Author Colin Smith
Violet Circle Publishing © 2015
Born in Manchester, settled in Dukinfield, Cheshire, and has lived and worked locally all his life.
Colin has always been interested and involved in creative pursuits; acting, music, photography and writing. He appeared in his first theatrical production aged fourteen, and has to date, appeared in close to one hundred productions, of one kind or another.
Current Project: This is Colin's first printed, published book, and he is actively promoting it.
Personal and Working History: Colin is still involved in paid and unpaid acting work, and currently plays ‘Alf Bradshaw’ in ‘The Bradshaw’s’ touring stage show.
Colin has played in a number of bands in the Manchester area including playing live on stage and in the recording studio over many years. He has also been involved in radio broadcasting, and currently is employed as a professional photographer.
Colin’s interest in writing started in 2009, where he wrote two plays just before attending Salford University, where he focused on writing Performance (Hons) degree. He graduated with a ‘First’ in 2012.
In 2010 his second play ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ was performed for the first time in Oldham’s Lyceum Theatre. It was a big hit, and won an award at the ‘Greater Manchester Drama Federation’. Since then three more productions of ‘Heaven Knows’ have been performed in Manchester and Liverpool, and Colin has written several other scripts which have been performed locally as well as in Australia, The Caribbean, and South America. ‘Heaven Knows’ is his first published play, and hopefully the first of many to come.
A Brief History of the Play:
2008 was a difficult time. The death of my father, redundancy and a marriage break up left me at a very low ebb, and I had difficulty motivating myself. The future looked bleak and I needed a distraction.
For some strange reason, I started to develop an idea about a man who dies and goes to the afterlife. I thought about the notion of meeting our loved ones on the other side, and wondered what would happen to someone who’d been widowed? I then considered the idea that someone, (if a little unlucky) could in theory, have been widowed twice, or even thrice. I know some people believe they will be reunited with partners when they die, but if they had two or three ex-wives... what then? It seemed like the basis for a funny script.
I hadn’t written a play before, but I have been involved with the theatre all my life, (mostly acting) and knew how a play was structured and paced, and also how to develop characters. I started putting ideas on a page, and carried an ‘ideas book’ around with me to get some kind of structure to my story. I had decided my central character would be a kind of everyman. I figured he would need to be in his 60s or 70s if he were to have been widowed three times. I named him Andy.
Sitting alone in my kitchen, I began writing. I found myself laughing at my own jokes, and felt the whole thing was rather inspired, as ideas and jokes were coming thick and fast. I decided that Andy is to be ‘collected’ from life by a dim-witted ‘collector’ and then subjected to a couple of amusing interviews in the afterlife. He is then taken to a temporary residence before meeting his three wives, where he discovers he will be staying with Adolph Hitler and Jesus Christ. Whilst there he meets up with wives one, two and three in sequence, and this would be a great opportunity for comedy; with Hitler, Christ, and the wives, who are not what Andy expects, as they are all ‘projecting’ the image they see of themselves in the afterlife.
I finished the first draft in late 2008, and on Christmas Day we read it around my brother’s kitchen table, with family and friends reading the parts. Everyone was laughing, and thought I was on to something funny and original. In the New Year, I took it to a local theatre (Lyceum Theatre Oldham) and asked if they would allow their actors to come down and read it; just to hear how it sounded with more experienced actors. That night, after the reading, the artistic director asked me if they could put the play on there as part of their next season. It was more than I could have hoped for.
In September 2010 the play hit the stage, tickets sold like hot cakes, and the show was completely sold out. Audiences loved it and we went on to win an award at The Manchester Drama Federation for ‘Adventure in Theatre’.
Since then ‘Guide Bridge Theatre’ produced it in 2012, ‘Saddleworth Players’ in 2013, and more recently, for the first time a theatre outside the Manchester area, ‘The Waterloo and Crosby Theatre Company’ produced it in 2016.
For all inquiries for production of this play please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mum and Dad, Carl Morgan, Nigel Marland, Keith and Judith Smith.
My gratitude to the following:
Chris Cunday. Mavis Bailey. Mike Russell. The Lyceum Theatre, Oldham. Guide Bridge Theatre. Saddleworth Players. The Waterloo and Crosby Theatre Company. Violet Circle Publishing. To cast and crew of all productions of ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’. Those others who have helped or inspired me with my writing, you know who you are.