Blue Arsed Flying by the Seat of My Pants

Hello again! As mentioned in my last post some very exciting developments on the performance side of my writing shenanigans as The Gluten Free Trio take form.

Along with the writing, learning all the songs and skits, sourcing PAs and kit, props, rehearsing etc there’s also been the fun-but-often-frustrating task of getting a website, facebook page and other social media bits and bobs organised. I am, not to put too finer point on it, knackered. And my back aches from hunching over the keyboard for a series of sixteen hour days… But it’s been worth it! And will hopefully, in the longer term, continue to be worth it.

With our first full gig cominblue arsed flyg up in a little less than two weeks the strange mix of excitement and stark terror involved in planning a full 90 minute three-act variety bill is a heady and slightly addictive brew, but the hangovers are horrendous. With the website (iteration 1) up and running and the Facebook page pretty-much ready to go we’re on the home stretch now, and can concentrate on performance and polish rather than all the other “stuff”, but with a busy week ahead for all kinds of non GF3 related reasons it’ll be a while before I can fully relax. Poor old thing, I hear you say…
Anyhow – the website is HERE and it would be lovely if you wandered over to read and offer comment. If you’re local and want to come and cheer us on that would be even lovelier. Links to Scallywag’s ticket office can be found at various points on the website pages.

greet poster small


The Gluten-Free Trio

A big night out in Lovely Tunbridge Wells

I think I hinted about this around Christmas time, but – a month later than originally planned, for all kinds of reasons – the cat is finally ready to be released from the bag: The Gluten-Free Trio is about to launch!

For a while now, co-conspirator Peppy Scott and I have been doing our thang as performance poets at various events and venues, but as I mentioned in the summer this had broadened out a little to include monologues, sketches and skits, and songs. Writing the songs was easy – well the lyrics anyway – but as neither of us can play an instrument we were a bit stymied as far as performing them went. I had a couple of outings singing “Acapulco”, and dear ol’ Tom Carradine did wonders with accompaniments for a few of the tunes as a personal favour, but we really needed a musician to complete our little gang. And then we met David – who we had actually met over a year before singing a song about his nervous bladder at TW Forum – and the die, as they say, was cast.

So, after several outings at open mics and stuff we’re now ready to take centre stage with our own little evening called Carry On Regardless, which will take flight on March 7th at Scallywag Cafe and Wine Bar in lovely Tunbridge Wells. The evening will be a mix of humour, music and words, the music almost exclusively original although some tunes might seem a little familiar, particularly in our ‘singalong’ section. To vary the pace a little (and to allow those suffering laughter-induced burst stomachs time to recover) we’ll also be doing a few carefully chosen covers, and inviting friends to add their own contributions as guest artistes. All that for a fiver – it’s a bargain, already!

I’ll post more later – including details about how we got our name and why the evening is so named – and will also soon link to our “official” website. I’ve just got to make the thing…

Well, exciting times, and certainly keeping the three of us busy for the next few weeks as we rehearse our little butts off and learn how to set up our PA system without electrocuting ourselves. It would be lovely if some of you could make it along for our maiden flight – just click the poster below to go to Scallywag’s booking page…


Merry Christmas!

Don’t do that, Georgina

My last blog (probably) before the big day itself, and something a little different today…

The sound file below is a monologue written by me and performed by regular co-conspirator Peppy Scott for the Tunbridge Wells Writers’ annual Christmas Countdown. The character, Miss Eeeles (who bears, it has been observed, a remarkable resemblance to the late, great Joyce Grenfell) is also likely to reappear as part of a new performance project we’re developing called The Gluten-Free Trio, who may well be appearing at a venue near you in 2018 as part of their Posh Village Hall Tour…

To listen, just hit “play”. If you prefer to read, the text can be found HERE.

More more Christmassy stuff (Pt.2)

Gosh, two posts in one day! That probably means there’s another one coming tomorrow… 

Anyhoo, this is the post I was originally going to post today before I wrote the silly pastry song this morning, and it’s another from The Tunbridge Wells Writers seasonal countdown.

The Red Button
by Nigella Scoose and Chris P. Tatas

Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree. Charles Law is a physicist, but not a disagreeable one; he believes that everything has a beginning, including the universe. Charles believes that the universe – the multiverse – is an infinite loop, but also believes that infinite loops have to start somewhere, which sounds oxymoronic to many, but not to Charles. It was the idea of the infinite loop that first attracted Charles to physics (well, that and his natural talent in higher maths – always plural, in Charles’ mental dictionary, despite anything the Americans might have to say on the matter) as a career; a choice that the rest of his family found baffling. Charles is the first in his family to show any aptitude for maths, or, indeed, for any other field of study, and it is a running joke, given the family surname, that Charles is “the first law of physics”. Charles loves that joke, though the rest of his family grew tired of it very quickly. But I digress…

Charles Law believes that even circles (or infinite loops) have beginnings, and he has made it his life’s quest to find the one that underpins everything. His theory imagines a blank canvas, or sheet of paper, on which a circle is drawn. When complete, the circle is unbroken, with no beginning or end, but Charles’ obsession is with the point of contact that starts it all, the initial fraction of a fraction of a second when pencil-tip makes contact with paper for the very first time. That is that catalyst that starts it all, that is the beginning of everything that comes after. But what is the spark that sparks that catalystic event? And who, or what, is holding or directing the pencil?

Charles has a theory, and after years of research and speculation and further research and speculation he has developed a machine to test that theory that makes the Large Hadron Collider look like a child’s toy. It’s a very small machine, about half the size of a common house brick, but the implications of its workings are immeasurable. It is painted white, and has a small, red, mushroom-shaped button at its centre. Charles calls it his LITE box, for it is the physical manifestation of his life’s work: Law’s Infinite Timeline Extrapolation.

Now, standing over his machine, Charles is finally ready to hit the red button. It is Christmas Eve, and this is Charles’ present to himself. He has spent several months checking and rechecking every step and symbol in the formula of his equation, and he is supremely confident of its accuracy. Which is just as well, because the implications should it be wrong are… well, let’s not dwell on that.

It is only now, with his finger poised over the button, that the irony of the acronym he has chosen for his theory occurs to him. He smiles, delighted, and as his finger makes contact with the red button beneath it he verbalises his delight with four small words: Let there be LITE… …