By Bob Whorton
Artwork: c@web

Swallows by Bob Whorton, was performed to great reviews at The Old Fire Station, Oxford in March, 2017.

Set a few years into the future, Swallows probes the impact of a controversial new law, demanding all hospices, hospitals and residential homes provide a suitable ‘dying room’ for those who wish to end their lives.  This moving play explores, with sensitivity, the choices facing Professor Raymond Parker and the conflict which exists between the different ethical and emotional viewpoints of the Professor, his son, and the medical profession.

Bob Whorton brings his direct experience of working within the hospice movement to this heart warming play.  It was followed by the opportunity for discussion between the audience, the playwright and members of different professional communities.

Directed by David Trevaskis, who also directed Silent on the Matter, and will be directing Carolyn Lloyd Davies’ new play, Penetration in 2021.

Read our blog on the Old Fire Station website.

We also held a competition for the best written play by our playwriting course members and for that play to be professionally produced at the Old Fire Station in Spring 2017.  With that in mind, we contacted Tricia Brant of AgeUK Oxfordshire, who thought it was a marvellous idea and gave us enormous support.  The course proved to be so successful; members didn’t want to stop and continue onto the next level and named their group, “Third Act”.  When the second course finished, its members became part of “Third Act”.

Third Act scribbled away finishing off their scripts whilst the team started crowd funding and we ended up raising well over £4,000.  By December, 11 plays had been submitted to the independent judging panel, which consisted of Anna Glynn, joint Artistic Director of Flintlock Theatre, Lucy Maycock, Artistic Director of The North Wall Arts Centre and David Trevaskis, our director on Swallows.  The panel deliberated on a very difficult decision, and finally Bob Whorton’s play Swallows was chosen, based on the quality of his writing, the compelling story line and the contemporary nature of the play.  Bob, the hospice chaplain, at the time, at Sobell House, wrote what he knew about.


Michael Curran
as Professor Raymond Parker

Katharine Moraz
as Magda

Richard Matthews
as Terry Parker

Georgina Armfield

Patsy Prince
as Dr Sabine Redmond

Our crowdfunding video



Jeremy Spafford, Director, The Old Fire Station

“I loved it. Great writing, great direction and design, wonderful performances. Do pass on my congratulations to the team.”