Monthly Archives: January 2017

That’s Nearly All The E-Books – What’s Next?

FRIGHTENING

The e-book arrival last week of my ‘Devil Quartet’ of short story collections, Personal Demons, The Devil in Me, Old Devil Moon and Demonized brings the new e-book total to 17, with just three more to go, Red Gloves Volumes 1 and 2, and the original collection Frightening, making a nice round 20 volumes. Everything else is currently […]

Just My Type

us__en_us__ibm100__selectric__selectric_1__900x773

Oh you poor Snowflakes, forever complaining about your download speeds – do you have ideas what we Base Dates* had to go through? It began with the desire to write something, anything. I started with a black biro, never blue because blue was for private letters, and I wanted to draw too. Soon I was […]

The Moving Theatre

leonardsachs-300x232

As reader Brian was asking about the old Players’ Theatre, I dug out this article on it. Apologies if you’ve read it before, but I’ve added some new material. The Charing Cross Theatre is underneath the station in a railway arch. Too large to be called a fringe venue, yet not quite big enough to […]

A January Miscelleny

IMG_7848

Why do all my posts need a single subject? Here are some random moments from the past month that slipped through my fingers. First, I took a walk along Regent Street on Christmas Eve – there was hardly anyone around, and little movement except the flapping of electronic angel wings. One of the nicest (and […]

Waugh Stories

evev_0003

Imagine being part of a literary dynasty; the pressure to achieve must be unbearable. We automatically think of stern Catholic Evelyn Waugh as his dynasty’s prime mover, the man whose innovative satirical writing came to symbolise an era (that’s him above, looking extremely cross). But he wasn’t the only writer. Alec was the younger brother of […]

Stories Set In Country Houses

950

The 2018 Bryant & May novel will be set in a country house, as I thought it was high time I gave Agatha Christie a bit of a going over. Adrian Tinniswood’s excellent book ‘The Long Weekend’, on life between the wars in the English country house was a big help here, because he describes […]

No More Classical Allusions?

Woobal

‘Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you?’ Tony Hancock asks his fellow jurors. ‘Did she die in vain?’ In ‘The Producers’, nervous accountant Gene Wilder attempts to do the books of sleazy theatrical agent Zero Mostel, who terrifies him, inducing a hysterical fit in Wilder. ‘You’re going to jump on me!’ Wilder screams, ‘just like […]

Cinema Museum Picks 1

purehell3

  It came as a shock to be flicking through a copy of BFI Monthly (now called Sight & Sound) to discover that the first British colour feature film was made just 16 years before I was born. For me, ‘British film’ was a tautology, the punchline to a national joke on a par with […]

Six Letters, Starting With B

IMG_20160208_144206_077-1

Dorothy Bowers was a crossword compiler, born in Leominster, Herefordshire in 1902. She was the daughter of a bakery owner, and after a short and not especially joyful life died at 46 from tuberculosis. At least she had the satisfaction of knowing that, on the basis of just six books, she had just been inducted […]

Go With The Flo

maxresdefault

I spent a large part of my life working around delusional types who have ignored the key celebrity maxim; ‘Never believe your own publicity’. But it never stopped them from thinking they had talent where there was none. Actors who step outside their field to comment on subjects they’re not intellectually qualified to cover can […]