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  • Ken Potter

SYNOPSIS

Updated: May 7



BEYOND BORDERS:

The Quixotic Adventures of Sir Ken


A show by Ken Potter


Synopsis


Ken Potter, an irresolute croupier saddened by the recent death of his father, is desperate to escape the London rat-race. Alan Llambias, a casino colleague, tempts him into chucking the job and embarking on a trip to Rio. They argue about routes then compromise on a third unlikely but decisive option – to head east to get to Rio the long way round. For Ken, an intended 6-month trek turns into an intriguing 8-year saga that tests his resolve to the limit.


Beyond Borders is a dramatised true story – an epic account of Potter’s colourful and often harrowing world adventures. He and Alan shrug off the UK recession, don city suits, and assume the roles of self-appointed British ambassadors. In a blaze of publicity, the two would-be adventurers set off to all points east.


Set-backs abound. Alan drops out. Ken, initially devastated but with ever-increasing conviction, perseveres alone across pre-revolutionary Iran and India. In Delhi, he’s drugged by a sect who rip off tourists. Whilst drugged, he imagines his late father. His poverty-stricken dad always wanted to get to Rio in search of a misappropriated family fortune but never could. Ken makes a promise to get to the city in his Dad’s stead.


In Sydney, he falls deeply in love with Natalie. He tries to convince her to join him in his trek but, inspired by all his talk of travel, she fulfils her own lifelong ambition and embarks on a trip to Europe. He’s crestfallen but they stay in touch.


Potter becomes a “Modern-Day Don Quixote”. Armed with a bicycle for a horse and a singular brand of eccentricity, he pits wits and mettle against the elements. He nearly freezes to death on a Costa Rican mountaintop, all but dies when lost in a desert, and almost drowns in a jungle gulf. He’s accused of being a spy by secret police. His diplomatic persona earns him the appellation of “British Ambassador to the World” from the international media.  His experience in Buenos Aires provides an invaluable insight into Anglo-Argentine relationships just prior to the Falklands War. Whilst the play is not overtly political, it encompasses contemporary issues regarding national borders and identities.


Ken eventually makes it to Rio, 7½ years behind schedule. There’s a wild carnival atmosphere. He once again imagines his dead dad. Natalie turns up out of the blue. They let loose in the carnival then travel back to London with impassioned spirit. Now worldly-wise, fulfilled, and very much a changed man, the one-time sad croupier becomes a joyful  “Citizen of the World”.


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After reading Beyond Borders, Alan Harris, Welsh playwright and winner of a Judges' Award at the 2015 Bruntwood Prize, had this to say:

"...this is a lyrical, rhythmical piece...Ken has a good ear for dialogue, great settings, interesting characters, and a style that actors and a director would be delighted to get to grips with..."
 
Steven O'Shea, actor, director, and co-founder of Mandrake Theatre Company had this to say:
"Before mobile phones, Lonely Planet guides, or satnavs there was 'Sir' Ken, intrepid 'Knight of the Road'. Beyond Borders speaks to the adventurer within us all..."
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