The Gay UK

My first article is up on The Gay UK, which is an interview I did with Reverend Dave Tomlinson, author, Church of England vicar, equality advocate and all-round great guy. I’ve seen Dave take the wedding service of two dear friends and speak beautifully and movingly about love. His books, How to Be a Bad Christian and The Bad Christian’s Manifesto are thought-provoking and considered.

Yet although he’s a very pleasant and gentle chap, he’s a man of convictions and is up for a spiritual fight to bring equality to the Anglican Community. I really enjoyed talking to him.

The Hillsborough verdict – ‘justice’ is harder to achieve

After over a quarter of a century of lies, cover-up and obfuscation, what really happened at the Hillsborough Disaster, and who was really to blame for the deaths of 96 innocent people, has finally come to light. The truth of the matter has been self-evident since 1989 to anyone who took the time and trouble to bother taking a look at the facts, but a collusion of right-wing press and government has ensured that anybody in the public who decides what’s true simply from looking at column inches in the red tops has happily derived their opinion from the woefully misinformed or deliberately deceitful.

Shooting the Past

My parents outside the house I spent my first three years in. I remember my mum's Beatrix Potter summer hat.

My parents outside the house I spent my first three years in. I remember my mum’s Beatrix Potter summer hat.

Sometimes the stars just need to align. For years, decades, a red plastic box sat on a shelf in my parents’ garage, gathering dust and cobwebs. Forgotten.

It took a friend (Samuel Payne) to spot through the semi-transparent plastic the contents of the box – a large collection of Kodak slides – and i) an inherent interest in photography and ii) the technology to bring back to life these long-forgotten fractions of a second from my family’s history, for the incredible images to be restored.

Doctor Who: The Complete Menagerie (Almost)

We’re back! And it’s about time. Or should that be wine?

Our Season Two opener is a Christmas Special that compares and contrasts the Doctor Who and James Bond franchises. We’re joined by our first very special guest; the actor, writer and academic Jack Klaff (@Jackshebang on Twitter), who gives us his warm reminiscences of working with Roger Moore on For Your Eyes Only. He also spills the beans about Star Wars, and what he makes of the fans!

Religion… It isn’t just comfort?

Religion, again. But my friend and colleague Robert Gillespie has penned a fascinating piece for The Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life, which he’s called ‘It Isn’t Just Comfort?’ asked Ron. It’s well worth any thinking person’s time to read. It details a conversation Robert had with legendary theatre and TV director Ronald Eyre (recently mentioned by Alan Bennett in his play The Habit of Art). Check it out yourself to see what it was about religion that Ron struggled with.

The rewards of researching theatre

I’ve written another blog post for the splendid folk at Jane Nightwork Productions called The Golden Age of Theatre? If you’re interested in Twentieth Century theatre (when did we stop capitalising centuries, or was it only me who ever did that?) then you might well find it interesting.

I recently delved into the archives at the V&A to uncover their folders on the Old Vic Theatre Company productions of the mid-1950s, when the leading players were Richard Burton and Claire Bloom, to help the writing of another actor who was in the company at the time. I also found a load of material on Joan Littlewood’s legendary Theatre Workshop productions from the same era. It’s all in aid of a rather special book that may well be on the horizon. Watch this space…

A letter to my homophobic sister

It is this time last year. I have just ordered gifts for my youngest nephew’s birthday. I text my sister to tell her the delivery date. We’ve never been close, but more recently, since my long-term partner and I have picked up gifts for her children every birthday, every Christmas and every time we’ve travelled to somewhere new, it’s been less tense. I’m in a good mood as I press send.

Just ordered gifts for the boy from Amazon – may be delivered tomorrow. It takes 4 AA batteries and I’ve ordered those too. X

Guest blogging on Jane Nightwork

I’ll be guest-blogging for the Jane Nightwork gang (www.janenightwork.com) for the foreseeable future. This opportunity has come about via my colleague, Robert Gillespie, who heads Jane Nightwork Productions. You can see various interviews I’ve conducted with Robert about his extraordinary career under the Entertainment Focus section.

My first blog piece is about The Stage’s Critic Search 2015. As a theatre critic myself, I’ve distilled my thoughts about the most egregious errors in criticism.

The golden rule is: keep your ego out of it….