Ken Blakemore was born in Bunbury, Cheshire and educated at Hull and Birmingham Universities. A member of the Society of Authors, Ken has been a full-time writer since 2007 when he completed an MA with Distinction in Creative and Media Writing at Swansea University. Ken has written a novel ('The Hour of the Raven' - forthcoming in 2011), poetry, short stories, a 1950s childhood memoir ('Sunnyside Down' - due to be republished by Bank House as a second edition in 2011) and a radio drama for BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play ('Human Studies'), as well as two plays for the stage - one of which is 'When Robots Discovered Sex' (Playwrights' Publishing). Ken was formerly a senior lecturer in the social sciences and has written five academic books and a number of articles in the areas of sociology and policy. He's also written course material for the Open University. Further details about Ken Blakemore's work can be found on his author's website at www.kenblakemore.com
Download first part of "When Robots Discovered Sex"
Tony started life as a drama teacher before venturing outside academia to join the local police force. He continued his interest in drama by taking lots of roles in the local amateur group but the boredom of shift work soon led to him entering play-writing competitions and on seeing his work performed and subsequently published, he felt he'd found his true vocation. During his mid-age crisis at forty he almost escaped the police into the world of professional acting when, without telling anyone, he left a Police Training Centre in Coventry, where he was working and went to London to audition for a place at The Poor School (for actors). He was pleased to be the only one of his group to be offered a place but with teenage children to support, he then didnt have the courage to escape from the manacles of the steady salary and had to reluctantly return to the militaristic world of the Police Training Centre. There, though he'd been through the hoops of exams and part-time law degree he didnt get on as he wished and after another promotion rebuff he used the centre's ageing photocopier without permission for one of his latest scripts, was challenged the next day and foolishly told the truth, hoping for clemency. It didnt come and after an internal enquiry they unceremoniously sent him back to his own force in Nottingham. He is extremely pleased to say that he later had to revisit Coventry to see one of his plays (unfortunately not the illicit one) being performed there. His work has now been performed around the UK and even in Australia and his best success to date was when "My Brother's Keeper" reached the final round of a competition in Pittsburgh, USA, to be subsequently published in Holland & Belgium. (website http://www.tonybreeze.co.uk)
Download first part of "My Brother's Keeper"
Chris is a lecturer in languages, literature and cultural history for a number of universities and also works as a freelance lecturer. He was born in Norwich, studied at Oxford and has a Ph.D. from Durham. He currently splits his time between Leeds, Durham and Norwich. He has written a number of plays in which he looks at the lighter and also the darker side of 'reality' and also looks at the struggles people have in communicating with one another. His influences are Pinter, Anouilh, Ionesco and Beckett, though he may also have been influenced by Shakespeare. Chris also treads the boards himself and won a Best Actor award at the Richmond Drama Festival in 2010.
Download first part of "Mirror Image"
Lynn is a writer and performer. She graduated from LAMDA in 1995 following a degree at Brunel University in English and Drama. As an actor she has various Film, TV, Theatre and voice-over/acting credits. Lynn’s writing credits include CATHY’S KITCHEN which was first performed at The Noel Coward Studio - published by The Playwrights Publishing Company, GEMMA’S FRIENDS at The Blue Elephant Theatre, BEA – A PARANORMAL COMEDY at The Hen & Chickens in 2007 and then at The Etcetera Theatre for The Camden Fringe Festival in July 2008 and STAGEFRIGHT at The Canal Cafe in February 2010 (after a rehearsed reading of STAGE FRIGHT in May 2008 at the Prince of Wales Theatre in The Delfont Room). She is actively involved in three theatre companies producing new writing including Standing on the Shoulders of Giants run by former head of acting at RADA – Jennie Buckman. For a detailed list of credits see www.lynnhowes.co.uk
Download first part of "Cathy's Kitchen"
Jeffrey A. Lee
Jeffrey holds a B.A. degree, a Certificate of Education, and an Advanced Certificate of Speech and Drama from the Central School of Speech and Drama. He was Head of English in three schools and Head of Drama in one. He served as an Education Officer in Kenya for two years. He is an amateur actor and has taken many roles. He has managed two theatre groups and is an experienced director. Since his retirement, he has concentrated on his writing and has published several general novels, six Westerns, a collection of short stories, a number of plays, and numerous poems. Some of 'Voices in the Tide' poems were commissioned as songs for the Kegelstadt Trio. He is available to speak about writing or to give advice on theatre directing.
Download first part of "Lorenzo's Dream"
After studying communications at Southampton College of Art, Peter d’Aguilar worked in advertising and public relations for several years before training as a furniture restorer and life coach. He currently works in marketing for the Forestry Commission. He has had several short stories published and regularly submits plays and serials to BBC Radio Four. He lives in Sussex with his wife and two children.
Download first part of "Affairs of State."
Christine has "written" in most forms all her life. From childish scribblings, poetry, drama and dance she progressed to essays, emotive or political letters to the press and journalism. Fierce emotions were captured in her poetry and she has many published pieces. Am-dram involvement brought her into contact with many colourful characters - many of whom she has incorporated in her plays, in situations that she knew from personal involvement could work on stage and, above all, entertain! Real characters we all know. THE HEN NIGHT and THE GAME have both been performed, prior to publishing with great enthusiasm and received with much acclaim. She hopes you will enjoy performing these short plays as much as she enjoyed writing them.
Download first part of "The Hen Night"
James worked in engineering, which included two years in the Armed Forces and five years for the Ministry of Defence before training as a teacher. His postgraduate study in psychology was undertaken at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of “Reflex-Relaxology,” a self-help book and the BBC digital storytelling film ‘Head to Foot’, which was based on how he came to write it. One of his prize-winning war poems, ‘Post traumatic Stress’ inspired him to write the play ‘One Without Shame.’ After retiring from being head teacher of a special school, he has written ‘Something Special’ a humorous novel set in a school and he now gives talks about using reflex-relaxology for stress relief.
Download first part of "One Without Shame"
Lyn is fifty three years old, having been writing for about twelve years, mainly short stories and one-act plays. He lives in Abersychan, a village in Gwent and has been married for twenty-seven years. He’s a member of two amateur drama societies, Cwmbran Woodland Players and Newport Playgoers and has appeared in various plays and musicals over the last eight years. He also does readings of short stories, when invited, at local social groups. His one-act plays have been performed by other amateur drama societies.
Download first part of "It Is Christmas After All"
Christine Woolf, who lives in Cornwall, was trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, and has worked in state schools, a theatre school and in private practice. She was a member of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators from 1975 – 2000, adjudicating both locally and nationally. She has written a number of plays, several of which have received top national awards.
Download first part of "Below Stage"
Fred is the fifth child of a general farmhand, born 1937 in Little Thurlow Green, a small Suffolk hamlet. At the age of three he accidentally sat in a pail full of boiling hot potatoes, receiving a scarred bum for ten or more years. He moved to another house where, aged five, he contacted rheumatic fever; the doctor came twice a day for five days. Attending the village school, he passed the eleven plus at age ten plus and went to Sudbury Grammar School, twenty miles away. Never an attentive pupil, he somehow managed to get six 'o' levels at the age of fifteen and after a brief "doze" in local Governmwent, he joined the Westminster Bank. At the age of twenty two he went overseas with The British Bank of the Middle East but after twelve years, a miserable marriage ended his career and he came home to unemployment and divorce. His banking career inspired "Bumble Bank [Overseas] Ltd". He stayed in this country to visit his son, and at the age forty three he says the latter is his best pal. He plays golf and bridge. Because golf etiquette is sadly lacking, he wrote "Dispatches from the Bunker", drawing up the characters of General Niblick, Chipper Grit, and Shastabagalistrap as the magnificent well-mannered bulldogs. In later life he was smitten with a very wealthy bridge lady and subsequently wrote, "Saffron Lady" for all lonely or unhappy divorcees. He also founded the Plumtree Faith as a counter to warring religions, whose concept of a supreme intelligence or God he finds offensive. Poor parenting saddens him and so he set up www.theacornclub.com; for all kids under five, and believes his creation, the founder, the 'Thought Penny Puppy,' is magnificent.
Download first part of "Saffron Lady"