Tag Archive: Walsall Writers Circle

The pantomime is a great tradition and I’m always looking for companies I’ve not seen before. Therefore, when the two factors combine, I end up in places like the Dormiston Mill Theatre, Sedgley, watching Rainbow Pantomimes’ production of Cinderella.

Cinderella – Dormiston Mill Theatre – 20 January 2017

First off, a niggle at the audience. I watch loads of shows and people always forget to applaud the overture (and even more so, exit music). The band have worked damned hard, so give them appreciation, folks.

But the rest of the show. We all know the story of Cinderella, and Rainbow did the classic tale justice. Exuberant enjoyment from the cast projected to those watching, straight from the start with opening number, Reach for the Stars. Yes, good acting combined with decent dance numbers had the crowd whooping it up. There were comic moments, in particular, the Ugly Sisters’ Face Cream scene, although what had me laughing most was an innocent and incredulous comment from a child sitting in front when we had a delay in changing scenery. “Mom, they’ve left the door …” Oh, the little things that amuse me.

Fabulous musical numbers, notably: She, So Close, I See the Light, Open Doors, Raining Men and Celebrate. By far the best for me, though, was the full company version of Timewarp. Not a song I particularly like, so credit for making it stand out.

Of the cast, Katie Randle (Cinderella), Katie Teitge (Prince Charming) and Amy Cooper (Buttons) were superb. Also, well supporting were Jake Millington (Dandini), Helen Hollis (Beryl), Jonathan Pountney (Cheryl), Gemma Wilson-Brown (Baroness), Sally Parker (Fairy Godmother), Ian Totney (Mouse) and Dan Cubberley (Major Domo/Bear).

Cinderella was directed by Gemma Simner with Choreography by Emma Bate. On the music front, there was excellent use of a four-piece band directed by and including, Danny Teitge. Great sound throughout.

The only criticism I have is at times, the flow of certain scenes slowed. Too many pauses on stage with nothing happening. Although this may have been down to the original script, there was a danger of lost interest.

Still, as I say, I enjoyed, as did the rest of the audience. And my God, there were some hyper kids in the front of the auditorium. Was there a shortage of Ritalin or something?

All in all, well done to Rainbow Pantomimes. Looking forward to the next one.

Cinderella – Dormiston Mill Theatre – 20 January 2017




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.



A Write Honour.

Okay, forgive the pun in the title. What I refer to was the pleasant surprise waiting when I attended my first meeting of the Walsall Writers’ Circle for months. As some will know, things have been a struggle recently and meetings either clashed with work, or some calamity. Therefore, I was delighted on October 10 to discover my diary was free and I could slip nonchalant into the room with nobody asking where I’d been.

Now the secret in maintaining a low profile, I now find, is not to receive an award for continued success during the previous year (and then have to accept said award to much applause). But this is exactly what happened.

I am highly honoured to have collected the Norrey Ford Cup as recognition for my endeavours of recent times. I will say, the message is, if you don’t submit stuff, you’ll never get an acceptance. So get writing, and get it out.

Norrey Ford was a Walsall writer of many romance novels whose legacy includes the forming of the Walsall Writers’ Circle of which I am proud to be a member. Encouraging writers since 1966, the circle meets monthly to share writing experiences, take part in workshops and talk about writing in general. And they’re an awfully nice bunch, too.

Pictured below is myself being presented with the Norrey Ford Cup by Margaret Woods.

I am so glad I was not wearing an offensive tee-shirt for once.



Interview with … er, Me.

I have been interviewed by writer, Rebeccah Giltrow, the result of which can be found on her excellent site. So, if you want to hear what I have to say about my works and writing, in general – read on here.

Link to ‘Rebeccah Writes,’ and my interview.



Back in June, I relayed the news that I had won the Walsall Writers’ Circle, Non-Fiction competition. My article on autism, The Invisible Nation, is now in print in the Autumn 2012 (Vol 45. No 4) edition of Blackcountryman Magazine.

Also in the same issue is a piece I wrote on the ghosts of local, Haden Hill House and Hall.

Magazine available at various outlets in the Black Country and also from this link.

Blackcountryman Magazine.



Non-Fiction Competition Win

Last Thursday, I had the great honour to be named winner of the Walsall Writers’ Circle 2012 Non-Fiction Competition. The fact that all of the entries read out at the meeting were of a hugely impressive standard, makes this award all the more pleasing. Here I am with judges, John Lester and Stuart Williams, being presented with trophy which I get to keep for a year until the 2013 competition.

Walsall Writers’ Circle is an honest, friendly group and I recommend anybody in the locality with an interest in writing, to give it a go. My winning piece – The Invisible Nation, an article on autism, can be found in the Autumn 2012 edition of Blackcountryman Magazine and still on the Walsall Writers’ Circle website, if you scroll down the page.



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