Fail Forward

Failure is good. Failure is great. Failure is welcome.

I am of course talking about healthy failure.


Measure Twice, Cut Once

 I was having an impromptu lesson with my regular handyman; Mike, on how to lay a carpet rail. He said that one of the keys to a quality job was in the preparation. Immediately, my acting antenna went up.

“The principle that I stand by is this” he said, “measure twice – cut once”.



More than 90% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking, 95% of British actors are out of work at any one time, in England, more than 81,000 households were found to be homeless during 2013/14, up to 100% of you will hate being reduced to a statistic….

You, my lovely friend, are not a number, you are a word.


Grace and Pace

I recently had the privilege of working with an old friend of mine, James (Jimmy) Hayes.

Jimmy has done more shows at the National than any other living actor and has written a fabulous book about his 50 years in the industry, called Shouting In The Evenings.

We were playing Stephano and Trinculo respectively in the RSC’s Tempest.

Jimmy is full of incredible stories and nuggets of wisdom and threw this particular gem out quite casually one night in our dressing room

‘Grace and Pace’. It really caught my ear.



In the last post, I explored the idea that there is a pervasive view of creativity being less than a worthwhile professional pursuit.
I pointed out that the education system in Britain makes no bones about whipping the dramatic arts off the curriculum and likely will do with fine art shortly.
Sad times. However, repress anything fundamental to human flourishing and it will find a way to break through. You see, we are all artists. That’s right. Everyone of us.


Creative Guilt part 1

‘The glory of God is a man fully alive’ said Saint Irenaeus. How right he was….

Si Actioning


I would like to offer another FREE place worth £80 to you or an actor you know on April 8th and 9th 2017 on the hugely popular Action Weekend at ICAT’s studios in central Manchester.



And we have a winner for the Action Weekend competition…..Jennifer Carss! Jen is a graduate actor from the Manchester School of Theatre who is currently setting up a children’s theatre company. She will join a group of actors and students this weekend on a two day intensive at ICAT ( learning the principles of Mike Alfreds for FREE. There are still places left, if you would like to book on please follow the link

Keep watching this space for more insights, freebies and tips.

Different Every Night


I would like to offer a FREE place worth £80 to you or an actor you know this weekend on the hugely popular Action Weekend at ICAT’s studios in central Manchester.


IF IN DOUBT, SHOUT! (RSC blog part 2)

When I was a younger actor, I heard a phrase that stood me in good stead (for a short while) and that was ‘If in doubt, shout!’ The idea being that if you are ever caught with a piece of text that you didn’t understand, say it really loudly and confidently and no one will be any the wiser. It was, and is, a terrible bit of advice.