When one door closes try knocking on another one.....

One thing that nobody can argue with is the fact that the Entertainment Industry is unpredictable. Things happen and they are not always good.


I am reminded of the time I was hired to play the lead in a musical in Sweden. Everything was organised. The contracts sorted. I had even let my flat out for six weeks in London.

Four days before I was leaving to fly out to Stockholm, I got ‘the’ phone-call. The show was cancelled; the ‘rights’ had not been cleared. In other words, the production company had not been given permission to do the show. Yikes....isn’t that one of the first things a production company might do??

What this basically meant was that life became an instant nightmare! What a disappointment. I already knew the part inside out. I was to be Audrey in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. I wanted to play that part, but sadly it was not to be....

I had to cancel the people coming to live in my flat, tell my agent I was now unexpectedly ‘available’ and contact Equity to see if it meant I might still get paid. (Oh yes, even in the face of adversity I realised that I had to be practical and think about paying my mortgage)

But actually the worst part was the disappointment. There was now ‘ six’ weeks to ‘fill’ with ......something else.

One of the things I had been looking forward to about going to Sweden was exploring the ‘Viking Culture’ and I had bought a ‘Book of Viking Runes’ to get me in the mood. (It’s a form of Divination)

Well, no time like the present to ‘cast them’ I thought. If I can’t play ‘Audrey’ I’ll do ....what exactly?

‘ Tell me Runes what does the Oracle say?’

I picked out a stone called ‘Inguz’ .This stone said it straight, ‘ You must fertilise the ground for your own deliverance’

Oh mean like stop mopping about and ‘do’ something. Good idea!

My next bright idea was to read ‘ The Stage’ and there was an advert for the National Youth Theatre looking for scripts with a ‘historical’ context, preferably with music.

I rang up my friend and playwright David Neville and said ‘We’ve got to write a play with music, I can hear the songs already in my head. We’ve got six weeks to do it in.’

Amazingly, he agreed and we wrote ‘ Another One for the Road’ which ended up as a commissioned work with the Scottish Youth Theatre. But for me it was a change of direction and set me on the path to writing my first Musical. Something I might not have taken the time to do if I hadn’t suddenly been made ‘available’

So you see.....every cloud has more water in it than you could ever imagine! 

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