Camden Fringe: it’s all sex, spies and streaming

We’re back to putting ourselves on the line with comedy writing and performing. Julia Collier, Clare Jones (no relation) and I have spent the past few months collaborating – some may say arguing – over who gets to write what. And we’ve just about got our show ready for the next stage – rehearsals!

And tickets have gone on sale this week. So if you’re in London town over the summer, the Camden Fringe is the place to be and drop in on our topical sketch show: Sex, Spies and Streaming.

June 2, 2017. Comedy, Comedy writing, Humour, Theatre, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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.

Martini Bond prepares for Manchester Pride

It’s all systems go again. Rehearsals are starting up, or rather the schedule for rehearsals is … most of the cast are on holiday. But if they’re not worried, I’m not worried about Martini Bond’s next outing (no pun intended…) at Manchester Pride festival in August. (more…)

July 20, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Comedy, Comedy writing, Humour, Theatre, Uncategorized. 7 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.

Peter Bazalgette is right – theatre companies need funding

Peter Bazalgette, the new chair of the Arts Council, has warned against the cuts to arts funding in the UK and has called on business to do more for the culture – ie invest in it. I couldn’t agree more.

We are thinking about taking Martini Bond up to Manchester Pride in August, but this time we need some funding in order to do it. Profit margins are so slim for small theatre companies – and probably large ones too – that it seems you are fortunate if you cover your costs through ticket sales. Forget about paying the actors, crew or writer a living wage. They all need other work to subsidise their dreams (or, after yesterday’s Budget and if you’re George Osborne, aspirations).

We are thinking about holding a James Bond quiz night as a fund-raiser and we will look into applying for grants and approaching business for support. I’m fairly hopeful we will raise some funds. After all, Pride is for a good cause, raising money for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender charities and organisations as well as HIV groups.

Local theatre, local bands or local comedy nights really need your support, though, because these acts are part of the culture of your town, and, as Bazalgette said, “are central to the life of the city and to the local economy”. Without bums on seats, the show can’t go on! So please go and see a local act on in your town.

When was the last time you went to see a local show? Were there many people there? Did you enjoy it? Do you care about arts funding?

March 21, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . Comedy writing, Humour, Theatre, Writing. 14 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.

Martini Bond cast rebond

“What time we are meeting for our line run?”

Oh what a joy. The Martini Bond cast are gearing up for our two nights in Manchester in March – which means the actors are starting to run through their lines again. (more…)

January 17, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Theatre. 17 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.

Planning your sitcom

Cilla Black, UK television host and pop singer, apparently has never been on a bus, cannot drive and has never done anything mundane since she was 19. But she can open a bottle of champagne… (more…)

October 4, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Comedy writing, Fiction, Humour, Publishing, Theatre. 10 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.

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