Tuesday, 15 February 2011



Yes I know. I haven’t written anything here for a while. I’m sure all 34 of you who have viewed my previous blogs are devastated…

What’s been happening is that the play has been progressing at the speed of a slow moving glacier. So this post is more of a summary than a blog.

However, I can safely say we’re all on course and at last rehearsals have begun properly and it’s all becoming a laugh again.


New Year was a tough time for the Disco-meister. I got fed up and demoralised and seriously considered jacking it in. After all, without money Disco was supposed to be fun and I basically realised that fun was not what I was having.


I guess you could say I’ve ‘learned a lot’ – that producing as well as directing has ‘pushed me out of my comfort zone’ etc. etc. Well, sod off if you say that. I’m not some student justifying a year’s holiday in Thailand/Australia/the Moon learning to ski/PADI dive/fly and pretending it’s called ‘experience’.
I can get experience by being punched in the face but believe me when I say I could imagine that punch just as well and learn in advance I could live without it. That punch. If you get me.

(Now, I’ve interviewed a lot of students in my time. And when they tell me they worked in a bar part-time for six months to pay for ‘travelling’ round the world on that invaluable, life experience gaining ‘gap year’ that isn’t a holiday at all, I always ask what was the name of the bar and what the hourly wage was because I want that job…oh your Daddy actually paid half did he… FAIL.
I love my work.)


The way to beat the producer blues was to rewrite Disco. I locked myself away as best I could and knuckled down to a week of getting the script tighter and funnier and more emotional. It worked.

I’d forgotten why I was doing this show and the rewrite reminded me. There are lots of lovely people out there doing great work for Disco but I definitely needed to remind myself this is my show and this is how it’s going to be. Selfish.

And things started to go right. My lovely co-producer Ann has found a chap who wants to find sponsorship deals for us. Out of the kindness of his heart and a cut out of every deal we make – step forward Mr. Tom Bennett.

Tom is the chief sponsor bod for the Worthing Bird Man Festival and the Brighton Beer Festival. So if things ever get so bad I decide to throw myself off the pier, I can do it holding a pint of Old Peculier and a banner for Cinzano wafting in my wake.


We started in January. My final cast is a dream. I can’t describe how happy I am to have them on board. Sometimes when you rehearse a show or a film, there’s always at least one person who slows everything down or has an ego problem (yeah, usually me – shut up! It’s my show). But it just works. Rehearsing with Charlie and Nneka and Kat and Dick and Alex is fun! I don’t want to poison you against me, gentle reader, but if you hate the show you ain’t going to hate these actors. They’re great.


Yes. As a play inspired by the Stud, we have bad sex. Lots of it. And I have to rehearse the actors. I have to face them and tell them this is what I want them to do. Sometimes I have to show them. More about bad sex another time. You’ll just have to wait.


And finally (this really is a summary), I was up in London last week to visit the lovely Waen Shepherd, my main composer, to listen to his 1978 stylee pop songs.

And out of everything I’ve done up to now on Disco, the songs are the best. I sat in his studio and listened to three slices of brilliant, spot on, and strangely danceable parodies. I’m not going to let you hear them. I’m going to give the music a blog of their own. I haven’t heard Pete or Dick’s songs yet but if they’re up to the mark in the same way, I don’t need a script.


Out of the blue yesterday, I had a meeting about dancers. I’ve been worried about dancers. How the hell do you find dancers? Where do you find them?
Well, I found them. I think. It’s so exciting.


All I need now are costumes. And lights. And a set designer. But let’s not worry about that.
I’ve got until May.



NB – Next Tuesday, I think the 21st Feb, I’ve been invited to screen and talk about an old TV series I co-wrote and appeared in called TALES OF UPLIFT AND MORAL IMPROVEMENT.

Check out the End of the Pier Film Festival website for more details. I’m showing two episodes and talking about writing them and working with Rik Mayall. In Worthing (the talk, not the series). Exciting.

I would give web links and stuff but I’m over forty, don’t know how and can’t be arsed to learn. Simple as that. If you want to do it for me great. Just get in touch AFTER you’ve sorted it so you don’t have to explain how it works.