A Bigger, Darker ‘Celebrity’

Remember this work-in-progress? A short fringe play what I wrote (God, I shouldn’t even type that – does anyone still remember Morecambe and Wise?) was performed in London in December 2011, and is now about to start workshopping in a very different form as ‘Falling Stars’. Most of the roles have changed in character, the […]

The New Infantilism

I’m in a smart restaurant. Two huge middle-aged men come in with their girlfriends. The men wear shiny tight clothes that make them look like huge toddlers. They appear to have been dipped in gold. They’re speaking Russian. The girls are maybe nineteen, leggy, catwalk-arrogant, dressed somewhere between schoolgirl and call girl, as bare as […]

Billy’s Speech Comes True

James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ was described by the Guardian as ‘the world’s first attempt to fuse the aesthetic of Starship Troopers with the ambience of mid-period Enya’, but it was huge. The film had more than 125 licensed products incorporating toys, clothing, books and video games which earned over an additional 100 million squids. But that’s […]

‘Celebrity’ – What Happened Next

I wrote the play ‘Celebrity’ because I thought the time was right. There’s an embarrassing national obsession with celebrity. As someone who’s worked with a few I can say that you never get to know them, and it’s generally not very interesting waiting around for somebody famous to stop being unpleasant. Stars generally divide into […]

‘Celebrity’ Will Be Back!

Well, ‘Celebrity’ may have ended but we’ll definitely be returning for another run. We’ve had several enquiries about renewing the show and taking it elsewhere, and are deciding what to do next. Meanwhile, I’m lengthening the play with a couple of new scenes, so watch this space. Meanwhile, here are the cast, Victoria, Mark, Neil […]

What Was That Music?

A lot of audiences asked what the music clips were in the show ‘Celebrity’. Here’s the tracklist. It’s My Life – Paul Anka The In Crowd – Dobie Gray Just Help Yourself – Tom Jones Fly Me To The Moon – Julie London Doing It Right – The Go! Team Scooter – Camille Bazbaz (from […]

What I Learned About Playwriting

1. If you write a scene in which you put ‘Helena grabs Billy in a private place’ you have to be prepared to see it happen onstage. 2. If you put a character onstage in a deliberately terrible wig, the wig will upstage everyone. 3. A drunk girl in a corset and stockings stops the […]

Celebrity 21: The Last Night

I admit it had seemed like another of my dumb ideas. Write a show for something to do between books, maybe pop it on somewhere. Instead, we found ourselves creating a West End fringe show that had a sell-out run and now has a legit transfer. Even if we’d got no further we’d have had […]

Celebrity 20: Art Imitates Death

When I wrote ‘Celebrity’ I knew it would be topical. I thought the script was a little over the top, but I didn’t realise that real life would get even weirder on the subject. Hollwood press agent Ronni Chasen was gunned down in LA, and now a ‘person of interest’ to the case, in the […]

Celebrity 19: Booking Frustration

So, ‘Celebrity’ heads into its second week, and suddenly the little show that opened without tryouts has sold out (although there will be a few returns each day – especially with the snow). The cast have transformed the play and are clearly having fun with their performances. Every night the readings vary enough for me […]