2009 – that is the year that was …

So. 2010, eh. Blimey. Where does the time go … etc …

To mark the passing of 2009 I thought I’d do a little summary of my year. One of the things about being a writer is that it’s constant – always looking for a new idea, developing a script, submitting work, gaining a commission, being selected for a project, not gaining a commission, not being selected for a project. So it’s nice to have a few markers throughout the year – things to hang your hat on, so to speak.


  • 4Play – having had over Christmas and New Year to devise an outline, met up with the-powers-that-be to get the go-ahead re draft #1. I was good to go …
  • Continued as a member of Live Writers’ Group


  • 4Play – workshop of draft #1 with the director and actors
  • Deadline, draft #2


  • The Gainsborough Packet by artist Matt Stokes opens at BALTIC. The year before I had been lucky enough to be part of the Seaham section of the project as an extra (sorry, supporting artiste), aka ‘fisherwoman mending net on the dock’. It was a freezing but brilliant day, not least because we got to wear amazing outfits that very much made me feel like I was in a Catherine Cookson costume drama. And who doesn’t want to experience that in their lives? Eh?
  • A two-day workshop with director Deborah Bruce on an ongoing work-in-progress. All very productive. Lots of tea was drunk, and mini chocolate brownies consumed. Mostly by me, I expect.
  • 4Play – rehearsal week at Alnwick Playhouse
  • An extract from my new play That One Night, developed as a member of the Writers’ Group, was included in Live’s 2-4-1 Studio Session event. Using the audience feedback, I take the script away for re-writes.


  • I was invited to give a talk to Newbiggen Arts Forum
  • 4PlayWhen Skies Are Grey – opens at the Alnwick Playhouse. The tour kicks off at Northern Stage before moving to Darlington and then Hexham
  • Sir Ian ‘Gandalf’ McKellen visits The People’s Theatre in his capacity as President of The Little Theatre Guild. I didn’t rush forward for an autograph after his Q&A session, but did wave him off. He liked that, I could tell. We’re friends now. Fact.


  • Saw ‘Enjoy’ by Alan Bennett at the Gielgud Theatre, starring Alison Steadman and David Troughton
  • 4Play – tour reaches its final destination, The Customs House
  • First read-through with the cast and director of Second Most Disappointing (Cloud 9 Theatre Company)
  • Am invited to have That One Night performed in full at Live’s Studio Session event in October. More re-writes …


  • Second Most Disappointing opens at The Customs House
  • Live Writers’ Group ends in its current form, to be relaunched … watch this space


  • I make my debut as a reviewer for whatsonstage.com The first show I was sent along to was dire, but at least it means things can only improve. Doesn’t it …?!


  • Whisper, whisper … early plans are afoot for top-secret-new-project


  • Saw the revival of Victoria Wood’s play ‘Talent’ at the Old Laundry Theatre
  • Final draft of That One Night done, dusted and delivered


  • Launched this very website
  • That One Night performed as part of The Studio Sessions, Live Theatre
  • Mini drama Worn Around the Edges selected by BBC Radio 3 for recording as part of the Free Thinking Festival


  • Draft #1 of top-secret-new-project
  • Attempt my first ever Pantomime – it’s harder than you might think …


  • ‘Little’ Red Riding Hood performed as part of Live’s Short Cuts Mini Pantomime events
  • Am invited to join Live’s relaunched Writers’ Group
  • The top-secret-new-project is revealed to be Blood & Money, a double-bill by myself and Rosalind Wyllie. We’re taking it to the Prague Fringe Festival in June. Why can we reveal it now? Because we’ve filled in the forms and sent the money off, that’s why! Crikey …