David Gooderson
Friday 17th November 7.30pm
The Phoenix Theatre
Barbados House Station Road Bordon Hants GU35 0LR
Tickets £15 from the Phoenix Theatre Box Office 01420 473664 or online at phoenix


by David Gooderson

Racism lurks in unexpected places in this true story of a little known whistleblower (Edmond Morel) who, supported by writer Arthur Conan Doyle and Irish patriot Roger Casement, succeeded in abolishing slavery in King Leopold’s Belgian Congo.

But was Morel really a hero? Or was he a racist too?

Claude McKay, the first black journalist to work in Britain, who later crossed swords with Morel, is our guide through a play which, apart from slavery and racism, explores the clash between loyalty to a friend and loyalty to a cause, intolerance in public debate and homophobia that has tragic consequences.

It also has a local connection, Conan Doyle had a house in Hindhead and the play highlights a part of his life that is less well known.


Actor/playwright David Gooderson is best known for playing the iconic role of Davros in Dr Who and Simpkins, the Pathologist, in A Touch of Frost.

He is no stranger to the Phoenix Theatre, having acted there in several Farnham Rep productions.

Two of his plays, War! Lies! And a Packet of Fags and Kolbe’s Gift have had script-in-hand performances at the theatre.

His most recent play, Hector, toured the UK in 2015, ending at the Ambassadors Theatre, London

message from The Phoenix Theatre

With roots set in the now demolished Redgrave Theatre in Farnham, Farnham Rep have long carried the torch for high quality, professional theatre in venues that now includes The Phoenix Theatre in Bordon. As the second in a short season of co-productions between the two organisations, ALMOST A HERO by David Gooderson promises to tread the delicate line between racism and friendship and features an eclectic cast that includes writer Arthur Conan Doyle, did you know he lived locally in Hindhead?

Join me, Phoenix Arts CEO Rob Allerston, for an evening of high quality, professional theatre and help us to continue to wave the flag for live theatre. As a member of Rob’s Theatre Club you’ll get an additional £1.00 off the ticket price, a complimentary post-show glass of wine and a chance to meet the cast after the show.            

                    Kindest Regards,                    

Rob Allerston.

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