Books by John R. Goodman

Great Expectations

The classic novel by Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage

A new adaptation of Dickens’ classic novel for the stage. This is the stor orphan Pip, who mysteriously comes into “great expectations” from a mysterious source. After a terrifying encounter with an escaped convict on the marshes, Pip obeys a summons from the reclusive Miss Havisham to her house. There he meets her haughty ward, Estella, with whom he falls in love despite her dismissive treatment of him.

Years later, Pip is apprentice to blacksmith Joe. A lawyer, Jaggers, arrives and tells them of Pip’s forthcoming inheritance. Jaggers brings Pip to London to be groomed and educated as a gentleman. Will Pip ever learn the name of his benefactor? Can he win the love of the beautiful but cold-hearted Estella? Can he navigate danger and drama to become a wise and respected gentleman?

Murder, despair and comedy are all here. Filled with incident and colourful characters, this fast-moving adaptation brings this popular and timeless tale to glorious life.

Produced in the open air at Reading Abbey Ruins by Progress Theatre, July 2022.

Death, Dot & Daisy

A post-pandemic murder mystery

A virus has wiped out most of humanity. In England, Adaeze leaves the city and heads north where she starts a new community of survivors. In Chicago, Leo, six years old, arrives on the last flight from Europe with his dying father. As Leo grows up with his cruel relatives on a Minnesota farm, Adaeze’s happy village grows until Dot, her adopted daughter, finds the body of a murdered man outside their house. Dot turns detective and uncovers a secret that goes back a lifetime.

5.0 out of 5 stars “A gripping and relevant thriller.”

5.0 out of 5 stars “Highly topical at present – a great read.”

5.0 out of 5 stars “Great read in the time of plague.”

Dogs and Cats and Other Lifeforms

7 short plays

An act of kindness brings Caroline to Theresa’s home. They may have shared a bus, but they live in different worlds. Then their conversation turns to the virus… 

Three dogs meet on a beach. They chase balls and gulls, chat philosophy and discuss the nature of happiness. 

Two cats argue over the tenancy of a cardboard box and the finer points of quantum mechanics. The truth behind cat superiority is revealed. 

A young mother is imprisoned, but for what? Even in a democracy terror can triumph. 

A malevolent computer takes over the life of a hapless logistics planner. Sometimes we have no power, even over our own creations. 

Two babies are born, grow up, marry and die. What else is there, after all? 

When Karen’s daughter, Jewel, is taken by “Dirty Harry”, Karen fears the worst. But Harry has been nursing a secret, and there are things even beyond Karen’s imagination.