elcome to my website, a work in process!

You may have come here by chance, in which case, do stay to have a look around. Or you may want to know more about me and my work as a playwright. In which case you've come to the right place!

It feels like I've been writing all my life, though I started off as an actor, and then spent more than 20 years as a teacher - mainly in secondary schools, but also in adult education, and for a while, at HMP Grendon.   For three years until 2013, I was Writer in Residence in a Midlands prison, a post organised through the Writers in Prison Foundation.  This is now finished, but the legacy of this experience lives on in a new play, 'Oedipus in Jail', which I've been developing with co-writer, Michael Crowley.  In this we've been supported by several organisations, including Arts Council England, Synergy Theatre company, and recently, and Manchester ADP.  Read more about this project under the left hand link.  Mike himself is also developing a blog about out shared process, which can be found at http://crowleyoncrimeandculture.com/oedipus-in-jail/

I also work part time as a Classics teacher in a state school - one of the few outside the independent or selective sectors that still offer Latin!  I love the Classics, and returned to the subject after many years of thinking of myself purely as an English and Drama teacher.  It was my original degree subject, and after many years wondering why I didn't just stick to English, where the canon is so much larger, and err, more contemporary, I have at last managed to remember the reasons.  Namely, the most profound stories, the most archetypal characters, and of course the most problematic behaviour and value systems, which we have never fully escaped.  If you think the ancient world is irrelevant, read the Euripides' Trojan Women (think Syria); or Thucydides' Melian dialogue (the domination system we live in); or the story of the house of Atreus  (the mothership of dysfunctional family dramas).
As a playwright, my work is largely self-generated.  I often sit on ideas for ages before getting to the realisation that I really should write a play around it.  The creative process is a fascinating one, but I also find it genuinely and endlessly difficult.  I search in vain for the formula that will transform my working days into a process without waste or prevarication, and in fact, this chronic difficulty was what led me to investigate the coaching process, which is a skillset that I've also been able acquire and practise, as a qualified Life Coach.

The play featured above, 'After the Accident', remains my most successful to date.  It arose from an interest in Restorative Justice, which I first learned about while attending Aylesbury Quaker Meeting in the 1990s.  One of the Friends there, Tim Newell, was a prison governor, and a passionate advocate of RJ.  He gave a series of talks on the subject and fired us all up with the obvious importance and humanity of the idea.   Though it took me ten years to convert that sense of excitement into a play, for me, it was worth the wait.  It's published by Methuen, and also available digitally as an ebook.   It continues to receive productions all over the world, the most recent, in New Zealand, and I'm particularly delighted to see young people doing it, either as part of their practical assessment for GCSE or A level drama, or, as in a production I saw quite recently, just for the hell of it!  
I'm represented as a playwright by Micheline Steinberg Associates.
Picture: Joe Shire and Nadia Williams in Theatre West's 2009 production of 'After the Accident'. 
Photography by Toby Farrow.