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!

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

Ben Affleck and Herbert Kretzmer show the way for ‘second acts’

The Hollywood actor-turned-director Ben Affleck recently spoke about being given a “second act” after he won the Best Director award at the Baftas for his film Argo. Similarly, Les Miserables lyricist Herbert Kretzmer told The Guardian he “was able to give up my day job at 61” after it became clear that the show had a fairly certain future. (more…)

February 21, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Comedy writing, Fiction, Publishing, 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.

Lose the shoes for a great party

This is a bit of a cheat this week. I loved Onthehomefont’s blog on Do you need shoes to be party hardy? – ie does taking your shoes off mean your party is, well, BORING. This was a little too close to home, what with the party season coming up and I’d just emailed the following invite:

We have moved into temporary accommodation – the servants quarters/writers’ garret/franklytooexpensiveforus – a posh pad that overlooks the skyline of London and has a garden the size of a park.

Park your friends outside if they want to wear shoes on cream carpets…

Come and enjoy the views along with a few Christmas drinks…erm, no shoes, no red wine, no spillages…ok if you want to wear shoes, drink red wine and spill stuff stay in the kitchen. Or the park. Or write us a cheque. On second thoughts give us cash. Other than that, come and RELAX!!!

Please RSVP so we know how many packets of crisps to buy. (more…)

November 23, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Comedy writing, Humour, Writing. 15 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.

OhMiGod. You’re being filmed with no make-up…

When women – or indeed men – of a certain age are being interviewed on telly and they look a bit, well, tired – they haven’t had her hair done, or put on some make-up, or you know, made an effort by wearing some bright colours – I’ve wondered: “Why the HELL did you let them film you?” But now I know why. (more…)

September 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Theatre. 13 comments.

Home alone

Being a writer can be solitary job – and you can end up shutting yourself away from the world. Author Howard Jacobson told the Sunday Times Magazine just that this weekend – he liked to shut himself away to write. This sent a shudder down my spine because it was a little too close to home. (more…)

August 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy, Publishing, Writing. 15 comments.

Pre-results nerves: we all want A stars

“I’m more nervous about your play than I am about my daughter’s A-level results,” my friend emailed me. Her daughter can always retake her A-levels. And I can always rewrite the play. But that’s not the point. All of us – students and budding playwrights alike – want to get it right first time and score As (or should that be A stars?). (more…)

August 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Theatre. 7 comments.

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