Burn Out

I suppose, of all the ‘First World’ problems, Burn Out is one of the most frequently mentioned.

In  Britain, especially, we have a tendency to underplay any problems. Like the Black Knight in Spamalot says when he loses an arm: ‘T’is but a scratch’! We’re almost apologetic about complaining. I often hear (and I use it myself frequently), ‘I’m not starving in Africa so I can’t complain’. Well, no, we may not be starving in Africa (and God  – and rich countries – help the poor people who are) but that doesn’t diminish whatever we may be suffering from. There will always someone in the world who is ‘the worst off’, but comparison is ridiculous.

If you crash your car; if you lose your job; if a relationship with a loved one breaks down, then you’re suffering. There’s no point repeating the mantras of: ‘Well, at least I’ve got my flat/health/cat/holiday to look forward to. We should admit to being in emotional pain; someone WILL hug us. Maybe even a stranger. I think the vast, vast majority of us would help a stranger in distress. I know I would. We don’t hug enough. Just that human contact will let someone know that they’re not the only human being on the planet; because that’s what suffering makes you feel like.

Anyway, back to that Burn Out thing. SO many people nowadays are working ludicrous hours just to survive and maybe treat themselves to a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough once a month. We get sucked into this vortex of gradually giving up all the things we love because we have less and less time which, for some unexplained reason, we devote purely to work. In the end we even forget how to spell the word Pleshure…..Plejure….Pleshoor. But, seriously, this can lead to, or exacerbate, many mental health issues. It can also make us lose those special relationships with loved ones and even to forget what life is.

I lost all my money (which wasn’t much) nine years ago when a small terraced house I bought back home in Leicester went horribly wrong. Since then, I’ve worked three or four jobs as well as writing (and acting occasionally) to survive in the whirlwind that is London.  In the last two years I’ve been ill on more occasions than I can remember; I’m constantly exhausted from working thirteen-hour days; the last time I went to the cinema there was a man with a large organ at the front (they really should move him on) and, if I have the strength to go for a quick small Merlot after I finish my final job of the day at 10pm, I fall over after one…….. Actually, that’s nothing to do with tiredness; I have the alcohol tolerance of a gnat.

I recently started doing a Mindfulness course, and this has made me realise that I AM in control of my life after all, that my creativity is being numbed by overwork and bone-deep fatigue, that I’m losing touch with friends and the ability to have fun because I’ve unwittingly jumped into this pressure-cooker that will very soon spit me out into a Victorian sewer where I won’t have the strength to look up to see if there are any stars (slightly over-dramatic, but you know what I mean).

So, I’ve decided to work less (well, less than thirteen hours a day, anyway) and spend more time living and doing the things I love. This will also allow me more time to be creative. I’ve decided to go back into acting (I’m currently shooting a new showreel and am extraordinarily excited about the prospect of returning full-time to the profession  – I really miss it) and I’m going to give myself more time to continue with the current writing projects, which are:

20:40 – My new play about depression which now has the following creatives on board: Alex Pearson/Producer, Andreas Ayling/Production Manager and Julie Osman/Director. We’re lining it up for an Off West End run in the spring of 2018.

The Midnight Gang – My fourth David Walliam’s adaptation. Hugely thrilled and excited to have another of David’s brilliant novels to adapt for the stage.

Shooting For Rainbows – the Young Adult version of The Rainbow Player, which I’m writing to give teenagers a straight acting gay role model to associate with.

Gay Pride And No Prejudice – I’m in the process of organising a public reading of my other new play to attempt to get investors and producers on board.

So, all in all, I’ve had a tad of an epiphany……well, more of a ‘piph’ really. And there’s me being all British again.

Have a lovely autumn everyone. Peace and enjoyment of life to you all.

David

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New Website!

Hi everyone,

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.

David

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Merry Christmas everyone

Hi everyone,

So, as we hurtle toward the end of another stonkingly ‘up and down’ year, I’d just like to reflect that ‘up and down’ is what life is all about really. It would be awfully dull if everything went well all the time…….

I’ve just looked at that last line three times and am still trying to justify it! I think, if you have all that you want all of the time, it takes away the need to aim for better things, for new goals, and so to find areas of yourself you never knew existed, and move toward finding out who you really are. We all like a challenge, and that is what life is a series of. And also remember to learn from our successes, not just our mistakes. Being our own biggest critics, we forget we’re actually allowed to have successes; and acknowledge them.

So, my New Year’s resolution is one I made five year’s ago (and singularly failed to carry out): it consists of two words: ‘Fuck It’. Just stop analysing everything and do what my heart tells me is right. After all, the brain is merely a computer that can only apply logical responses that have no connection with individual thought, ambition, lust, happiness and love.

Hugely excited about next year; especially as, after eight years of working at least three jobs and consequently foregoing much of the time I could have spent on artistic endeavours, I’m actually going to cut down, devote more time to writing, and return to the acting profession. I honestly feel like a seven year-old with a new toy (probably an electric train-set; probably with the Flying Scotsman in it). I’ve missed acting but, with several recent-ish knee operations, I’ve had to be pretty dormant on that front. However, the little switch inside me that tells me what I REALLY want, has flipped over to ‘do it’, which is precisely what I’m going to do.

On the writing front, I’ve got four projects on the go. My publishers and myself are revamping and republishing my novel, The Last Taboo. It’s now going to be called Sammy and will have a new cover, no typo’s, new blurb and a new final page. We’ve realised that it’s a funny, touching, coming-of-age novel and we’ve neglected to mention that so far. Sammy should be out in January or February 2016 and there will be a big marketing campaign to go hand-in-hand with it.

I’ve now finished my fourth independent play, having work-shopped the previous draft with Shazz Andrew directing and Oliver Gully and myself playing the two roles. It’s the first time I’ve work-shopped a play, and it threw up some very interesting points (quite a large one being that the monologues were over-written and the whole play needed at least twenty minutes cutting off it! I’ve done this and will shortly be arranging a Rehearsed Reading in London in order to get a producer on board.

I’m also going to be writing a full-length Murder/Mystery for Heartbreak Productions for a national tour next year and the final bit of news is my favourite: after the success of Mr Stink this year, I’m going to be adapting another of David Walliam’s superb childrens’novels, Ratburger; again for a national tour in 2016.

And I’m also going to stop eating cake (all the time), go to the gym three times a week EVERY week, stop eating HUGE meals when I get home late at night, play tennis (and win occasionally) and actually go to see a movie. I believe they’re in colour nowadays.

Wishing you all a happy Christmas and a peaceful and successful New Year.

David.

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Congratulations Ireland (and other things)

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since my last blog, for which, many apologies. I’ve been a tad busy finishing the adaptation of David Walliam’s wonderful novel, Mr Stink, managing a major marketing campaign for my debut novel, The Last Taboo, writing my new play, 20:40, marketing my War Poetry CD, We Will Remember Them, selling my little house ‘oop Midlands’, planning the screenplay for The Last Taboo, working three jobs and occasionally having a spare nanosecond to look up the word ‘Relationship’ …….My OED defines it as ‘Something other people have’!

The marketing for Taboo is beginning to create a bit of impetus for the novel. Word appears to be getting round and the reviews continue to stun me with their lovely comments. I think (and hope) that people now realise that you don’t just have to be a football fan or gay to enjoy the novel. I’ve had emails from straight football-loathing readers who have said how pleased they were that they read it, as it’s equally about coming-of-age, life-affirmation and the need to eradicate ‘label’s from our lives. Labels are a poor excuse to wear designer blinkers and wilfully ignore anyone who doesn’t agree with you. I’m really hoping that we can get as many people as possible talking about it and move the subject of homophobia higher up on the agenda. If my novel can help in any way to make players become openly gay, I’ll be a very happy man.

And on the subject of all things gay, I just want to congratulate the Irish nation for their open, fair and broad-minded decision to legalise gay marriage. As a side aspect to this, it’s great to see the people having a say on such important issues (unless, of course, it allows MP’s to side-step contentious decisions by being able to ‘blame the public’). Perhaps we could do this a little more often; government by the people for the people, blah, blah. It may even create more affiliation between us and the government, whatever wing they may lean toward.

Mr Stink has just started a three-month national tour. It’s been huge fun adapting David Walliam’s lovely novel. I love the fact that he doesn’t shy away from issues that some people might think would only be in the adult domain. I believe it’s important that children are introduced to subjects early and create their own opinions; shelter kids where necessary but allow them their say. To be honest, I often find that they come up with far better solutions to problems than adults; mainly due to the fact that they haven’t created barriers, formed soundbites or remained stubbornly repetitive because of political leanings. They see things as they are and they say what they think, to the detriment of diplomacy but to the benefit of honesty. I’ve tried to stay true to David’s novel, but obviously added my own personal touches and dialogue. I think it’s the perfect family entertainment; there’s lots of humour and a real moral story. And, in the burgeoning friendship between twelve year-old Chloe and Mr Stink, there is a beautiful connection between adults and children, with both learning from each other.

I’m SO enjoying writing my new play too. 20:40 is the story of Michael at the ages of twenty and forty. Through a series of memory flashbacks the Michaels play out the significant moments from their life, seen from both ages. It covers all of life’s moments of beauty and also its horrors: marriage (we won’t say which category that comes in), first love, school, soul-mates, leaving home, the breakdown of relationships and why we say ‘them’ when we talk about ourselves as teenagers. What changes? Where do ‘they’ go? It especially takes a long look at the subject of depression, and how people so often suffer in silence. I hope to have finished the play by mid-July.

And I’m starting a major fitness and de-stressing purge. I’m at the gym three times a week anyway but, recently, it’s been a chore rather than something I enjoy; bit like doing the housework in a straitjacket. I saw a photo on Facebook of a friend who had just run 5K in the middle of the night, just for the sheer hell of it. He looked so happy, and it must have triggered something inside me that made me smile and sent a surge of happiness and optimism through me. Going to give Mindfulness a go too. Have met several people recently who said it has reduced their stress levels immeasurably. Let’s face it, we can’t really operate properly unless we’re relaxed with ourselves and with life in general. ‘Do things slower’ is my new motto. Will probably only last till next Thursday, but it’s a start!

If you’d like to get in touch about anything, please use the Contacts page on the website. I’m always up for a chat.

Have an amazing summer,

David.

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Mr Stink

So, just to describe the state of my brain at the moment; within the last week I have spent nearly a minute looking for a pen I’d just been using (it was in my other hand), spent several minutes looking for my mobile (I was on it at the time), and walked into a full-length mirror in Next and apologized to myself.

Nuff said.

To prove that at least some cells are firing, I’ve just got a fabulous writing gig. I’m adapting David Walliam’s wonderful children’s novel Mr Stink for a national tour next year. It’s beautifully written. I love the juxtaposition between some of the down-to-earth, matter-of-fact prose and the accentuated eccentricity of Mrs Crumb and Mr Stink. I’ve only written fifteen pages so far but I’m having loads of fun. So many opportunities for comedy along with very touching moments, at the same time driving through some really serious points that David’s subtly written into it: Snobbery, wearing a mask to pretend that you’re someone else, two-facedness, and discovering who you really are. More details in later blogs, but Heartbreak Productions will be doing an open-air national tour with the play in the summer of 2015.

My publishers (Whiteley Publishing) and myself are also madly marketing The Last Taboo. This is my first novel and is the coming-of-age story of a footballer who has a gay relationship. I’m determined to get the novel to as wide a readership as possible to get everyone talking about homophobia in football. The idea is to get it moving up the book charts and into the media and consequently spark more open debate and awareness of what is the ludicrous situation of a micro-society living in some bygone, judgemental era when people’s freedom was massively curtailed. I’m a football fan; many of my friends (both gay and straight) are too. I know that the vast majority of fans wouldn’t care in the slightest if a footballer admitted to being gay. Unfortunately, as with so many areas of life, it’s the five percent at the extremes who shout and threaten the loudest. What we need is the ninety percent of us fair-minded people in the middle to be the most vocal for once. If us fans (and players) say it’s OK to be a gay footballer, I’m certain that, within a very short time, we will have openly gay players, and one of the last bastions of homophobia in this country will be eradicated. People and organisations such as Stonewall, the Rainbow Shoelaces Campaign, Joey Barton, Sir Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry have done so much superb work toward the cause; I want to add to that with The Last Taboo. 

The CD of WW1 poetry that I’m producing (and reciting) is nearly ready for its debut on Amazon. Just have to sort out the graphics – which basically means me whinging until someone with a modicum of technical skill gives in and does it for me. Tom Baynton has arranged the songs for me and Robbie Durham has recorded them. Rob Tofield and myself have done a final mix, so we’re just about there. I love War Poetry. There should really be no words that could possibly describe this utter devastation, but these amazing poets find them. I was lucky enough to recite two poems at the memorial service, for all the London Theatre workers who died at the front, held at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. I had to choke back the tears on a few occasions; it’s almost overwhelming.

On a lighter note, I’ve just bought the box-set of Sherlock. Yeah, OK, four years after the rest of the world. It’s just…..well, it’s just FANTASTIC!! Brendan Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss, Stephen Moffat, et al – you’re all absolutely wonderful. I know everybody knows this already, but I just had to share. It’s simply superb in every department.

Anyway, enough of me bouncing up and down like a six year-old.

Take much care and have much fun.

David.

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My First Novel is Published!

When you’re sitting in various West End cafes watching the drizzle turn into a vast marquee of sun’s rays, looking at the tapestry dregs of your long-finished mocha and writing your first novel, you know the prospects of it being published are remote (apparently, about 1 in 750). So, when a publisher reads the finished product (is a piece of writing EVER finished? Yes! Otherwise you’d go mad…which explains a lot) and loves it and says, ‘Yes, we’d love to publish this’, your brain fills with that air of surreality that makes real life appear to be a TV drama and you can’t work out why there hasn’t been a commercial break for three hours. This happened to me a short while ago and, on Friday 25th July, my first novel, ‘The Last Taboo’, became a tangible, real thing instead of my imagination and a document on my laptop. A huge ‘thank you’ to Professor Mark Whiteley, Emily and the rest of the fantastic team at Whiteley Publishing for everything. So, the novel is out on Amazon and the idea is to generate as much publicity as we can to get sales soaring and stonking reviews (I just typed ‘stinking’…..Freud, piss off!), so we can get it up the Amazon charts and into the bookshops. Here’s the blurb form the back of the book to whet your appetite: ‘Sam Hatchington lost his virginity at a bus-stop (‘bit of a disaster; bus came before I did’). Since the, with the help of Old Thomas, his inspirational new friends and Gran (the connoisseur of footballer’s bottoms), he has turned his life around. Now, fifteen years and seven girlfriends later, he must risk his career and all that he has achieved in order to be honest with himself – and the public – about his love for another man. Because Sam – eternal optimist, book-lover, survivor of a deprived South London estate and an abusive father – is also an England footballer and the ‘wrong’ decision would create a furious media frenzy…….’ I’m told it’s very funny and moving. I’m also told by various readers who hate football, that they loved it because it’s more of a coming-of-age novel and that they actually got involved in the two or three matches because of what it meant to Sam. Suffice to say, I’m extremely happy that it’s been published. It’s an extraordinary thing to hold a book in your hands that has your name on the front. Also this summer, two of my adaptations have been doing national tours. Heartbreak Productions have been touring ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’. It’s an urban version of Peter Pan, mostly in verse (Peter and the Lost Boys are skateboarding orphans), and Pride and Prej is the version I wrote three years ago; however, the director, Maddy Kerr has allowed even more of the humour to come through. I’d like to say a huge ‘well done’ to the casts of both productions for their energy, commitment and talent. The same level of ‘well done’ to all the creatives for two fabulous productions. After a very long technical delay, the CD of war poetry that my production company, KK Productions (thank God my first name isn’t Kevin) is producing, is back on track. (When I say ‘my production company’, what I mean is that it’s me, a bag of Minstrels and a lot of comments like ‘Why the arsing cock won’t these graphics work!’). I’ve now got Rob Tofield and Tom Baynton on board. Rob will be mixing and Tom arranging the songs. I hope to have it up (Matron!) by the end of September. Add to this, recording two more plays for ‘Political Art’ in September and a commission to write a murder-mystery for Heartbreak, plus trying to find the odd nanosecond to write the new play ’20:40′ and add in a large dollop of three mortgage-paying jobs and you have a recipe for total ‘knackeredness’. I went to a party the other week and actually forgot what you do there! Oh, and after procrastinating for about two years (a blink of an eye, given my usual procrastinations), I finally moved into my new flat, gutted it with money I don’t have and decorated it with money that my credit card said I could have. AND, I bought a Macbook Pro. So now, when I’m writing in a cafe, I shall look professional. Pointless, really, as I write in longhand with a fountain pen, but at least I’ll be able to play Solitaire on it when I’ve run out of ideas. Anyway, hope you’ve all had a wonderful summer. And, if you have any spare pennies, please buy the book and have a good laugh and cry…with it, not at it. Take care, David.

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New Chapters

A jolly spiffing happy New Year to you all. Hope your Christmases were fabulous and that all your stockings were full….so to speak.

I know that new chapters in our lives can begin at any time, not necessarily on January 1st, but the date has such a psychologically profound effect that it’s often the only time we can conquer that dastardly four-letter word ‘Fear’; fear of failure and, even more scarily, fear of success.
In a recent Facebook status I said that I was making only one New Year’s resolution this year. It is ‘Fuck it’. Nothing negative about it though; I need it so that I can stop analysing, re-analysing, over-analysing and, eventually, dismissing the difficult option in any decision I have to make. In my first play I wrote a speech for a character who, whenever he has a difficult decision to make, imagines himself to be ninety-five and therefore too old to be able to accomplish whatever he decides. Then he looks back at the age he is now and decides what he would have done. Invariably he takes the risky choice because he would only have regretted not finding out if it were possible. ‘Living’, I believe it’s called.

Anyway, enough philosophising; it’s hurting my brain, or what’s left of it after New Year’s Eve.
So, I have fantastic news to impart. My first novel, The Last Taboo, is to be published! I’m thrilled to say that Whiteley Publishing have taken it on. We’ve just signed contracts and, when it’s been proof-read, it will available to buy. I need to chat to my publisher about what outlets it will be available on, but definitely ‘Amazon’. I’m chuffed, to say the least. I so enjoyed sitting in cafes, letting the background noise become some subconscious tapestry on which to create a new world; a world that I could control (and, let’s face it, I can’t control the real one); falling in love and dislike with the characters; finding paths I hadn’t envisaged when I began planning the book. Also, as far as I know, there isn’t another novel on this subject, and it’s currently VERY topical. I will reveal more when we’re a tad closer to publication.

Also on the writing front, I’m doing another re-write of the pilot episode of The Tour, a six-part TV series tracing the lives of a group of touring actors. I’m also continuing to write 20:40, my fourth independent play; I’m marketing the revamped version of Gay Pride And No Prejudice (my third play) and, in the spring, will begin planning an adult pantomime for Heartbreak Productions. SO much opportunity for legitimate outrageousness!

On the acting front, I shall be reprising Father and Son:Son and Father (with the wonderful Brian Cook as God and me as Jesus) in a short tour this Easter; then almost immediately playing Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Arundel and, later this year, will be in the cast of a celebratory production of Tiger At the Gates (a wonderful play about the first World War).

Speaking of the World War I, I am also co-producing and reciting an anthology of War Poetry (with songs from 1914-18) with Michael McGlone of MJM Audio, which should be available as a CD or download on Amazon sometime in February.

And all this whilst holding down three jobs to pay the mortgage………please don’t choke on the smell of burning martyr.

Have a wonderful January and may 2014 bring you peace, happiness and a large dollop of success.

David

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Too much, too young…Well, too much, anyway

‘Too much’ is definitely appropriate at the moment. ‘Too young’ is, frankly, just wishful thinking.

Things have been a tad frenetic recently (which is a pretty feeble excuse for not having put a blog up for ages). However, this is a good thing as it means that I’m not sitting on my newly gym-toned arse….OK, partially gym-toned arse……..OK, soon to be gym-toned arse, and that stuff is happening.

‘Stuff’ is such a great word. It can mean anything from ‘winning an Oscar’ to ‘leaving a note for your flatmate to get some more milk’. I write a list every month of things I need to do (I have the memory of an amnesiac goldfish) and I always entitle it ‘Stuff’. This way, if they’re really difficult things, they don’t sound so bad.

I’ve got five bits of stuff on the go at the moment.

One is my new play, entitled ’20-40′. It’s the story of a recently separated forty year-old. whose best friend has also just died. He’s looking back and comparing his life now to when he was twenty. It’s going to be a life-affirming play…to an extent. I shall say no more for the time being.

Two, is my third play, ‘Gay Pride and No Prejudice’. Following it’s successful reading at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane last November, I’m now actively looking for a venue and producer. Having edited the play considerably, I think it’s now ready for a full-scale production.

Three is my first novel, ‘The Last Taboo’. It’s currently being edited and is under consideration by a major literary advisor. I’m extremely excited. Obviously I’m not counting my chickens until they’re stuffed and in the oven, but I’m very chuffed at the fact that it’s got this far. I’m just waiting on the 5000 word report on it and then we take it from there.

Four is ‘Payback’! This is the musical that I have been acting as script advisor on and is now in rehearsals for a run at the Riverside Studios in June. It has some fabulous songs and is a terrific story. Congratulations to Paul Rayfield for writing it and many good wishes to Simon Greiff, who is a fabulous director and will make an absolute success of it.

And five is – leaving a note for my flatmate. We need more milk.

Acting-wise, I’ve recorded another play for Political Art. It’s called ‘The Corridors of Power’ and is now on their website – www.political-art.co.uk. At Easter, I also reprised the play I did last year, playing Jesus in ‘Father and Son: Son and Father’ and had the pleasure of being able to act again with the wonderful Brian Cook (who played my Dad!) and Yvette Byrne, who directed. And I’m about to start recording an anthology of World War I poetry with MJM Audio.

More news soon. Have to rush now. My flatmate’s useless and there’s no milk for my tea.

Take much care.

David

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‘Gay Pride and No Prejudice’

And so, finally, after several new African countries were founded and man reached Mars, here’s the latest blog.

Very excited about a reading of my new play, ‘Gay Pride and No Prejudice’, which will be performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on Wednesday 21st November at 2pm. It will be a semi-staged production with scripts and some movement. but no set or props to smash/spill/fall over. Super cast and director and a wonderful venue in the Grand Saloon at the theatre. It’s the 200th anniversary of Austen’s novel next year and I’m hoping a wise and savvy producer will realise the marketing potential (and like the play, of course!) and take it on.

My novel, ‘The Last Taboo’, is now two-thirds written. I’ve had to put it on the shelf to gather dust (next to my current love-life!) whilst I produce ‘Gay Pride’, but I have a Literary Agent who is very interested and so will need to finish it by the end of the year. Really loving writing it. I sit in West End coffee bars downing skinny decaff mochas, writing my novel, and re-inventing the word ‘pretentious’. It’s funny, I can’t normally shut out background noise (without turning off the sound system or smacking someone round the face if they’re talking too loudly or utter gobshite) but, when I’m writing, all that changes. I make one drink last four hours and the rest of the world happens in a different dimension.

Took a week off in mid-October to have my first holiday in two years. Went down to Cornwall with some friends and stayed in an apartment in a 17th century castle on a clifftop overlooking St Michael’s Bay. Spent the week going on long beach and cliff walks and pottering around little harbour towns, eating cake and ice cream and generally behaving like a seven year-old with ADHD. It was fantastic! I don’t think we realise how much stress there is (and that we create for ourselves – self-induced deadlines, etc) until we get away from it and live life at a pace that it should be lived at. Promised myself I’d stay like that when I came back. Promise lasted about three and a half minutes.

Oh, and finally, congrats to my friend, John Fryer, who runs Political Art Productions. His radio plays (I recorded my fifth with him this month) are now being played on local BBC radio and also local stations in the States.

Until next time, take much care of yourselves,

David.

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Diamond Jubilee Update

So, you will have guessed by the total absence of blogs, entries, epistles, monologues or minor overtures to someone who’s talent I admire greatly ( who I may also have the hots for, but that’s just coincidence ), that I’ve been a tad busy of late.

You know you’re doing too much when the words ‘social’ and ‘life’ belong to a foreign language; when, in a rare five minute break between jobs and projects, you only have the energy to stare brainlessly at the wall, but still feel guilty about it.

And here’s a piece of advice. Don’t produce, write and act in your own showreel. You will end up with a brain like an underset blancmange.

Anyway, in the aeon since my last entry, I have:

1 – Filmed my first short film, entitled ‘Pub Games’. Great fun, especially the ‘rape scene’ in an alley in Soho. Fifty members of the public watching at one point. My friend, Case Eames, who I was acting with at the time, said, “My God, look at all those people; I feel like a movie star”. I said, “Well you’re not, so get over it”. It’s now being edited by Geoff Rice before a rough edit goes to Tom Baynton to do the music. Thanks to Jonathan Sendall ( director & cinematographer ), Geoff, Andreas Ayling ( co-producer ), Ben Stevens ( technical manager ) and Will Howells ( sound engineer ) as well as Case and James Graham for the acting……. and raping!

2 – Recorded a new acting audioreel and a new voicereel with my friend, Michael McGlone and his new company ‘MJM Audio‘ ( www.mjmaudio.co.uk ).

3 – Filmed three scenes for a new showreel. So, I’m now playing the owner of an advertising company, a straight man in love with a gay man, a mentally-challenged Asberger’s sufferer and a rapist. Um, no variety there then.

4 – Finished the framing devices for Heartbreak Productions tours of ‘Private Lives’ and ‘The Railway Children’ ( www.heartbreakproductions.co.uk ).

5 – Finished the rewrites of my third play, ‘Gay Pride and no Prejudice’.

6 – Recorded two radio plays for Political Art Productions ( www.political-art.co.uk ), for the talented playwright, John Fryer.

7 – Played Jesus in ‘Father and Son: Son and Father’ in Arundel, with the wonderful Brian Cook as ‘God’. Let’s face it, you can’t get much higher than playing THAT role….Alan Sugar, possibly? ). Amazing production. So many people said it had changed their lives. For the better, I hope.

8 – And finally, just finished the first third of my novel, ‘The Last Taboo’.

I am officially a tad pooped.

So, just the novel to finish and a producer to find for ‘Gay Pride and No Prejudice’. We’ll be having a reading of it in about six weeks at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, so watch this space!

Finally, big thanks to my friend, Anthony Pearson, who runs this site for me, for all the fab new gizmo’s.

Hope you’re all lovely. Together we can hold aloft the enchanted flag of summer.

Take care, David.

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