Spark Plug..The Nuts And Bolts of Life

Box of Tricks Presents

Spark Plug

Walker Theatre

Thursday 7th -Friday 8th March  2019

There’s an intimacy about the space in the Walker Theatre, Actor’s are very close to their audience and a personal connection is made. In a space like Walker audience members feel they are personally being addressed. Terrifying for the actor but wholly rewarding for the audience. Spark Plug is a play that thrives in a space like this.

Written and performed by Manchester Actor/Playwright David Judge, Spark plug is a hard hitting and highly engaging piece of theatre that isn’t afraid to peel back the thin veneer of what we call society, exploring all the faults, cracks and triumphs of life in Twentieth Century Britain.

Set loosely around 1988/1990 David Judge who is declared as “as a man of colour,” was brought up by a white man not biologically linked to him; but he was the offspring that arrived in the marriage. Delivered by Mum Joanne but was sired by Ainsley (Described as a big black man,) and Joanne in a one night drunken grapple. So being mixed race and brought up by white David Judge, young Dave claims he had the black taken out of him almost before he was born, he sees David Judge his father Joanne, his Mum leaves the family home and appears on the Kilroy Show confessing to her lesbianism, she even appeared on their with her girlfriend, young David, who became David Judge’s responsibility, learned very quickly to fight.

This is a lyrical poetic piece of raw power. The pen can certainly be mightier than the sword and David’s lines , his observations, his magnifying glass on his own life is so skilfully executed he has the ability to enthral and emotionally involve in a maelstrom of an existence. He may not agree with the maelstrom analogy but that is how his life has appeared to this point. That is what gives this piece power.

Employing Black box approach the stage was set with a tubular steel frame of a Ford Capri that David drove around in listening to his beloved Rod Stewart. This really is a clever piece of kit and the player’s use of it is expert, precise and intelligent. It doubles as the bedroom, a stair case, other cars and David Judge’s 1988 passion wagon.

One was pleased also with the lighting and sound script. Working in perfect synergie with David the lights and sound were just spot on. No cues fluffed or missed.

Although David’s life is his life and those experiences are his within the show there are bits we can all identify with. It was interesting from the staccato sniggers of self-awareness and identification from around the audience it was obvious that David had them wrapt and wholly investd in this play for Modern Britain.

David Judge wrote this play for his white Father , also called David Judge, and as a parent one can say if that had been written for me as a father it would be a very great homour. My Daughter shows no signs yet but she knows where the pen and paper are if she ever wants to start. Point being this is an homage to his father and one can only imagine his Father was a very proud man.

Well done. A great and solid piece of theatre and it deserves full houses and it deserves the respect that anyone should get were they to open their hearts to you.

This is a Four Star Review.

Owen J.Lewis


Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Three times Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. See more on

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