I write plays, performances and events; articles and essays; scripts for television and film. I’ve written one novel. On this site I’ve assembled a selection of extracts from most of these forms and prefaced each piece with a few comments.
I started writing during the sixties, began to produce theatre scripts professionally in the seventies, added in a quantity of journalism, some film scripts and a novel in the eighties, started giving lectures and talks in the nineties. In the 21st Century I have written a number of plays, some of which I directed myself. It was in this latter period that I started making short plays that were written in two days and rehearsed in three. I’ve written 20 of these, six of which were presented as the ‘Dash Dash Dash’ suite, presented once a month for six months at the Battersea Arts Centre in London.
Many of the plays and performances were written for Lumiere & Son Theatre Company, which I co-founded with Hilary Westlake in 1973. The company ran for twenty years. Hilary and I continue to work together as director and writer respectively. In 2011 we presented ‘Dining with Alice’, a large scale, site specific event commissioned by the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. In 2013 we presented ‘Burnt Out Souls’, a commission from Youth Music Theatre.
I’ve written about forty plays and performances, plus the shorts mentioned above, and intend to furnish excerpts from all of them. Eventually. The site will enlarge gradually as excerpts are added and essays are generated. Most of the work has been published or performed but some has never seen the light of day.
There’s a blog at the front end of the site. I’ve been told that one ought to be able to articulate the theme of such a publication. If there is one to be found in some of the entries I’ve posted so far then it’s something like ‘the leakage of theatrical values into everyday life’. That’s what interests me these days. Oh yes, and masculinity.
The photo used at the top of these pages was taken ‘backstage’ at a major amusement park. The workers have a cafeteria and changing rooms in a concealed compound on site, accessible from a small, unimposing door behind one of the attractions. After their breaks the costumed workers head back to the portal, pausing in front of a full-length mirror to adjust their outfits before re-entering the world of fantasy.
A log of significant additions to the site:
I have compiled and supplied some commentaries to the six short plays of the ‘Dash Dash Dash’ series, written and presented at Battersea Arts Centre in 2010.
I have compiled the scripts of all the short plays I wrote for Wimbledon College of Arts between 2003 and 2010. They are to be found in the ‘Theatre‘ section of the blog.
Entered as new section: ‘Peachy: the Ads‘, in which the publicity emails for my monthly Peachy Coochy Nites are all archived.
Entered in the ‘Essays’ section: ‘Roger, Syd & the Batman – the Dark Night of Cool‘, the text of a talk about contradictions in the 60s that may have contributed to the troubled life of the Pink Floyd’s influential songwriter and founding member.
Hilary Westlake’s site is here.
Reconstruction is complete. Honesty compels me to confess that it wasn’t that the site needed, in my view, urgent renovation or development, so much as it had collapsed into itself for no apparent reason, scattering a debris of orphaned posts and pages in random niches throughout its various departments. Messy business.
My longtime artistic partner Hilary Westlake, co-director of Lumiere & Son Theatre Company, has begun prepping material for a website dedicated to her work. She is currently spending several hours per day scanning photos, flyers, programmes, scripts and reviews. Hilary is an accomplished archivist: she has squirrelled away pieces of paper whose relevance is undeniable but whose continuing existence, after all these years, would startle even the most seasoned accumulator.