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Tales from Star City and The Letter of Last Resort

by Idle Discourse


A Cold War double bill... from both sides of the curtain

about the production

The Letter of Last Resort by award winning playwright David Greig sees the newly elected Prime Minister given a strange instruction that could lead to nuclear apocalypse. Tales From Star City by Dan Dawes received ACE funding in 2019, and has had numerous successful runs in London. It's the story of a female radio operator who becomes embroiled in the brightest - and darkest - moments of the Soviet Space Race.

about the artist

This is a collaboration between Idle Discourse and PlayGC Theatre. Idle Discourse have produced multiple plays in both the UK, and internationally. Tales from Star City - by artistic director Dan Dawes - was due to tour in 2020, but was postponed because of the pandemic. PlayGC was founded by Robert and Lisa Gordon Clark in 2020. Despite difficult circumstances, they have produced several plays - including numerous successful productions of The Letter of Last Resort in London.

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stage dimensions

width: 8 metres

height: 4 metres

depth: 5 metres

Projector and screen is required (or an open cyclorama) for the greatest technical effect, but it is possible to perform the pieces without. The pieces are flexible and can be accommodated in almost any space. They have previously been performed in both end-on and traverse configurations. A technician running QLab 4 will be provided, but good coverage is necessary, ideally with options to isolate individual speakers. No specific lighting specials are required.

Both plays have proved exceptionally popular with older audiences, but also with students. Tales from Star City also received ACE funding in 2019 because of its links to women in science, and we received a great deal of interest from groups that encourage women in STEM careers.

"Christina Baston gives a heart-felt performance as the communications prodigy who becomes the conscience of the Soviet space program..."

Breaking the Fourth Wall

"An earnest one-woman play with bold ambitions... Christina Baston is a charismatic and commanding performer... the scene in which she cares for canine cadet Laika is extremely poignant, a moment of real sensitivity."

The Stage

"An intriguing and thoughtful dialogue... a gripping and absorbing experience."


Both pieces are suitable for audiences with visual impairments, with only a few physical sequences in Tales from Star City that may prove problematic.

Box office splits preferred please

We will be risk assessing the show on an ongoing basis using the latest scientific advice at the time of the tour, and will be taking out relevant insurance where possible. In the event of further lockdowns or restrictions, we will discuss the requirements with individual venues.