I started my career in theatre, writing and directing shows for various companies, including the Unicorn Theatre, the Manchester Royal Exchange and Theatre Centre. Pretty much my first job was working as an assistant director for the Royal Shakespeare Company – worked with all sorts of fantastic actors, which turned out very useful when I started writing. I often ask myself what questions a good actor might ask of the characters I’m inventing; would they find them believeable, and so on. Handy.

Over the years I’ve also written quite a bit of music theatre with the extremely good composer Gary Carpenter. We’ve had a lot of success with this: amongst other things, we won the Vivian Ellis Award for Best Musical. Most recently, we wrote a ten minute opera together, NYANYUSHKA, performed as part of an evening of short operas staged by Tete A Tete. It premiered in London and toured all over the UK.

Unusually for me, it’s not for children at all. It’s about a psychotic peasant nanny in the Soviet Union. It went down very well though:

“polished and witty” The Daily Telegraph

“this is the most amusing and disturbing work… a caustic satire on infantilism and ideological fervour, wrapped in the glowing colours of Mussorgsky and Stravinsky” The Independent on Sunday

So that’s alright then…