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ABOUT ME

First off I should explain that, among other things, I'm a big Noel Coward fan - so those of you searching for hard hitting political plays with a heavy social message have very likely come to the wrong place.  If however you like your theatre to make you laugh first and possibly think later then I might be worth a look.  So a little bit about me...

 

I've been writing plays ever since I accidentally joined a Theatre Group in the late 1980's.  I began by writing sketches and pantos for the group and then with a bunch of like-minded souls formed my first theatre company.  We lasted about five years and were called "The Red and White Theatre Company".  The name came about because four of us were and are, Sunderland fans - and the one that wasn't got outvoted.   Along with my fellow Red & Whites - Brian Walsh, John B Kirtley, Peter Peverley and Mark Lloyd (The Black and White) We started writing fairy tales - or more to the point sequels to fairy tales, so we had - "Nobody But Me" - the tale of what happened to Jack after the beanstalk, "Buttons to the Rescue!" - i.e. what happened to Buttons after Cinderella got married, "Aladdin and The Fourth Wish"...you get the idea.  We toured schools, small theatres, arts centers, community centres, social clubs and even played a Newsagent's once. 

 

We also wrote a full blown musical; "The Little Waster" about the life and times of Legendary North East Comedian Bobby Thompson.  We wrote a Victorian melodrama "Brinty Tate is a Thief" - to this day it remains one of my favorites - I've always written music for the plays too - and I particularly loved the score and lyrics we wrote for this one - one day I hope to resurrect it...one day! (Please send money and it will happen.)

 

My first script for TV was a thing called "In Bed With Jimmy Monty" written with Brian Walsh and Mark Robertson - it was a half-hour comedy shot by Tyne Tees Television.  This came about via a script writing competition which we entered and won.  Fired up by this success, Brian and me then managed to secure a deal with Yorkshire Television on a kids series we devised and wrote called "Adam's Family Tree" which ran for twenty episodes and included such guest stars as Michael Jayston, Toyah Wilcox and a very memorable Brian Blessed (Playing a headless ghost).  Following this Terry Deary (Of Horrible Histories fame - who co-incidentally used to book The Red and Whites into his museum in Durham back in the day) hired us to write "Henry's Wives" - a six part comedy series for BBC 2 about the six wives of Henry the VIII.

 

 

 

 

 

During all of this I have continued to write, either by myself or with writing partners, plays for the theatre.  I've always found theatre the most rewarding - not financially of course but it's a lot more rewarding if for nothing else than to have the joy of sitting in the stalls and listening to a bunch of people who might not know each other sitting in rows laughing their heads off - call me old fashioned but to me, that's really important.

 

Along with self produced stuff I've also been commissioned by a number of companies and organisations to write plays for all manner of casts from children as young as Five to actors in their eighties. Incidentally if anyone is looking for youth theatre plays - I have about a dozen or so...and a musical...and I'll write some more if you want. Working with kids is great - possibly due to the fact that none of them have ever been to drama school.

 

Most recently I've been working with my own Theatre Company - Theatre of Moths for whom I've written both productions to date. "Nefairyus" and "Remember Jim?" Both plays, I'm glad to say, went down well with the press and public alike.  After just missing out on Bafta's and National Comedy Awards, "Remember Jim?" won me my first bit of silverware (Well glassware actually) it was voted "Best Show" at the Sunderland Echo Culture Awards 2014.

 

Anyway that's me - sort of - Thank you for visiting and please feel free to get in touch if there's anything at all...anything.

 

Emma King and Paul Hartley in "The Thirteenth Fairway"

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