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Yearning for a trip to the theatre? Can’t wait to see Mary Poppins on stage? Well Step in Time as memories of Broadway and the West End hit the region this month.

Musical Memories - Aldridge Musical Comedy Society

A spectacular concert of song and dance, Musical Memories is the latest offering from the awesome Aldridge Musical Comedy Society (AMCS). For almost 50 years, AMCS have been delivering quality productions, and this is no exception.

Numbers draw from a variety of shows with something for everyone. If it’s classics you’re after, you will not be disappointed with segments from Cats, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Miss Saigon and Evita. Then there are more contemporary with songs from Spamalot, Avenue Q, Sister Act, All Shook Up and The Little Mermaid. Plus, huge pieces hailing from Wicked, Jekyll and Hyde, Chess, Little Shop of Horrors and many more including a teaser for AMCS’ Spring 2016 production, Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Performed Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 November 2015 at the Rugeley Rose Theatre, Rugely, tickets can be obtained from the AMCS box office on 01543 480626 with full details on websites – or

Don’t miss out on this magnificent experience.

£12/adult, £10/Concessions and £6/Under 16s.

You can follow AMCS on Facebook for news of current and future productions.



I am now officially announcing the release of my debut novel, Dead Girl Stalking which is available to buy in both print and electronic form from Amazon.

Filled with horror, suspense, sex and conflict, Dead Girl Stalking is a paranormal thriller which tells a story of desire, consequence and retribution for those both alive and dead.

The first date ended with her death; the second was more terrifying. He wants to end their relationship; the dead have other ideas.

When teenager Melvin Stone is not being bullied at school, he suffers from voices inside his head which have tormented him much of his life. Melvin’s life is thrown further into turmoil when the girl of his dreams is killed in a tragic accident. For any young adult, witnessing this would be traumatic enough but over the next four years he is plagued by the recurring presence of the dead girl. Whether spirit or in his own troubled mind, this malevolent tormentor now haunts Melvin’s every move.

You can buy Dead Girl Stalking in either digital or print from Amazon by following the link below.

Buy Dead Girl Stalking

It is also currently being stocked by Southcart Books – Walsall. A great indie bookshop who continue to support local writers.

Alternatively still, as the Ice Cream Man says, ‘Stop me and buy one.’ If you’re in town, that is.




This Halloween – Saturday 31 October, I shall be appearing at Southcart Books, Lower Hall Lane, Walsall for the 2nd annual Southcart Scarefest.

Free admission, free food and a multitude of horror writers to entertain you. And hundreds of books to browse and buy. What more could you want from Walsall’s only independent bookshop who continue to support local talent.

Hopefully, last minute proofing and delivery permitting, I shall have copies of my debut novel, Dead Girl Stalking on sale.

So if you’ve nothing else on, pop on down and see me and the rest. In fact, if you have got something on, cancel it. We’re a better bet. I’m on at 1230, just before the food, so perfect timing.

Southcart Scarefest 2015



How long?

It’s been a year since I did a Roast. I know when reviving this column I said I would only do it occasionally, but a whole year …! Does this mean I don’t get out much any more?

Well, I do, I just have so many other things to occupy my time, namely trying to polish up my novel, Dead Girl Stalking so I can release on Amazon. But this doesn’t mean I no longer observe the bizarre around me. Take the incident after my writing breakfast in town the other day.

A bit of bother over a hover

Sunday Roast - Hoverboard 1

Have you seen these things? I hadn’t but they are apparently the latest craze to hit the streets. They’re nicknamed hover-boards, and when I say a craze, I don’t simply mean fad. Craze could be applied to the state of mind of the user, because you must be crazy to ride around on one.

Take the couple I came across after leaving my breakfast venue.


Young man in baseball cap with cute young girl on his arm. Or was it the other way round? You see the man was on one of these hover-boards, being motorised around town. However, every time he wanted to turn, his girlfriend had to guide him in the right direction.

Mate, you looked ridiculous. It was as if she were taking her pet for a walk. His body never moved an inch, all the time thinking he was the man, and so cool. But if the girlfriend had let go of his hand, I suspect street cred would have dropped quicker than he did as he tumbled to the ground.

However, he didn’t as girlfriend guided her puppy around corners and finally helped him across the road, all the time doing the work while he didn’t flex a muscle.

But then we had the ultimate joke. Do you know where Hoverman went after I took the photograph? He turned right and entered a bloody gym!

Arrrggghhh! Perhaps if he’d walked for once in his life and didn’t use a hover-board, he wouldn’t need to go to a gym!

And then there’s the name – hover-boards. But they don’t even bleeding well hover!!! They have wheels and are quite clearly rolling along the ground.

Hover-boards, for Christ’s sake. Watch people move effortless. Or in the case of my home town, wait five seconds until you hit an uneven pavement and go arse over tit.

People who play with odd shaped balls

Sunday Roast - World Cup Rugby

So it’s the Rugby World Cup (sense the underwhelmed tone) and I have to say, I’m not interested.

It’s not the game I hate, I simply don’t understand it. What I also despise is the culture surrounding the sport. All this male bonding, arm in arm on pub tables singing, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, coming for to carry them home because they’re too pissed to drive. You’ve also got to admire the irony of middle class white folk singing a black spiritual about gaining freedom from slavery.

Anyway, I kind of grasp the principle of getting the ball (Ball!! A ball is a spheroid) from one end of the field to the other. What I can’t fathom are details such as penalties given for no other reason than the referee thought it was time he awarded one. And the referees, themselves are an enigma. They watch all this carnage on the field and do nothing, then some person taps an opponent on the shoulder to say, ‘Pardon me, Claude,’ and he gives a bloody foul. Baffling. It’s stop/start all the way through the game with possession passing at random. And scrums … don’t get me started on scrums. What the bleeding frig are they all about? It’s like a bizarre game of twister.

Twister - Sunday Roast

But who do we have to blame for this stupid game? Yes, Mr William bloody Webb Ellis (Now you know why I’m good at quizzes … Huh!). You see, in 1823, during a game of football while at Rugby Posh School, Ellis allegedly picked up the ball and ran.

William Webb Ellis

Well, isn’t that just typical. When you were at school, wasn’t there always one tosspot who due to the fact they were shit at soccer, would start either bouncing the ball around like a basketball, or run with it in order to disguise their own inadequacies at the sport.

And so we have Rugby, a game created by somebody who thought themselves the bees knees at being class comic, but was, in fact, a total twat.

*** Appendices***

(i) Rugby ~ A game for people who aren’t skilful enough to play football.

(ii) Football ~ A game for those unable to understand the rules of cricket.

Nothing is free in this life

Do any older folk remember the free gifts you used to get in your cereal packets? Little plastic figures of Sooty and Sweep, or Doctor Who collectable cards such as these.

Dec 1 - Doctor Who Wheatbix

They made breakfasts worthwhile and got the kids eating because what they really wanted was for Mum and Dad to buy a new packet as soon as possible in order to get another gift.

Now, however, the term free with your cereal is used very creatively. Take Kellogs, for example.

I purchased a packet of cornflakes the other day and saw the words, Get you Free Bowl on the back of the box.

img018 (1280x1251) (640x626)

Great … Free gift. Just like old times. But hang on a minute. On closer inspection, I noticed the facts.

Step 1: Buy three promotional packs of cornflakes to collect the tokens.

Okay, so how is that free?

Step 2: Go online and enter the codes from inside the boxes.

Right …. that’s assuming you have internet, otherwise you’ll have to go to an internet café, pay a charge and buy a medium latte while you register for your free cereal bowl.

Step 3: Pay £2 postage.

Arrggghhhh! That’s not fucking free!!!

Then after choosing your bowl (Step 4) in this exceptionally quick and simple way of getting something for nothing, you come across the final hurdle.

Step 5: Wait for your bowl to be delivered, noting that the packet states this will take up to 90 days.

What!!! For heavens sake. You can buy bowls from a supermarket for a quid. Heck, I could even join a pottery class, learn how to mould clay and make a bloody cereal bowl in less than 90 days if I wanted.


Well, that warps up this roast

I shall bid you farewell and at this rate, see you this time next year.





Nights like these,
they are the worst.
I know where I should be.
But I’m not.
I’m here.

Two weeks,
four days,
eighteen hours
and seventeen minutes,
give or take.
Who’s counting?

I wait for the release,
even though I know it’s not coming.
When will it end,
this illness?
Another day,
still no sign.

Understand the diagnosis
and accept there’s no cure.
Raise a glass
to heal the pain,
but it’s too strong.
So I sit alone
and listen to the walls talk.


© Antony N Britt 2010


Being a writer has its drawbacks, and one of these are the questions which come from non-writers. Made in innocence, but annoying all the same in a way only writers will understand. Therefore, I shall explain a few so you’ll know in future why my face is turning purple.

1. Never under any circumstance try to tell a writer what would be a good idea for a plot.

I have this great idea for a story. I think you should write it.’

No, if it’s that good, maybe you should write it. After all, it’s your idea and who better to see it to fulfillment. That’s the polite way of replying. The other is to scream through clenched teeth that of course I’ll write your story, because after years of doing it well, I have no more bloody ideas of my own.

2. ‘Don’t despair, JK Rowling had numerous rejections before she was published.’

Fuck off! Never use the JK word. We all know how many rejections she had, so don’t mention it. There are writers with far more skill than the wizard’s creator but much about being successful is due to luck. Unless you’re a celebrity who can write a novel in wax crayon on the back of a napkin and still get it published, I’m afraid you’re in the slush pile, ever hoping an agent will allocate thirty seconds to read the first page of your book.

3. In response to telling somebody you’ve had a story published.

That’s good. Did you get paid?’

Okay, this is a common one. I’m always being asked it. As if making money from my writing makes it more valid. But really …. do I go around asking people what they earn for a living? No. Whatever you make from producing porn is your business. Hey, it’s a free country.

However, I will clear this up and the answer is, yes. Sometimes. Often it’s zero, but I have earned anything from £1.68 total royalties for a failed anthology to £250 with a short story. It depends who you are submitting to.

4. And another one I hate …

It’s said, everybody has a novel in them.’

No they bloody well don’t, otherwise everybody would write a novel. It’s probably the case that we all have an idea, but only when you’ve a final draft of 75,000 plus words, do you have that novel. Grrrrr.

5. The final main one is often directly after somebody you know has read your work for the first time. Now I like to receive praise, but not accompanied by a look of astonishment.

Hey, this is actually really good.’

Jesus, don’t sound so surprised. I’ve been doing this years and actually – yes, I am bloody good at it.

Those are the main ones, but of course there are others.

Q – Why don’t you write something more cheerful?

A – I mostly write dark fiction and had this comment on my novel. Hell, yes! Let’s make bullying, sexual assault, decapitation and psychotic episodes into a comedy.

Q – ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’

A – Erm … my mind.

Q – ‘Have you had anything published?’

A – Because apparently, you’re not a proper writer until this has happened. Yes, I have, about thirty short stories and poems, plus numerous articles. But even if I hadn’t, it wouldn’t mean I’m not a writer.

Q – ‘Are your characters based on real people?’

A – Of course, because I have no imagination of my own. Okay … cue the arrival of the sarcasm police. NO! Theyre all my ideas. It’s what I do.

Comment – ‘I thought about writing a novel once.’

My reply – ‘Really, so did I.’

Comment – ‘To be honest, I don’t read.’

My reply – ‘You do know you can get lessons for that.’

And finally, the classic …

Comment – ‘I wish I had the time to write stories.’

My reply – … Well, there isn’t one. I’ve normally walked off by now, returning to my tedious day of doing nothing as I have all the time in the world to do it.

Okay, so I jest a little, but do think before you release these utterances. Writing is bloody hard, and to be good at it takes years. Unless, of course, you are Katie Price or some other Z-List celebrity, then you can simply pay some poor unheard of writer to do it for you.

April 15 - Writer



Heroes & Sweethearts - Aldridge Musical Comedy Society. Cannock 22-23 May 2015

Pack Up Your Troubles and return to 1940s wartime Britain with a concert of song and dance to celebrate the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

Heroes and Sweethearts is the latest offering from the marvelous Aldridge Musical Comedy Society (AMCS) and will be on at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Cannock, 22-23 May 2015. For almost 50 years, AMCS have been delivering quality productions and Heroes and Sweethearts is no exception.

Numbers include: In the Mood, White Cliffs of Dover, We’ll Meet Again, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, It Don’t Mean a Thing and Chattanooga Choo Choo, all which will have the audience singing and tapping in their seats.

Heroes & Sweethearts is the brainchild of producer Julie Lamb and will be supported by a full band with musical direction from Mark Baylis and choreography by Sarah Hemming.

The show is being staged in partnership with the Royal British Legion, an association which came about through negotiation between AMCS costume designer, Sarah Carter and Alison Bates of the Legion. The hope is not only to honour the events of World War II, but also raise money for a fantastic charity which continues to support our armed forces past and present.


Left to Right: Julie Lamb, Sgt Dan O’Sullivan, Alison Bates, Sarah Carter.

One such recipient of Legion support is Sgt Dan O’Sullivan who in 2011 was assaulted and left with serious head injuries. After a lengthy spell in hospital, Dan spent time at the Portland College, Mansfield, a stay partly funded by the Legion. At the college, Dan learned to walk, talk, eat and drive again and has since had further assistance to adapt his home in order to allow independent living. Dan is a keen supporter of local fund raising activities and is looking forward to seeing the show.

Performances Friday 22 to Saturday 23 May 2015 at 7.30 pm (with additional Saturday Matinee – 2.30 pm). Tickets can be obtained from the box office on 01543 578762 or by going online to with options to book direct from AMCS.

Don’t miss out on this magnificent experience.



£6/Child (U16).


A question I’m often asked about writing is how do I come up with my ideas?

May 20 Question

Now I don’t want to appear arrogant, but that’s never been a problem. You see, there’s a trick, and it’s one I’ll share.

The ideas and inspiration are everywhere you look, and that’s what you have to do – look. And listen.

The most insignificant observation could be the spark which ignites the idea which will evolve into a poem, short story, or even a novel.

Consider the first short story I had published. Second Best featured brothers of European nobility in Ivan and Emil. Taking part in a writing group, I was confronted by several objects and challenged to create a story from them. Now one item was a cloth jester toy. Now already known for writing the macabre online, I was drawn to this fellow but while some might concoct tales of cheer concerning a toy, my first thought was that this thing could choke a person if swallowed. And that’s exactly what I did in my story. After a short lifetime of bullying at the hands of older brother, Ivan, little Emil could take no more and Ivan had his comeuppance as the jester toy was rammed down his throat, thus choking him to death. Okay, there was more to the story than just that, but I often get the ending first and simply have to write the story to reach the conclusion.

Subsequently, I’m always on the lookout for ideas and find them when I least expect.

An encounter in a bookshop, a memorial bench, characters in my street (sorry neighbours), a ghost hunt. All have been the inspiration which led to short stories I’ve had published since. Some of them major competition winners.

The reality is, anything you see or hear could be turned into a story. As I look in my notebook, I see a recent entry written while watching, The Antiques Roadshow. It was a few weeks ago when one of the experts tried to value a piece of wood with Indian carvings. It was part of a much larger piece but the mystery was in the fact it had been found buried in a back garden.

Wow! It opened all sorts of questions. What was it, why was it buried in the back garden, and how long had it been there? They didn’t know the answer on the show and neither do I at the moment, but I will one day. At least in a story.

Other jottings include:

The stumbling drunk more concerned with getting to Yates’ bar than stopping to wait for his friends.

The second step from the bottom of the theatre auditorium which makes a noise when you tread on it.

The fresh iron burn on my new carpet being in exactly the same place as one made by the previous occupants on the old carpet.

The overheard comment. “It’s amazing the noises you hear within the silence.”

The sepia photograph of Victorian children. All smiling, bar one. Why?

And only today as I drove past a cemetery. In the middle of the road, rolling down the hill was a blue ball and not a soul in sight.

All of the above will at some point be used, I just have to come up with the scenario to do so. However, having had the ideas, you have to make sure you don’t forget them. Therefore, always carry something to note down what you see.



After a self imposed exile, I have at last got four new pieces out which are fortunately all contained in one volume.

Winter Festivals is anthology put together by the Walsall Writers’ Circle which I am privileged to be a member (Actually, that reminds me, I haven’t paid my subs but in my defence, I haven’t been available to attend a meeting this autumn to do so).

Winter Festivals covers a wide range of topics such as Christmas, Samhain, Yelda, New Year and Diwali in the form of short stories, articles and poems.

My own pieces are:

A short story about ritual sacrifice in ancient times, titled – Burnt Offerings.

Two poems – Christmas Lights in November, and Christmas Cheer.

And an atheists observation – Christmas, Bah Humbug!

Saturday – November 8 at 1100, there is an official launch at Southcart Books, Lower Hall Lane, Walsall where I shall be reading Burnt Offerings (at about 1110). This is a chance to come and hear a selection of the pieces, speak to the authors and of course, buy the book. If you can’t get down on the day, you can buy the book now, either in print, or download the ebook.

Winter Festivals

Purchase Winter Festivals Anthology.



What’s the buzz? Let me tell you what’s happening. Classic rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar is in the region for three nights only. The groundbreaking musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber which has delighted audiences for decades is on at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Cannock from the 20th to 22nd November 2014.

Originally produced as a concept album, the musical arrangements on Jesus Christ Superstar mix rock with the classical in multi-layered dynamics which are as fresh today as 40 years ago. The score features well known numbers including: Heaven on Their Minds, I Don’t Know How to Love Him, the semi-comical, Herod’s Song, and of course, Superstar.

Performed by a magnificent cast with excellent musical direction and choreography, Jesus Christ Superstar tells the story of the final days of Christ and his ultimate betrayal by Judas Iscariot. Beginning with uplifting exuberance, events quickly turn with the arrest and trial of Christ, leading to its poignant conclusion. The production contains a passionate portrayal of characters, triumph, struggle and subsequent tragedy.

This current show is the latest offering from the excellent Aldridge Musical Comedy Society (AMCS). For almost 50 years, AMCS have been delivering quality productions and Jesus Christ Superstar is no exception.

Staged from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 November 2014, tickets can be obtained from the box office on 01543 578762 or by going to with options to book direct from AMCS or online.

Don’t miss out on a rare chance to share in this magnificent experience.

£12/adult, £10/Concessions and £6/Child.





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