Saturday Sit Down with JMMcDowell

It’s only a week away to Martini Bond at Manchester Pride. Rehearsals are going well, which is more than I can say for the props list…They are piled up in a corner and need checking – have we lost the meerkats? Where’s the gangster’s hat? And Suzi Bazooki’s bazookas? Then there’s the lighting to sort, tickets to sell, PR…Thank goodness for JMMcDowell and her Saturday Sit Down. She has very kindly given me a spot on her blog to talk about the play, writing, hopes and dreams. And it was great to be in touch with a fellow blogger. Throughly recommend it!

August 10, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Fiction, Humour, Theatre. 9 comments.

When inclusive holidays exclude the locals

“How’s business?” we asked the local taverna owner as we ordered our tzatsiki.

“Terrible. I’m closing up the end of June. It’s over for me. I’ve paid my taxes but no one protects me. The inclusive resorts have killed my business. We are a small town surrounded by three resorts. Few tourists come any more…” (more…)

June 27, 2013. Tags: , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Humour, travel, Writing. 16 comments.

When the digital economy means working for free

“Governments play up the idea that a digital future creates jobs rather than eats them up. Culturally, there is now a fantasy world of start-ups and blogs and YouTube TV where a very few people manage to make money but most work simply for ‘experience’,” writes Suzanne Moore in today’s Guardian. (more…)

June 6, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . Blogging, Humour, Publishing, Theatre, Writing. 22 comments.

Top tips on how to start a blog, from naming celebrities like Russ Abbot to randomly mentioning sex

‘Hello, queen of the blogs!’ Ha! This is a friend who knows how to say just the right thing. She wanted some tips on how to start blogging – and it’s also my first anniversary of blogging – so what better way to celebrate then outline a few tips I’ve learnt. (more…)

February 28, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Writing. 31 comments.

Victim of method acting

“Just hold your leg up higher and straighter. A ninja kick,” the director said. “Put your hands round his neck…Mike, stick your tongue back in.”

“She’s hurting my neck,” said Mike the prop guy, who is the victim of Menopausal Ninja, one of the Martini Bond baddies.

Mike the props guy in Martini Bond

Mike prefers a bird on his head rather than hands round his throat

“She’s supposed to.”

“Can’t she just pretend?”

“I dunno. Method acting has its place.”

We were all giving one of the cast a bit of advice on developing their roles. We have enjoyed a few runs in London and have the time now to develop the play for its Manchester dates.

You can see the longer you have to work on the actions and words, the funnier it becomes. Or at least that’s the plan.

How about you? Does your work improve the longer you spend on it? Or do you do endless changes without really getting anywhere?

February 7, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Theatre. 18 comments.

No place like home

I’ve been fretting about not blogging. And about not writing. I thought by being silent on the net everyone would think I’d been busy writing my next big thing…The truth is, I couldn’t find  my computer, we had no internet connection and, ok, we moved house.

I now know why people don’t move very often. It’s because you can’t find anything for weeks, even your new home. I had to remind myself which way to go home – but not home, as in the place I had lived for 13 years.

Moving house boxes

OK, so that doesn’t look like books. Is wire useful?

(more…)

November 15, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Blogging, Comedy, Comedy writing, Writing. 21 comments.

How to write…cut down on blogging

How to write a book in 30 days… Yes, 30 days! THIRTY DAYS. Had to shout it to myself a third time just to make sure I committed to doing it. 30 days, though.

Can it be done? It’s a method, with a schedule and lovely headings that say things like “Downtime”. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean stop writing and start partying … And plot sketches. Well, the plot is a bit sketchy. And subplot threads. Yep, the subplot is threadbare … Do I need subplots?

The Guardian's How to Write a Book in 30 days

Ha! 30 days…Why not make it 15? Or 5? Or 3…months? Years? Oh go on, rub it in, why don’t you?

(more…)

October 22, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Theatre, Writing. 11 comments.

Don’t give up the day job…

What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you? I’m asking this because I read a profile of the playwright Penelope Skinner in the Guardian newspaper and her creative writing teacher had told her: “You can’t predict what people are going to like: no matter how bad it is, there’s always going to be one person who likes it. What you have to do is find that one person.” (more…)

September 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Theatre. 18 comments.

The show’s over … for now

‘The camera’s gone down…someone’s trod on the cable.’ We were meant to be going live with the streaming on Friday in 15 minutes. I was sitting in the lighting box ready to make a Skype call to Cape Town where a James Bond party had been organised in an independent film studio to watch Martini Bond in London…

Bond and Martinis in Cape Town

Bond and Martinis in Cape Town

Skype wouldn’t make the connection at first – but then we got through. And saw a fab party – with glitter, guns and cocktails. Thank you Cape Town and Siobhan Cassidy and Shaun Conway for making it happen. The camera was also fixed but, unfortunately, the connection then went down for several minutes, so some of the start of the show was missed and others could not get past the paywall.

But here was Cape Town’s reaction:

We had a fun night and managed to see some of the show. It was kind of a pity that it took so long to get online properly… But, hey, it was the first time, next time will be better and we certainly were inspired to have a different party.

Then Saturday night was brilliant. The streaming worked. Here’s the evidence:

Martini Bond is on stream

Martini Bond is on stream

And the reaction from France:

‘I loved the play. A perfect Saturday night’.

It shows it can be done. Hopefully, this will be a way that struggling theatres can start to build audiences who are willing to pay online to see plays.

Oh, and we had good numbers for the live audience too. Now we’re resting. Until the Manchester dates and possibly Edinburgh fringe festival next year.

September 24, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy, Comedy writing, Theatre. 7 comments.

We’re ready for Bond on Broadway

We’ve finished our technical runs on Tuesday and we must thank the lovely David, a lighting whizz from London’s Aldwych theatre who is helping us make Martini Bond work on a larger stage. (more…)

September 19, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Theatre. 3 comments.

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