Apart from half-hearted and ill-informed attempts to act and direct when at school and university,
and a brief run of one of my plays in the 1990s, my theatrical career only began in 2011. For about eighteen months
I appeared regularly in fringe theatre and short films in London, specialising in menacing or eccentric characters in late middle-age.
These included Charles the Wrestler in As You Like It, a psycopathic murderer in Clouds of Grey, an eccentric wanderer in The Lower Depths ("I particularly liked Martin Foreman's Luka") and a tormented priest in Angel. After a year's break, I returned to the stage in April 2014 as a mysterious Commuter in A Man Who Lost His Mind ("suitably mysterious, baffling and comic"). My most recent stage appearance was in November 2015 as Austen Skate in Alan Ayckbourn's Wildest Dreams at the Assembly Roxy in Edinburgh, where I now live ("a compellingly wheezing, sepulchral version of Uncle Fester"). I also appear as Roy in Close to the Bone, a short film to be released later in 2016
I have brought my own writing to the stage. With two novels and two short story collections already published,
in 2012 I began converting some of my stories into one-(wo)man plays. That year I won the annual Solo Festival Award for New
Writing. Since then several of my one-character plays have appeared on the stage in London; three
(Angel, Now We Are Pope
and Tadzio Speaks . . . ) were produced at the Edinburgh
Fringe in 2014. These three scripts have now been published and are available here.
My plays usually feature characters at a crisis in their lives - often unwittingly revealing themselves to strangers. My writing is dense,
driven by character and often manifest in deep, poetic language. There is humour in my work, but the strongest quality is the
tragedy of the human condition. In general, older audiences appreciate my work; those whose experience of life is limited are often distracted by the superficial story and do not see the strong currents of emotion and experience that push the narrative along.
I began directing in 2013, with Christopher Annus and Christopher Peacock as willing and talented guinea pigs in
the three one-man plays listed above, with successful productions in London and Edinburgh. In 2016 I directed J B Priestley's The Rose and Crown, firstly for The Grads as part of the Scottish Community Drama Association's One-Act Festival - it reached the Eastern Divisional Finals and was awarded the SCDA Bob Buchanan Salver.
Later in the year Arbery Productions brought it to the Edinburgh Fringe where it achieved near sell-out audiences and four-star reviews.
In real life . . .
When not writing and directing, my time is taken up with
Arbery Books, an online
business specialising in
rare and antiquarian books and ephemera. It specialises in gay, lesbian, transgender and sexuality issues, with a very small collection of antiquarian books and Science Fiction and Fantasy.
My playscripts from
Angel: Take This Body
Three one-(wo)man plays
Now We Are Pope:
Frederick Rolfe in Venice
Tadzio Speaks . . .
Death in Venice Revisited