Monday, 17 December 2012


 I am, in many senses of the word, a very lucky person. At the moment, I exist in a semi-constant state of wonder at the brilliant things that the day to day contains and the brilliant people that I get to spend these days with.

As I type, Luke has just got out of bed; Ed is lying reading What Dreams May Come; Veronica is training to be a teacher; The Boy James is being performed in America; Louis & Brian are putting the finihing touches to a Beulah and Some Small Love Story Tour; A Christmas Carol is getting brilliant reviews and audiences at The Lamb & Lion Inn; I am planning a bunch of great stuff with York Theatre Royal; I'm going for a beer with Joe Hufton later and Tom Bellerby is still tweaking and working on the show. I spent the mornign sending emails and the afternoon writing down ideas. My parents have installed Christmas in their house and this year my sister and her fiance are around for the festive season too. Jim is back next week and we will get to play lots of music.

A packed pub room at #LittleFest
These are little details, and I know they are very personal to me. But they all add up a wonderful bit of life time. I finished reading The Perks Of Being A Wallflower yesterday. In it, Charlie talks about looking at old photos of his parents. He says that the way they look and the way they talk about those memories makes you feel like they were the glory days, and that you will never be as happy as those memories. He realises though, later, that these are our glory days and we must make sure that our children know they are as happy as we were in their glory days. I like the idea of glory days. These feel like glory days.

I never remember writing plays really - or at least the good ones. They just kind of happen with lots of other peoples input. I never feel like they belong to me. I don't really feel like my glory days belong to me, rather I owe them to everyone who makes everything quite as wonderful as it is. I owe the last 12 months or so to a lot of wonderful wonderful people. Far too many to mention by name, but in the last 12 or so months the following things have happened by no fault of mine:

Holy Moly & The Crackers
The Little Festival Of Everything opened it's door in Coxwold for the first time.
William, The Fastest Train To Anywhere, The Boy James and HOT went to Australia.
The Mystery Plays performed to over 30,000 people with over 2,000 people involved.
We made Beulah which got loads of great reviews, loads of great feedback and performed to some of the best people.
The Little Festival Of Everything opened its doors for the second time in Coxwold and then in South Hill Park and Edinburgh.
In Edinburgh we performed a lot, drank a lot, sang a long, met and played with lots of brilliant brilliant people and had ball.
Made good friends with Holy Moly & The Crackers and toured If The River Was Whiskey.
Louis & Brian decided to tour Beulah & Some Small Love Story - so we started planning that.
We mounted and remounted A Christmas Carol.
We played lots of gigs, sang lots of songs, danced lots of dances, met lots of brilliant people and drank most of the booze.
I got engaged.

I have realised, as I often do, that people are the best thing. People make up our glory days.

I am working on/dreaming about a new show called Babylon. I think it's a good idea, but that doesn't mean it is. It's a story about Kings and Queens and the beautiful lands of our homes after they have been torn to pieces. It's about what we love and treasure. It's about what we hold near and dear and what we should keep safe in the world. It's part post-folk-apocalyptic and it's part about the beginning of a utopia. It's a big story, but hopefully can be simply told.

The thing is, I want to tell it with as many people as possible.

After spending time running festivals and events and what not, I have met and played with so many brilliant musicians, storytellers, artists etc and each one of them makes me feel like I want to do what they do. So I think we should try and do it together, instead of being exclusive about how we make work.

So, I'd like to make Babylon as a big story. I want to structure the telling of it like a band structures their line up.

The Buffalo Skinner
A band might be a four piece band: Guitar, bass, drums and keys. But you will see that band play a gig with 8 of them; they'll add violin, accordion and horns. Then you might just see two of them, unplugged doing an acoustic set in a cafe. I want to do that with Babylon. I want to involve all the brilliant people I know in the telling of a big and, I think, exciting and important story. And, logically, if all the people I have met this year, and the people who I have spent more time with over the years, are quite as brilliant as I think they are, then they must know even more brilliant people. I want to spread a story, a song, an idea across lots of people and lots of places.

I don't know how to do that, but I'd quite like to find out.

I want us to share some glory days with some more dancing, singing, playing, drinking, storytelling and having a ball. People are brilliant - they deserve to give and receive brilliant things. I'd like to make things together. I want to find theatres, pubs, halls, front rooms, back rooms, parks, streets, cabaret bars and anywhere else where we can start to tell our story. I want to find bands, storytellers, musicians, illustrators, directors, dancers, performers, actors, singers, puppeteers and whoever else who can help me start telling the story.

I need to find the best way to start starting.

Maybe, over the year, I'll take photos of it all so I've captured the glory days.

A pretty picture of a butterfly
Maybe I'll talk to Joe in the pub tonight about Babylon. Maybe it can start there.

Ideas - give me a shout:

To all involved in my last year - I am remarkably grateful.

To all those involved in the next - I can't bloody wait.