Tag Archive: Writer


Recently I performed Nothing Like a Dame during a concert and never having watched South Pacific, my interest was piqued.

The pleasant Kidderminster Rose was the venue for Carpet Trades Musical Theatre Company’s presentation of this show. Rehearsing Tuesday’s from late spring to October, they are on the lookout for new members to join. Founded in 1944 as an activity for employers of the carpet company of the same name, CTMTC are now open to all with a major production each year.

South Pacific – The Rose Theatre, Kidderminster – 21 October 2017

The show by Rodgers and Hammerstein is set during World War II on a Pacific Island and was made into a Hollywood movie in 1958.

The first thing to note was the use of the movie structure as opposed to the stage version. I’m in two minds about this. The writer in me hates tampering and I like how the stage show comes full circle with Dites Moi. However, I can see swapping the order to begin with Bloody Mary and There is Nothing Like a Dame makes it more dynamic.

There are many well-known songs in South Pacific and highlights for me were Honey Bun, Happy Talk and I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy. I did feel, though, the cast were not helped by only having a three-piece band. The vocalists needed support and didn’t get it while there could also have been better use of harmonies. These are all things to learn from. In addition, the dialogue at times needed speeding up. There was some choreography but not enough and while many of the cast could obviously dance, particularly Ruth Campbell as Liat, they were underused. Nice to see smiles during the dances, though.

Stand out vocals for me were provided by Sarah Richards as Nellie Forbush who excelled throughout. Also in principle roles were Zoe Darks (Bloody Mary), Nigel Preece (Emile), Alex Thompson (Cable), Chris Paine (Bilis), Stephen Day (Cpt Bracket) and Brian Potter (Harbison). South Pacific was directed by Darren Richards with musical direction from Chris Yates and choreography, Lucy Crane.

Cheers.

Antony N Britt

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Another show off my tick list this week as Hairspray was in town. Always a fan of the story as far back as the John Waters film starring Ricki Lake, I recently also saw the musical movie plus the Hairspray TV Live last year. And the soundtrack gets played a fair bit too.

Hairspray – Birmingham Hippodrome – 11 October 2017

Hairspray is a story of the fight for racial integration in the early 1960s. It seems abhorrent now, the views of that time, but that’s how life was.

So how was the show? From the opening beats of Good Morning Baltimore, goosebumps rose and I knew I was in for a treat as one great number followed another. Nicest Kids in Town, Mama I’m a Big Girl Now and I Can Hear the Bells.

In the lead role was Rebecca Mendoza, giving a great acting performance while excelling in both song and dance. The perfect Tracy Turnblad. There were also good comic moments, (and some of them I’m not sure scripted) between Matt Rixon as Edna and Norman Pace (Wilbur). One that also shone for me was Annalise Liard-Bailey, blossoming from wallflower to summer rose in the role of Penny. Showing vibrant energy we had Layton Williams playing Seaweed. Also onstage were Brenda Edwards (Motormouth Maybelle), Gina Murray (Velma Von Tussle), Jon Tsouras (Corney Collins), Edward Chitticks (Link Larkin), Aimee Moore (Amber). Monifa James (Little Inez), Graham McDuff (Male Authority), Tracey Penn (Female Authority) and a full ensemble.

Hairspray boasts music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman with additional lyrics from Scott Whittman. The book is by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Production credits for the show include Paul Kerryson (Director), Drew McOnie (Choreography) with musical direction from Ben Atkinson.

I don’t know how long it actually was, but Act Two rattled by. A good testament to the production in not giving the audience chance to catch breath. More good numbers including, You’re Timeless to Me, Without Love and The Big Dollhouse. Of course, the number I had waited for came at the end with You Can’t Stop the Beat and I was taken back twelve months when I performed that myself as part of a pantomime. Great fun. Great show.

Hairspray – Birmingham Hippodrome – 11 October 2017

Cheers.

Antony N Britt

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.

Cheers.

Nick

 

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

Cheers.

Nick

Diagnosis

Nights like these,
they are the worst.
I know where I should be.
Free.
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.

Nightmare

© Antony N Britt 2010

Warning!

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

Cheers.

Nick

Finally, a year after it was first published in Writing Magazine, my short story – Checking Out has been added to the competition showcase on Writers’ Online.

Checking Out, won first prize in Writing Magazine’s monthly competition and below, is a link to the site so you can read my story.

I shall, in the near-future, be putting it on this site as the formatting on Writers’ Online is not great. i.e. They have lost all my paragraph indents.

Checking Out can be found by clicking this link.

Cheers.

Nick