Show Me The Good Stuff!

18 Aug

Oo-err! My first play, Some Girl I Used To Know, opens in the West End this week at The Arts Theatre. I’m not gonna lie: as well as being a bit scary it’s bloody exciting! Being the playwright of a show in the West End has always been a dream of mine. I have friends who’ve done it in spectacular fashion but I never really thought it would happen to me, and it got me thinking about some of my other milestones and highlights as a writer and songwriter.

These are my top five I guess: the things I thought I’d only daydream about when I started out as a backing singer in a post-new romantic club band wearing too much blusher. NONE of these things have made me rich, and they haven’t all been as successful as i’d have liked, but they’ve all made me happy and proud. In the past i’ve been guilty of spending too much time worrying and lamenting about things in my career that don’t work out or that go tits-up, but lately I’ve realised how important it is sit back appreciate the really good stuff (must be the yoga, dear). It’s good for the soul and it keeps me doing what I do. (Of course, It’s more important to be a decent, caring person who does good in the world, but as i’m quite horrible i’ll stick to my career highlights). Here goes…

Terry-Ronald-Calm-The-Rage-441572 1990: My First single on MCA Records, Calm the Rage, stayed in the Spanish Top Ten for 3 months.

TerryRonaldRomaAlbumCover 1991: Release of my solo album, Roma

2003: Two of my songs reach the UK Top Five. (Dannii and S Club Juniors) dontwannaloosethisfeeling_1

2011: Publication of first novel, Becoming Nancy Becoming Nancy PBB

some_girl_400x250 2014: First West End play, Some Girl I Used To Know, opens at The Arts Theatre.

The next one is to finish writing my musical and to get that on stage. I s’pose I’d better get a move on with that one or i’ll be watching it from a wicker bath-chair with a blanket over me.

So…What’s your good stuff?

Terry x


A first for me (and a hair-raising hoo-ha!)

23 Jan

My first play, Some Girl I Used To Know, is about to hit theatres, opening at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds on January 29th before touring the UK throughout February and March.

It’s a bit of a buzz to say the least, but a nerve-shedding prospect. The whole experience feels diffrent to the other things i’ve undertaken during my chequered career, because with theatre the reaction is so terrifyingly immediate. If you’ve penned a tune that gets played on the radio or had a novel published, you generally don’t get to see other folks’ reactions to your work up close and personal – good or bad. If they think it’s a pile of old shit they can either just chuck the radio in the bath or mutter a few obscenities under their breath before tossing your literary masterpiece in the Dr Barnardo’s shop pile with that old VHS box-set of Howard’s Way. You don’t have to witness it. With a book, for instance, you might get a two-star review on Amazon or a few unkind words from an acid-tonged journalist, but you can always put that down to personal taste or the fact that the writer of said review is a bitter old troll wearing underpants and a fleece, anonymously spitting bile from a bedsit in Thornton Heath. Now i’m not saying it’s easy to take criticism for anyone who puts themselves out there creatively (far from it) but sometimes that criticism is a bit easier to avoid or ignore if you’ve a mind to. I’ve certainly done it. Sitting amongst the audience on the opening night of a show, however – where every word uttered from the stage has come from your head/ heart/ fingertips – can be quite a sobering experience. Grisly, in fact. What if the bastards don’t laugh in the right places? What if they get bored and spend the whole show rustling noisily through a bag of Haribo Hearts and Rings? I have playwright pals who’ve had their work performed on numerous occasions, and I wonder if it ever gets any better. How do they do it? On the night we first put Some Girl up in front of an audience (we did three nights in November at the Leicester Curve Theatre) I was a blathering wreck: convinced that I was having a heart attack throughout.

What made it worse was that my co-conspirator (and the show’s leading lady) Denise van Outen, was just as anxious. We couldn’t even look one another in the eye after the final run-through before curtain up. Sure, she’s an old hand at stepping out on stage in front of an expectant audience, but as co-writer she was feeling my pain that day. I wanted to watch from another room, or perhaps from space. In fact, while the director and other members of the creative team mingled stealthily with at the audience during the interval, eager to overhear their thoughts and observations, my instinct was to lock myself in the shitter.

And now I’ve got to do it all over again when the show opens in Leeds next week. Look, don’t get me wrong: I’m not going in for major surgery or burying a relative. I’m absolutely over the moon to have been given the opportunity to do such a wonderful thing. I’m very excited, despite the fact that it scares the bejesus out me…far more than anything I’ve ever done.

Check out the website, watch the trailer, and buy tickets for Some Girl I Used To Know here.

Good New Stuff!

29 Jul

It looks like BECOMING NANCY is going to end up as more than just a novel and I’m really chuffed. I have to stay tight-lipped about the details at the moment, which is most unlike me, but a deal has been done and it’s all very exciting. Meanwhile, I’m about to start work on the follow up novel, which terrifies the bejesus out of me, but it has to be done. Yes, there will be more David Starr to come in the not too distant future.

SOME GIRL I USED TO KNOW is the name of the one-woman play with music that I’ve written with, and for, the lovely Denise Van Outen. I guess this is what you might call my next big adventure, and after several great workshops I’m really looking forward to taking it the next stage. My good friend, Steve Anderson, is the uber-marvellous musical director, and we have a brilliant director in Michael Howcroft. Over the course of the workshops, Michael has encouraged us to add, prune, tighten, tweak and refine the script, which has given it so much life and made it better that I could have hoped. It’s my first ‘proper’ play-type-thing so his expertise were invaluable, and we’ve had a lot of laughs along the way. Our producers, Charlie Parsons and Tristian Baker, are pulling together a great technical and creative team as we speak, and we start rehearsals *yikes* very soon.

Photos by Krystyna FitzGerald-Morris