Background.

Nick Darke
Nick Darke was born in St. Eval, near Padstow, the son of a farmer and an actress. He worked as an actor and director for ten years at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke, during its heyday in the 1970s.

His first full-length play Never Say Rabbit in a Boat was performed there in 1978. He wrote a total of twenty four plays, including Ting Tang Mine and The Riot for The National Theatre; The Dead Monkey, Bud, The Body, High Water, Hell's Mouth and Kissing the Pope for the Royal Shakespeare Company; The Catch for The Royal Court; The King of Prussia for Plymouth Theatre Royal / Kneehigh Theatre, The Bogus and Danger My Ally for Kneehigh. He also wrote many plays, and made documentaries, for radio including Bawcock's Eve, Hooked, The Fisherman's Tale, Atlantic Drifting and Dumbstruck, about his recovery from a stroke.

Most of his plays are set in, or are about Cornwall in general, and the sea and fishing in particular. They have been translated into many languages and are regularly performed all over the world. His film The Wrecking Season, a documentary about beachcombing on the Cornish coast, was recently broadcast on BBC4 and is available on DVD from Boatshed Films. Four of his plays are published by Methuen as Nick Darke: Plays One. A film version of his first play is in pre-production and will be made by APT Films.

Jane Darke
Jane Darke has lived in Cornwall since 1990 when her husband, playwright and Cornishman Nick Darke, moved back home. They met twenty five years ago and over the years Jane shared Nick's skills as lobster fishermen and wrecker (beachcomber) and they raised two children together. Jane studied printed textiles at Middlesex University and the Royal College of Art specialising in large hand painted cloths of wool and silk. On leaving college she was encouraged to paint. Her later interest in beaches and their natural history lead her to do part of an Open University degree in Earth Sciences. She has worked as a painter since 1985.

Nick and Jane's first film The Wrecking Season was completed in December 2004 as a commission from the Arts Council for Nick to work in another medium. Nick wrote and narrated, Jane filmed and directed. Jane was awarded the First Time Director award at The Celtic Film and Television Festival. The film has since been bought by the BBC, and was broadcast 22 July 2005.

The Art of Catching Lobsters, Nick and Jane's second film was initially conceived as a film about Nick's recovery from a stroke through such activities as beachcombing and lobster fishing. Nick was then diagnosed with terminal cancer and the film became a record of his attempts to pass on his knowledge and experience of lobster fishing and the ways of the sea to his son Henry, as well as a poignant documentary about love, loss and the grieving process.