ideas in a manner making the story convincing.”


“This is the fundamental question: can human existence be reduced to bytes, and what might the effect be? The answer is an interesting half hour.”


★★★★ Theatre Monkey


“Kate Carthy’s performance as Dorothy is brilliantly disarming because it’s delivered in a dark and dour working class conversational style which lulls you into a false sense of familiarity“

“Stoke resident Dorothy whose conservative (small and big C) views on the subject are a fascinating hour of in-talk about what really goes on behind closed doors in Middle England"

“There’s a warning to be heeded if The New Normal is also prescient about Brexit divisions in England actually worsening a few years from now.”

★★★★ What's Hot London

“Carthy’s portrayal of the character is so highly convincing.”


“Dark humour consistently permeates the show.”


“The concluding remarks are a fine and intriguing twist, and a viable solution for the trio, though probably not one Dorothy had previously envisaged.”


“This monologue is thought-provoking and absorbing.”

★★★★ London Theatre1

The New Normal


The year is 2024. A dark cloud hangs over a broken and vastly impoverished nation, its influence and standing in the world severely diminished. What remains of the United Kingdom is isolated from its neighbours, the union with Scotland has collapsed and war had broken out across the heavily fortified Irish border. Society is riven with division and conflict creating an atmosphere of enmity and distrust. One half of the population despises and derides the other half. The authority of the populist government has been fatally undermined by their inept and short-sighted handling of both the coronavirus pandemic and the nation's chaotic and destructive departure from the European Union. Against this background and against all the odds, Dorothy has finally found a new carer.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Kate Carthy

News bulletins read by Robin Lustig

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

Adapted from 'Little England' by Ian Dixon Potter

A filmed version of 'The New Normal' can be seen on YouTube:

(Filmed by Ian Dixon Potter & Edited by Howard White)

The Triumph of Evil

In the closing months of the second world war the Nazis were determined to exterminate all remaining prisoners in their infamous concentration camps. They were planning to destroy all evidence of their atrocities before the allied armies reached the camps.
In a race against time, Swedish aristocrat, Count Bernadotte has to 'deal with the devil' when he enters into negotiation with SS leader Heinrich Himmler in a last minute attempt to liberate thousands of prisoners and take them to safety in Sweden. His experience demonstrates the truth of the old adage that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Neil Summerville

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

A filmed version of 'The Triumph of Evil' can be seen on YouTube:

(Filmed by Ian Dixon Potter & edited by Howard White)

This filmed version of Triumph of Evil has not yet been submitted for review.


Carla, one of that rare breed of women, who harbours a powerful aversion for children, is hoping to save her old friend Roger from being drawn into the clutches of Sue, a woman who desperately wants to 'start a family' (as she puts it).

For most of his adult life Roger was equally unenthusiastic about the prospect of fatherhood but has he now changed his mind?  Carla meets Sue at a dinner party held by Ann, herself prematurely aged by the rigours of parenthood and struggling to control her unruly and malevolent children whilst being constantly reminded by Carla of the glittering career she was forced to give up.

The battle lines are drawn.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Julia Faulkner

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson



"Carla neither wants children herself nor can tolerate the children of others. Invited to a dinner party where her old university friends either possess or crave them, her views are unpopular to say the least. Ian Dixon Potter is back in Alan Bennett territory with the writing here"


"Faulkner provides an economical, sometimes bitter delivery. A difficult subject to discuss without losing audience sympathy."

★★★★ Theatre Monkey



In the wake of the 'Black Lives Matter' campaign, people from formerly under-represented groups have been elevated into positions of power and responsibility.  Most of us accept that for too long, able bodied white men have had an unfair advantage but not everyone agrees with positive discrimination.  Iago, an experienced soldier passed over for promotion in favour of Cassius, plots to wreak dreadful revenge on his commanding officer Colonel Othello.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Neil Summerville

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

Inspired by Othello by William Shakespeare

A filmed version of 'Iago' can be seen on YouTube:

(Videography by Howard White)




There is, strangely, something nearly admirable about the dedication and zeal into which he puts its plotting and scheming. Summerville’s portrayal is so successful at painting a portrait of a man so totally devoid of civility towards fellow humans.  The direct engagement with the audience in both monologues ('Iago & 'Call Back') helps to maintain interest, and overall, this was a brief but thought-provoking evening.

★★★★ London Theatre1




Love in the time of Corona

Joint winner in its category at The Vesuvius International Film Festival in February 2021

Jake only wants one thing from women. He uses dating apps to hook up with a different woman every night and he definitely doesn't do relationships. When the lock-down brings an abrupt halt to his hedonistic lifestyle he finds himself in the unusual situation of striking up a platonic friendship with Lauren. Over the course of their Zoom conversations,  Lauren begins to challenge Jake's priorities and values.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Ivan Comisso

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

'Love in the Time of Corona' can be seen on YouTube:

Filmed by Ivan Comisso and edited by Howard White





A timely and relevant production.   Comisso puts in an engaging performance.

In a timespan of a few months, Jake has become a different person.


★★★★ London Theatre 1


"Comisso is very much “up close and personal” with the viewer at all times. His natural exuberant gestures add to his personality as he performs. Once past the sleaziness of his mind, Jake’s evolution in the actor’s hands becomes compelling, and leaves the audience hoping things work out as the boy engages the mind of a more mature male"


"It's very much down to the performance that the work feels fresh, and the second half in which a new perspective is introduced assists greatly the balance of originality which would make an audience watch. Worth engaging with, as it has plenty to say about the joy of a deeper one-to-one relationship in economical capsule form"


★★★★ Theatre Monkey


Detective Sergeant Dunderdale is on the brink of solving a bloody murder but is there enough evidence to convict Yousef Massoud? Dunderdale is determined to secure a conviction by fair means or foul. After all, isn't it acceptable to bend the rules a little if the only alternative is for a dangerous killer to walk free?

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Neil Summerville

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson



There's a notion that it's desperately sad when your halcyon days come to an end. When you go into decline and you gradually lose everyone you ever cared for and all the things which brought you happiness. But at least Arnold had all this at one point in his life. It doesn't matter when. It doesn't matter that it eventually comes to an end. Nothing lasts forever.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by David Vale

A filmed version of Solitaire can be seen on YouTube:

Filmed by David Vale and edited by Howard White.

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson


“This will probably prove incredibly divisive”

"Footprints in the sand, someone following with a brush sweeping them away" is how Arnold sums up his life. Yet he speaks and records for his generation and even those several decades younger who are if anything angry that their personal nostalgia is no longer deemed valid despite offering much. A little piece of British sociology, an immaculate delivery by an actor who finds the pain, pathos and truth in every line, and a story idea and script which says it with clarity and records a truth for posterity.”

★★★★ Theatre Monkey


Imogen isn't who she thought she was.  After being surprised by the results of a DNA ancestry test, she embarks on a life changing voyage of discovery. She doesn't know where this will lead but one thing's for sure, she has something to celebrate. It turns out she's not British!

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Melanie Thompson

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson


A reckless scientist persuades a computer hacker to hijack the internet in an attempt to create the first truly conscious artificial intelligence.

She uses the 'Turing Test' to assess her creation but who is really being tested? Who will gain the upper hand? The future of humanity hangs in the balance.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Nicholle Smartt

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson


Neville believes he has good reason to take a relaxed approach to social distancing. After all, his extensive online investigations have revealed the hidden reality behind the so-called pandemic. But will Neville's selfless actions present a real danger to the elderly residents at the sinister Mountview Towers?

In a post-truth landscape of fake news, misinformation and conspiracy theory, 'Denial' explores the dramatic consequence of one lonely man's attempt to make sense of a complex and frightening world.

Written & directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Neil Summerville

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

Inside Blue

Blue identifies as neither male nor female, believing masculinity and femininity to be mere social constructs.  

The ultimate nonconformist, Blue refuses to be pigeon-holed and categorised, resisting even the labels of nationality, religion, ideology and sexual orientation. But what happens when Blue falls for the relatively conventional Peter?

Written & directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Jacqui Bardelang

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

A companion piece to 'A Strange Romance', 'Inside Blue' was adapted from

'Boy Stroke Girl' by Ian Dixon Potter

Original photograph for poster image by Kim Hardy

I, Richard

History is always written by the victor.  After Henry Tudor defeated Richard III at the battle of Bosworth, Tudor historians created the elaborate fiction of a deformed usurper who schemed and murdered his way onto the English throne.  But who was the real Richard III? 

Drawing on contemporary sources, unsullied by Tudor propaganda,

‘I, Richard’ recounts the true events which propelled Richard onto the throne of England and two years later, led to his downfall. 

This is a tale of murder, betrayal, rebellion, revenge and political intrigue, starting with the drowning of the Duke of Clarence in a butt of Malmsey and ending on the eve of the Battle of Bosworth.

A century after Richard’s death a celebrated play was written, based on the testimony of his greatest enemy, Cardinal John Morton.  Over four centuries later, Richard himself finally sets the record straight.

Written & directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Ivan Comisso

Music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

Video editing and sound by Howard White

Adapted from 'Good King Richard' by Ian Dixon Potter

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