A bad writer…

Before you leap in, protesting, writing letters to the Queen, setting up Change.org petitions, I’ll say I don’t mean I’m a bad writer….just an appalling blog writer. Phew. The country heaved a sigh and put down its quills.

On the 1001 excuses list, the top one is I’ve been writing. Loads. All of it (fanfare) unpaid! I mean, obviously, it’s an investment in my future, for when someone does pay for this stuff. (Don’t breathe, cough or in any way prick my bubble here). But in the last two months- aside from the brilliant two development days (‘A Bit of a Song & Dance’ and ‘QM’ at the Tobacco Factory and Tricycle respectively- huge thanks to both for the resources), I’ve been writing, pitching and rewriting.

  • A TV drama which I am v in love with
  • a feature film, with a producer, v Britflick in a post-Curtis age
  • a comedy TV serial
  • a sci-fi/ dystopic /satirical feature with a co-writer/director which should tickle many fancies
  • a new play, written in a whole new way for me, in which I will probably end up using myself as some kind of experiment (feeling a bit LaBute there, a la The Shape of Things…)

And all the while, the fab Allie Butler at tidy carnage continue their Passion adventure, taking the show to Aberdeen Dance Live in October (local? Here’s the spiel!)

So, work goes on. And if you have funds for a writer who definitely hasn’t (ever) stopped, you know where to find me! (Through the Who page!)

Raising cash with Upsy-Daisy & the Quantum Suicide Rifle

I made a film!

ImageI’m relentlessly asking people for MONEY!

And it’s all about that terrier of a play on quantum mechanics (what? you missed me talking about it? Let me help you out:

So – here’s the skinny.

If this was a play in development with a theatre, they would give me/it some dramaturgical (script editor-like) support as well as time with a director and actors to try things out.

I’ve already paid for a brilliant dramaturg, David Lane, to support me through the various drafts (you can read Hannah Silva talking about her similar work with David here.) But I can’t pay for directors, a cast and a rehearsal space. So, I have some choices:

  • ask actor mates to do it for free, one night after their day jobs, but knowing there can’t be time for proper thought / exploration
  • just send the script as it is to theatres (my best version, but without input from a director/actors), cross my fingers and hope they can see the potential
  • get out the sock puppets
  • raise the dosh to pay professionals.

So, as you will see in the crowd-funding film, I got out the sock puppets. It didn’t go too well. So I’m fundraising.

If you, or anyone you know, can help me pay real actors – instead of putting a quantum rifle in the hands of a drunken Upsy-Daisy – this script has a far better chance of being the best it can be. AND the wonderful backers / theatre angels get rewards! (Am very happy to talk about extra reward options to anyone!)

Thanks for reading – please, PLEASE feel free to share this page online, pass it or the talent backer page to anyone you think might be interested! Thank you! I’ll be back…..

PS – HAPPY CHRISTMAS and all the v best for 2014.


ImageIt’s been three months since I was here last! Thankfully, I know you don’t expect (or want) an apology…

June and July saw a mass of playwriting deadlines for writery types. Of the theatres that still accept unsolicited scripts, many have moved to “open submission windows”, instead of accepting scripts all year round. Some are positioned as competitions, others as open doors – and there were several this summer. Pity the readers! Pity the writers come autumn, when we learn of several failures in one go!

The “oniony play” keeps growing. Inspired by the work and approach of Hannah Silva on ‘The Disappearance of Sadie Jones’, I approached friend, writer and dramaturg David Lane to work with me.  We’ve worked on a few pieces together, almost since I first started writing. We don’t always completely agree (this is a good thing), but more importantly than anything, I trust the way his mind works and have a huge respect for his insights.

‘Cos I live and work mainly on my tod (tho’ toddler-genius is often pretty helpful) my judgement could be brilliant or dire and I won’t really know. I’ll plod merrily away, oblivious to the impact of whatever I’m trotting out (verbal, physical, written), so it’s especially great to have David along for this ride: he’s got me over the fear-hurdle and galloping merrily onwards. 

In other news, I’m tapping away on a here-and–there and plots and plans in a mixture of theatre, screen and misc. bits, in particular a couple of projects where the characters wake me up in the night with their derring-do and rumbunctious revelations (“of course! It was right under my nose!” etc). No shows coming up, no star billings or autographs, but quietly clackety-clacking and getting the work done…


Catching Up

You (I) run fast through autumn and early December to get that time off at Christmas and New Year, trip up (get the lurgy, natch), sleep a lot and fall madly behind. It has, I realise, become a pattern.

BUT! Waving a blazing torch of flaming, rejected, double-side printed scripts, I stride with gumption into 2012, four days and three submissions down, two networky theatre website profiles updated (three when you count this) and only two rewrites still to do. That’s if you exclude The Orphans, of course – those toddler-aged scripts that swing from dusty shelves, spurned by this neglectful shrew. I saw a facebook posting today which asked writers what name they use for the Next Script (the one that obsesses you never being the current one). Best answer: “the Mistress”.

Back to the now: rewrites a must for two shows heading soon into production (No Milk, No Stamps and Away with the Fairies). And I need to develop some laser-focus before I start out on the Channel 4 screenwriters’ course – 4Screenwriting – later this month. It’s a superb programme – 12 of us learning how to work to commission, writing for TV, given a “dry run” and a pilot to develop.

Second Chance for bankers….

The smashing people at Bristol Folk House have picked The King Was In The Counting House to be one of their short rehearsed readings on Saturday 8th May, at 8pm. There were over 200 submissions, and the night will regale the audience with a happy six winners’ scripts. It’s only a fiver (which gets ploughed straight back into BFH’s great work) – call 0117 926 2987 for a ticket!