Henry & Harriet and Other Plays
About the book…
On Tuesday 2nd April 1912, the Titanic left Belfast for Southampton and her maiden voyage to New York. On the same day, Henry Surphlis, a shipyard carpenter and one of the thousands who helped build her, buys two second-class tickets, one-way, Southampton to New York - one for himself, and one for his fiancee, Harriet Sweetlove.
It was a painful business in 1912, leaving kith and kin. Most immigrants would never see home again. Atypically, Henry couldn't be happier. He has enemies, notably the violent ex-soldier, Leonard Louden, for whom heês been collecting funds for the Ulster Unionist Council, Sir Edward Carson's anti-Home Rule organisation.
The sooner he puts water between himself and Leonard the better. Henry & Harriet unfolds In real time in the streets and shops of Belfast and follows Henry as he frantically buys what he needs for his new life in the New World.
By turns a thriller, an Investigation of the psychology of theft and a love story, and combining low farce and high tragedy with the politics of the period when those for and against the Union were Increasingly In conflict, Henry & Harriet tells the story of an ordinary man whose life, in the space of sixty minutes, changes forever.
In addition to Henry & Harriet this volume also includes two one-act plays: Elaine's Non-Show, the story to a recalcitrant strippergram and Silhouette which describes the unhappy encounter somewhere In Darfur between a young woman refugee and an aid worker, and was performed at the Tricycle Theatre In London as part of How Long is Never?, an evening of theatre about the crisis in the western Sudan.