Whoblique Strategies


There's a new book just out, published in aid of Children in Need. It's called Whoblique Strategies and it's a fusion of Bowie and Doctor Who. What in God's name does that mean? The 'Oblique Strategies' is a series of cards with slightly cryptic advice on them designed to make artists rethink their work, get them out of a hole, shake up their habituated ways of working. These gnomic little prompts - 'ASK YOUR BODY', DISCOVER THE RECIPES YOU ARE USING AND ABANDON THEM' - were co-created by Brian Eno and used by him when working with David Bowie on the Berlin trilogy.

Elton Townsend Jones is an actor and writer and also a Doctor Who fan and he assembled a group of likeminded fans to write short (200-word) pieces on every Doctor Who story from An Unearthly Child in 1963 to the mini-episode that introduced Jodie Whittaker this year. And each person was given an Oblique Strategy to shape or prompt or confuse the bit of writing.

I did the pieces for The Carnival of Monsters, The Deadly Assassin, Vincent and the Doctor and Knock Knock. They were fun to do and I'm delighted to be part of the project. You can order the book on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Skriker Platform

The theatre producers Rift are holding a 1990s Season at Styx in Tottenham. It includes productions of Sarah Kane's Blasted, Anthony Neilson's Normal, and Caryl Churchill's The Skriker, alongside an adaptation of three episodes of the quintessential 90s sitcom Friends (as Mates) and a wealth of screenings, discussions, rehearsed readings, and club nights.

I'm contributing in a small way by being part of a discussion event about Churchill and The Skriker. My fellow panellists are Jen Harvie and Max Stafford Clark. Jen is currently writing about feminist theatre makers and has been working on Churchill. Max, of course, directed the premieres of several of her most important plays, including Cloud 9, Top Girls and Serious Money. So it should be a good discussion.

The panel is on 29 March after the show and you can get tickets for that and the rest of the season HERE.