I enjoy a busy life. Depending on the day of the week or the contents of my in-tray,
I’m a writer, theatre director, musician, all three, or none. This used to bother
me. Now I just wake up and get on with whatever the day brings.
Since 2009, I’ve been Co-Director of Theatre for Take Art, a pioneering arts charity
that serves the towns, villages and rural communities of Somerset. It’s a part-time
development role I share with Sarah Peterkin.
Over the last six years I’ve flown back and forth to India researching and writing
Rising from the Dust, musical-directed and composed the music for two pantos at The
Theatre Royal, Winchester, written several feature articles and been employed as
an arts project manager, facilitator and trainer in the public, corporate and voluntary
Until the end of 2004, I was Artistic Director ofproteus, one of the south’s leading
touring companies. Prior to that I was Artistic Director of West 28th Street, company
in residence at Fairfield, Croydon.
As a pianist and musical director, I’ve performed on both sides of the Atlantic and
composed the musical scores for over ten shows.
My inquisitive mind has landed me in a number of countries. Those I’ve spent the
most time in include India, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand.
I’m in my element when travel and writing opportunities meet. In December 2008,
I travelled to Niyamgiri in Orissa where I was commissioned by Resurgence magazine
to explore the potential impact of the Vedanta mining project on the cultural and
spiritual rights of the Khondas tribes.
In 2009 I moved to the small market town of Crewkerne, South Somerset. Not far away
is the village of East Coker, home of the Helyar Arms (yes, there is a connection),
ancestral home of TS Eliot and birthplace of the explorer William Dampier, the first
Englishman to set foot on Australian soil.
Even closer is the village of Odcombe, from where Thomas Coryate left in 1612 to
walk to India. Both Coryate and Dampier will feature in future writing projects.
Finally, if you’d like to know why this site is called ‘empty canvas’ and what Danny
Kaye has to do with it, please check out Rising from the Dust page 100.
Thanks for reading.
It might sound as if I’m a ‘go with the flow’ kind of guy. I am. And I’m also not.
I like to have every minute of the day planned. I’m obsessed with lists: I have lists
of lists and I have lists of where I keep my lists. I have neatly ruled notebooks
of lists and online lists that keep my mobile, tablet and PC in sync.