Fire girl

I knew I wanted to write a servant character who worked for the Boultons at Soho House, for our upcoming new show Power of Invention (July 30th & 31st, August 7th 2021).  But where my Fire Girl came from, I don’t know.  Was it having my chimney swept last autumn; or setting up a makeshift fire pit onContinue reading “Fire girl”

To hug or not to hug…

I’m writing this on the day Boris Johnson decreed we could hug again. A little bit of me hoped I would open the shutters to see bleary-eyed commuters spontaneously embracing on the street, but sadly it wasn’t to be. If I’m honest, I’ve never been an enormous hugger – a combination of innate English reserveContinue reading “To hug or not to hug…”

Caught in the Headlights

Cars. I’m not interested in them. All I want is a car that’s affordable and doesn’t break down. So this is an unusual one for me. I’m going to discuss car problems. It all started when the car wouldn’t start. Battery completely flat. Breakdown bloke starts charging battery.  ‘That’s why it’s flat. Your headlights areContinue reading “Caught in the Headlights”

Playwright in need of a break

My career as a playwright has not been textbook – there have been no award ceremonies, commissions from prestigious venues, publications and/or much financial reward (so far).  It took a nudge from Alan Sillitoe* to convince me to commit to a full-time life as a playwright. We had a cup of tea together before I chairedContinue reading “Playwright in need of a break”

For protection

I’m no beautician as anyone will tell you, but I recently had to give my mother a much-needed manicure (long story).  The only quiet place we could find was a bench outside the hospital (very long story), slightly away from the busy path and surrounded by neglected perennials – no, the metaphor didn’t escape me.Continue reading “For protection”

Free eyeballs

I live one Curly Wurly away from a Tesco Express. That’s how long it takes somebody to eat one while wandering down my street – finishing it just in time to hurl the wrapper into my garden.  I’m afraid I chunter when I occasionally pick those wrappers up. I curse the fact that I haveContinue reading “Free eyeballs”

Engaging new communities

Last week, Vanessa and I held the second of our online conversations about opera. This one was about engaging new communities with opera, and was chaired by the wonderful Krysztina Winkel, formerly embedded community producer at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, and currently at the Vienna State Opera where she is trying to set up aContinue reading “Engaging new communities”