News

Incredible that we’re halfway through 2024 already. It feels like a turning point in the year as I come to the end of two writing schemes and get stuck into scripting on a third.

The London Playwrights Emerging Writers Programme has been full of great advice on how to get the best out of our play scripts. A new idea for a play has been buzzing round my head for a while, so now I’ve got no excuse not to get started on it. I met some amazing writers and the support from Emily who ran the course has been invaluable.

Meanwhile, The Writers Lab UK & Europe has helped me hone my script, ‘The Comeback Kid’, and given me the opportunity to meet and pitch to several production companies and even a broadcaster! I love meeting new people in the industry, and relish any excuse to talk TV – what people are watching, what we’ve liked, loved or even hated. It’s now a cliche that there’s almost too much to watch, but I think it means that everyone can find a story that’s right for them, whatever the genre and whatever country the show originated in. See below for my current picks…

You can still catch Callum Balmforth’s brilliant performance in If You See My Dad… at the Barons Court Theatre, directed by Michael Gyngell, at: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/706925931

About Me

I am a screenwriter, playwright, short story and flash fiction writer.

I was selected for BBC Writersroom Voices – Scotland in 2023, and have reached the top 3% of the BBC Writersroom Open Call. I am currently on The Writers Lab UK & Europe, YFF 2023 and the London Playwrights Emerging Writers Programme. I am a BAFTA Connect member.

My short stories have been published in journals such as Mslexia, Firewords and Popshot, and I have won national competitions for short plays and flash fiction. My poetry has been broadcast on Radio 4 as part of a Woman’s Hour Poetry Competition, and I won an international haiku competition run by the journal Still.

My short play / monologue, If You See My Dad… won ‘Playclub’ run by the London Playwrights in winter 2019 and is part of ‘Scratching the Surface’ at Barons Court Theatre March 2022, directed by Michael Gyngell and produced by Kibo Productions.

Another short play, The Waiting Room, was produced by Get Over It Productions as part of ‘The Scene 2020’ at Chiswick Playhouse in January 2020, directed by Caroline O’Mahoney, while Power Cut was shortlisted by Subtext Theatre for the Earl of Derby’s New Writing Festival 2020.

What I’m Watching

Shogun (Disney+) – A stunning adaptation of the James Clavell novel – which I also remember in its Richard Chamberlain incarnation! I loved how the series was mostly in Japanese – Squid Game really proved that audiences are more open to subtitles than ever before, I think. Fantastic performances, great plotting, characters to root for (I was even sorry to see the duplicitous one get his comeuppance) and as for the design – I could swoon over the kimonos and samurai outfits all day!

Rebus (BBC iPlayer) – What’s not to love about seeing Edinburgh and Fife onscreen? A brooding, convicing performance of a contemporary Rebus by Richard Rankin in a series that examines how social issues intersect with family relationships, work loyalties and the criminal underworld in a pacey, high-stakes drama.

One Day (Netflix) – Oh my goodness, this was like watching my youth onscreen. As someone whose first TV job was as a runner on ‘TFI Friday’, the spot-on characters, plot and production design transported me back to my 20s and 30s and reminded me that ‘One Day’ the novel was our generation’s ‘Normal People’.

Truelove (C4) – A great example of how thrilling drama can address topical issues and show both sides of a knotty ethical problem without sacrificing plot for lectures. An interrogation of the issue of assisted dying, a cast of fantastic ‘older’ actors who we don’t see enough of showed how such a policy could be used both humanely and cyncially. Though I can’t quite forgive the writers for sacrificing the character who had laugh-out-loud lines and who was just trying to do the right thing…

What I’m Reading

Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford – An incredible work of speculative fiction that tells a story of love, loyalty and murder. Set in an alternative history in which Native Americans hold sway in the city of Cahokia, it combines a classic detective story with a 1920s jazz sensibility, and interrogates the realities of racism and the weaponisation of belief systems. Spufford has confirmed his status as one of my favourite contemporary authors.

Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry – As has Barry, with this story of a retired policeman reckoning with the things he’s done – and more importantly, the things that have been done to him and the woman he loved by the Irish institutions of Church, State and Police Force. A beautifully written tale about horrific things, this novel continues to haunt me.

The Year’s Afternoon by Douglas Dunn – Always determined to read (and re-read) more poetry, I found this on my shelf. Moving and beautiful poems that look back over a life and mine it for moments of comfort, love and revelation. A poet like Dunn captures moments that resonate across time and culture to become universal truths.

Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier – A rollicking tale based on one of du Maurier’s ancestors, this reads like a real-life Vanity Fair. Du Maurier brilliantly brings to life the tale of a Prince’s mistress who does whatever she can to secure a life for herself and her family, in a time when women had little agency and were easily used, abused and cast aside. She plays dirty – but only because those she’s pitted against won’t hesistate to play even dirtier against her…