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Theatre-making best describes what I do – writing, directing, devising, educating, making music. I was trained as a classical cellist and pianist and after a stint busking in the piazzas of Venice (before I was arrested and stopped) I got work playing the music of great composers in various orchestras.   My job was to DO IT RIGHT, DO IT AT THE RIGHT TIME,  AND DON’T LOOK AT THE STAGE. My creative imagination was never musical  – anything I hummed had been written hundreds of years ago by the greats, I never  had a single musical creative thought in my head, but as I sat in the  ENO orchestra pit playing (frequently tragic) operas I used to mentally  rewrite the plots.  What if Tosca had rescued her lover and the two of  them   had escaped and settled down to marital bliss.  I  idly imagine them in  their little apartment, a few years down the line: him home from the bus driving, fat and watching football, her tired and bored, the kids whining, longing to  get back to the opera singing she’s given up for love  – I killed for you, bastard,  and all you do is  drink  Stella….

It all got a bit distracting, and when you’ve played the 120th La Boheme, perhaps it’s time to do something different….

I started to explore a different theatre language, writing  plays, where women and men talk rather than sing, in  words that anyone can understand, where complex stories and ideas are conveyed in  the simplest and most direct ways.  This job was more  don’t worry about RIGHT, just  WRITE and ALWAYS LOOK AT THE STAGE.  My career as a writer took me to theatre settings far from the grandeur and scale of  the opera houses  I’d  been used to:  I’ve made plays on housing estates,  in  hospitals,  in  Billingsgate Fish Market,  in a cold medieval house.  I’ve worked with actors of  all levels, ages, and backgrounds, trained  and  untrained, communicating meaning and emotion and ideas with whatever resources are to hand.   Grand opera, a tiny show  in a gazebo on a  Hackney field, a panto  on the winter solstice in a dark medieval house, telling a story in a pub,  to small scale community work Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, dapibus ac, porta sit dapibus augue mauris praesent dapibus, enim vestibulum dictumst consequat felis, arcu sed, aenean rhoncus donec suscipit metus vitae. Enim eget non sed fusce, nunc tempor turpis semper velit enim, sollicitudin ullamcorper vitae sit nunc, sit scelerisque convallis quis scelerisque feugiat pede. Nibh mi esse convallis sodales aliquam, id erat, nonummy dolore id doloribus integer, nibh habitasse eget fames volutpat ut. Hac deserunt a ipsum cursus non, leo massa rutrum venenatis adipiscing, anim ac placerat, porttitor iaculis vitae urna magna. Turpis leo scelerisque massa. Aliquam augue lacus scelerisque risus, ornare sed fringilla accumsan luctus feugiat in, pede magnis rutrum sed nunc taciti, semper ac, placerat lacus suspendisse in amet eget. Nullam sollicitudin sit malesuada aliquam, lacus vestibulum varius odio id nec, taciti arcu risus tincidunt, tellus quis. Eget per imperdiet morbi, tellus ultricies dapibus velit tincidunt luctus vestibulum, vitae aliquet ullamcorper aliquam, orci sollicitudin nullam ipsum consequat, curabitur sollicitudin mauris semper erat velit.