Friday, 29 January 2021

The Ten Date Rule is shortlisted in The Hope Mill Theatre Playwriting Competition!

So excited to have been shortlisted in the Hope Mill Theatre playwriting competition! Huge thanks to everyone who has helped me develop The Ten Date Rule thus far, let's hope it makes it through to the next stage!

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Happy New Year Dial Up Family!


Happy 2021 Everybody!

2020 has been an incredibly difficult year, especially for people working in the Arts. I was really upset that the Watford Dial Up, having only just been re-established at the Palace Theatre in January 2020, was forced to come to a crashing close in March due to coronavirus. A lot of my creative projects came to a halt, as they did across the sector, and I only hope that those artists who found themselves struggling and those projects which were forced to stall are given the opportunity and support they need to flourish in 2021.

One project that did manage to go ahead was the Watford Fringe Festival. It was a triumph of will and a bastion of brilliance on what was an otherwise quite bleak horizon. I was delighted to take part as a reviewer for the first time, and look forward to continuing that role in years to come. I was also able to continue my volunteering work as President of the Humanist Teacher Network, participating in an online Sacred Space discussion, and did a few online interviews as a writer talking about my books His Hidden Wings, Wendy the Whale and Black Iris.

The vaccines seem to promise a brighter year, and I for one eagerly await my double dose! I urge anyone who's feeling nervous or unsure to look to the science. The vaccine offers us the best route back to a safe, secure and flourishing society in which our artistic endeavours can once again be enjoyed in the real world as well as in virtual spaces.

So what does 2021 hold? Top of my priority list is finding a way to bring The Dial Up back, so stay tuned! But also, while such gatherings are impossible, I hope to spend more time writing, reading, painting and singing. One thing I will always be grateful to the lockdowns for is encouraging me to finally forge the time and discipline to practice my jazz piano. I'm very determined to keep that up!

No matter what your ambitions, hopes or resolutions for the coming year, I just want to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and friends, every happiness and success. I look forward to giving out some huge hugs as soon as circumstances allow!

Much love to all of you! Yours, Alex xx

Monday, 26 October 2020

Harold Sanditen Open Mic


I was so excited to be asked to contribute a song to Harold Sanditen's Open Mic party this month. The full evening's entertainment was exceptional, and well worth a watch! The youtube video is above. If you want to skip ahead to the mash up of On The Street Where You Live and Don't Get Around Much Anymore I performed with my pianist Matt Wakefield, just click the facebook link below!

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Watford Fringe Festival 2020!

Since 2017 the Pump House has hosted the Watford Fringe Festival, and each year since its inception the festival has grown in size and significance. 

This year for the first time I've created a reviewing blog which hopes to provide a platform to archive and reflect on the wonderful creativity inspired and supported by the the Watford Fringe Festival. My reviews obviously reflect a personal opinion, but I hope they also offer a chance for people to continue the conversation around the myriad and marvellous performances the Watford Fringe provides space for. I won't be able to review every show, but I will review as much as I can. Please do click the link below and have a read!

After a tumultuous few weeks and months of updated protocols, new legislation and unclear messaging from central government, it's a genuine delight to see that the Watford Pump House team have managed to rally together through all the pandemic pandemonium and keep Watford Fringe Festival 2020 on the road! So a massive thank you is due to the Pump House and Fringe Festival teams, as well as all their volunteers and supporters, for making the seemingly impossible possible and keeping the fringe alive this year. It has, I'm sure, required a huge effort to ensure all safety requirements have been adhered to and multiple online platforms generated to allow us to come together as a town and celebrate creativity in this way. On behalf of the entire Watford creative community, THANK YOU!

Much love, Alex

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Watford Celebration Sacred Space 2020


Hi Everyone! Hope you're well :-)

I was delighted to be asked once again to join in the Watford Celebration Sacred Space discussion as the Humanist representative. It's something I've done a few times now, and the conversations which emerge are always interesting, engaging, respectful and eye-opening. This year we were unable to meet in person because of social distancing, but we did go manage to go ahead by meeting on Zoom, the upside of which is we could record the conversation and share it with those who couldn't join us on the day. If you fancy a watch, the video's above! The question this year was in paraphrase: How can we use our faith and belief to help us through difficult times? Hope you enjoy it!

Much love, Alex x

Friday, 17 July 2020

Jonny Peat Interview

Last month I was interviewed by Jonny Peat, an alumnus of the Penguin Books Write Now project. It was a really fun conversation and a great chance to talk to another writer about what inspires us to write and how we overcome some of the perennial barriers to sharing our work more widely. Do have a listen if you get a chance, goes nicely with a cup of tea and a Jaffa cake! Much love, Alex

Monday, 15 June 2020

You Can't Lock Us Down!

In June 2020, George Floyd was murdered on the street by police in the USA. Having spent weeks I lockdown, trapped at home and social distancing when not, the overwhelming emotional response from the public sparked protest marches around the world. This painting entitled 'You Can't Lock Us Down' was my response to that moment. I shared the image on Facebook and have had a flood of positive responses, thanks to everybody who sent me a message or clicked like. For me, the inspiration for this image was not the heinous act of inhumanity itself, but the life-affirming public response, hence the sense of colour and vibrancy. My partner then shared the image on Twitter, and The Black Lives Matter movement contacted me to ask if they could place the image in an archive of artistic responses to this historically important moment. I was honoured to be asked and delighted to give permission. It's simple acrylic on cardboard, which just goes to show you don't need fancy materials to paint something meaningful, we can all have a go and find new ways to express ourselves in these turbulent times. So while The Dial Up is on hiatus I hope you're managing to keep your creativity alive in whatever way is meaningful to you. As ever, much love!

-Alexander Williams 15/6/20