Welcome to my newly designed website. Huge thanks to Howard Lush who, for the price of a latte and a gargantuan slice of cake, helped me with the creative and technical side. I’m a technical dinosaur and, so I have just proved, have the creative skills of an ironing board.
The new website is for two reasons. One is that, like my musical taste, it was a tad out of date; and secondly, I’ve decided to go back into acting and the brand new design goes hand-in-hand with my new headshots and soon-to-be new showreel. I’m bouncing around like a kid with a new toy about the prospect of being an actor again. I realise how much I love and have missed acting. Unfortunately, the need to become a grown-up and get a mortgage, coupled with being in and out of hospital for various knee and vascular operations over a twelve-year period left me only able to do a few sporadic acting jobs. This is the reason that I turned to writing as a creative outlet.
Speaking of the writing (seamless segue there), I have three plays on national tours this year. Billionaire Boy is the third of David Walliam’s superb children’s novels that I’ve adapted, and will be touring from June to September with Heartbreak Productions. Heartbreak will also be touring with my adaptation of The Secret Garden and the spoof murder/mystery I wrote entitled Murder On The Terrace, which completed a successful tour last year.
I’m currently looking for a producer for my new independent play, 20:40. We had a performed reading at Jermyn Street Theatre (and thank you, Penny Horner, for letting me have the theatre) last October with Barney Cooper and myself in the cast and Shazz Andrew directing. It was received amazingly well (couldn’t fail with those two highly talented people involved) and I’ve done three lots of rewrites since then. I’m now satisfied (or as satisfied as any writer can be) with the ‘finished’ product and really want to get it on stage, especially because of its subject matter. The play is a two-hander but concerning one character; Michael, at ages forty and twenty, and his battle with depression. Michael is one of those lovely people who hide their suffering, and the play explores the pivotal moments in his life through a series of memory flashbacks, with both actors playing all the roles. I want the play to help, in some small way, to raise awareness of this hugely debilitating illness.
And my novel, originally entitled The Last Taboo, is about to be relaunched under a new title, new cover, and with a big advertising campaign behind it. It’s now called The Rainbow Player and is the coming-of-age story of an England footballer who has a gay relationship. You don’t have to be gay or a football fan to enjoy it. It’s about love, laughing in the wrong places, eccentric Grans, the indescribable link between soul-mates, and eradicating the need to label people.
A big thank you to the Concordia Theatre in Leicestershire, who have just put on a production of my second play, The Moon Is Halfway To Heaven. I’d popped up a couple of times during rehearsals to give notes and meet the cast and crew, and went to watch the final night, which was superb. Jo Holt had directed it beautifully and Lyndon Vaughan Prosser and James Ross were excellent as Jamie and Paul. It was quite emotional for me as the Concordia is where I first started acting and I have many happy memories of it; many centred around the bar, but we’ll gloss over that. Wonderful to catch up with old friends too, some of whom I hadn’t seen for over twenty years: I was obviously a child when I last saw them (coughs discreetly).
And big congratulations to my friend, Katie Bona, who already has her play, Dirty Great Love Story, showing at the Arts Theatre in London, and is about to have another, All the Lies I told Myself, produced at the Soho Theatre, which she will also be acting in. Her career is going from strength to strength, and she deserves it! She is proof that talent and total dedication really do produce results.
So spring is upon us and, despite the blinkered attempts of Trump and the other inward-looking cronies, the blossom is out and there is a warmth in the air that can over-ride anything these small-minded people can throw at us. I love this time of year: the beginnings of new life, new plans to make (most of which will never come to fruition, but it was fun making them anyway) and the feeling that anything is achievable. And it is.
Happy blossoming to you all.