Prose – Fiction & Non-Fiction

Fiction & Non-Fiction

FICTION

Short Stories: Collection of stories over 65 years: experimental, romantic, super-normal.

See Chapbooks (1); also, My Husband She Says, Connections, The Meeting, Second Sight (first chapter of Ginger Biscuits – see Novels – unfinished), Cycles of Unhappiness, The Local Sherlock (unfinished)

Novel (finished)

Nought (Snapshot for Victor Sugar); again, using autobiographical material to start with, but moving into a narrative that moves in and out of “reality”.  Starts in Scarborough where George, an old man lives on his own.  A strange experience causes him to enter a short-story competition in honour of VS Pritchett; but he over-writes and the story itself becomes part of a larger novel, which shifts from Southampton, by a series of unexpected events, to Scarborough, finishing with a climax which questions the realistic nature of the novel-form.  Unpublished.

Novels (unfinished)

Cherryman: (set in future, in a London with a collection of high buildings)

The Leo Club: (using experiences as student in London)

Ginger Biscuits: (set in Wimborne – based on personal experiences, but moving into a murder mystery).

Death in Drarket M: (set in Market Drayton – more for atmosphere than reality).

NON-FICTION

The World of Instant Theatre: account of events which led to the formation of Word And Action (Dorset) and the development of Instant Theatre as the company’s main activity and money-earner.   Published by Wanda Publications (1991) with 1,000 copies sold.  A revision of the text was carried out in 2001, but has not been published.

Through the Circle: thesis submitted to Institute of Education, Newcastle-upon-Tyne to receive Diploma of Drama (1972) – exploration towards setting up of an alternative theatre and language arts company, based on a fresh relationship between equality and freedom / individual and collective.

The Group Dream: collection of 130 Instant Theatre stories, gathered from performances between 1981 and 1985, with commentaries exploring associations with myth, legend, symbol, number, and other “divinatory” systems concerned with the nature of human psychic experience, stretching back to primal instincts, suggesting that all such sources (the buried beginnings of the life-force) are still active in the folk memories of contemporary existence, influencing (often unwittingly) the behaviours of people, individually and collectively, whatever the age-range involved.  These commentaries question the dominance of the intellect in humanity’s overall sense of itself, and maybe are uncovering a more profound and paradoxical, more spirallic than straightforward, complexity in life’s presence on this planet.  The Group Dream is no proof of such a thesis; rather a supposition following a hint that the process of story-gathering in Word And Action’s form of Instant Theatre (in its ad-hoc associations of being and doing) may be pointing to a change in humanity’s view of itself, and therefore to the opening of a path towards a fresh “spiritual assumption” slowly evolving in the repetitive behaviours of each age’s struggle for survival.

The Swan Stories from Instant Theatre: six stories from the first half of The Group Dream, with commentaries, to illustrate, in a more limited (readable) way how the process works (around one theme).

Spring at the Crane Stream: material from a week’s Conference in Camberwell, attended by “authorities” on the uses of psychotherapies in relation to the arts.  The contributions of each speaker were summarised, and then related to the Instant Theatre story and performance (presented by Word And Action as part of the final session.)

The Questioner on this occasion was Liz Reeve, who had not attended any previous session on the programme, even though the story itself seemed to pick up on all the Conference’s major themes.  The organiser took offence at the whole process and characteristics of Instant Theatre, but the book provides an interesting account of both the hackles that a so-dismissed lay process can raise amongst experts, and the sub-conscious contributions that those same people actually make to the Instant Theatre story that later causes them so much offence.

The nature of “professionalism”, one of the most highly contentious issues in the contemporary world, cannot be addressed properly, whilst the collapsing system places such weight upon it.

After the completion (but non-publication) of The Group Dream, Word And Action, through Wanda Publications, produced many short accounts of Instant Theatre stories, performed and written up with an attached commentary, associated with courses and conferences attended in the 80s and 90s in the UK and abroad, including the following: