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    February 19, 2017 | News
  • The Art of Perspective as noted in The London Theatre Record.

    The Tunnel – Time Out Critic’s Choice

    It’s a long time since I wrote a play. Back in the mid-90s I got involved in writing film scripts and was actually given money for them. Previously I’d been paid for acting and had earned just about enough to rent a midden in Highbury, feed a pet goldfish, and keep myself generously supplied with Pot Noodles, (good landlord though, never bothered me due to the fact that he was serving six years in Wormwood Scrubs at the time). My life as a theatre director with my own company, whilst bringing me fame, (a couple of interviews in the Camden Journal and one or two radio slots on stations with total listening figures running into the dozens), never brought in many financial rewards, (a friendly Bank Manager did give me a loan of £5000 though simply because he enjoyed the theatre and thought I had an honest face. Ah, those were the days!). But writing film scripts suddenly saw money coming through the door, proper money, folding money, money that I’d only ever dreamed of, like, well, like five pound notes. I could eat properly. I could finally say to hell with Pot Noodles, I’m going to push the boat out with a Chicken Kiev from M&S. I could seduce women with more than just a tonic water; now I could even afford the gin to go with it. I was doing well. Film was the thing. Television I wasn’t interested in. Thoughts of theatre began to fade.

    Which was a shame. I’d started in Youth Theatre when I was fourteen. Experiences had been many and varied. I’d fallen off the set during a curtain call; I’d bravely worn a pot hat, little red jerkin and yellow tights to the hoots and derision of numerous school audiences; in Troilus and Cressida I’d been reviewed as ‘excellent as the homosexual Patroclus,’ (which came as news to me as I’d thought that he and Achilles were just good friends). Theatre was in my blood. When I finally started writing for it, (the response to some of my work is on this page), I attracted a good Literary Agent and seemed set on a road to at least a modicum of success. But, as I say, writing and script-doctoring film started to take a central role in my life and theatre slowly dropped into the background.

    Les Enfants Terribles – Time Out Critic’s Choice

    However, once in the blood, it becomes part of who you are. Which is why I’m re-jigging the upcoming Intensive Course to include a specially written play in which everyone will be given a role. This is something that excites me. I’m reckoning on approximately eight weeks in which to write it, – a challenge but then challenges are good. And so far, my thoughts are these: a cast of 10-12 people, on stage more or less all the time, each one provided with a difficult but rewarding role. The useful thing from my perspective is that I’ll be able to write with a clear knowledge of the abilities of the actor I’ll be writing for. The plan would then be to get it shown somewhere and for White Space Film Productions to film it, hopefully as an actual film, adapted as such, rather than simply as a documentary record of an ephemeral project.

    Antigone by Anouilh. Directed by Jon Campbell – Time Out Critic’s Choice.

    If you are interested in being involved in this, the course will run on consecutive Saturday mornings from the 29th April to the 1st July. The cost is £300 per person. If the numbers are there I’ll let those who I’ve chosen know on 8th March.

    In the meantime, other projects continue. The concept designs for Seagull should be completed within the next two to three weeks. Also, if anyone would like a scene specially written for them please get in touch and we can discuss it. So far, three films have been shot, one of which I’m hoping, if all goes well, to send to festivals. So, let me know. And finally, a reminder that the next Group Workshop will be held on March 25th.