When we were young, we worshipped stars,
gleaming long-limbed godsframed in the act of impossible flight.
For a time we tried to follow,
to carve out our own piece of sky
with a butter-smooth arc of an arm
and a Spalding ball glued to the fingertips…
Seen from a British perspective, The Spalding Suite gets to the heart and soul of the gravity-defying game and delves into the hopes and dreams of those who play it. From the fleeting high of the score and the robust camaraderie of the team, to the poignant lows of a body too worn to play the game.
Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a cross-art-form practitioner, a poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist, designer and founder of the Midnight Run – a nocturnal urban excursion. He is a Complete Works poet alumni and a designer at White Space Creative Agency. Inua Ellams’ previous plays at the National include The 14th Tale (Fringe First award) and Black T-Shirt Collection. Other plays include The Riddler at Theatre503; Knight Watch at Greenwich + Docklands Festival; Mostly Like Blue for Islington Community Theatre; Cape at the Unicorn; The Long Song Goodbye at Battersea Arts Centre; Fastcuts and Snapshot at West Yorkshire Playhouse; Marsh Orchids & Concrete for China Plate; Reset Everything and An Evening with an Immigrant at the Soho; and Turned at Trafalgar Studios. Radio plays include The Ballad of Abdul Ha z and Wild Blood.