New podcast – North London Dramaphilia

Welcome, friends, to my latest podcast. Angharad Ellis Jones of the Crouch End Players and I discuss the joys, and the ups and downs, of the amateur/ community theatre world. It’s such fun, but not as much fun as inventing news words, as we were convinced we had. Turns out that ‘dramaphile’ already exists, but, according to some definitions, is more likely to mean someone who enjoys a bit of a crisis (cf: drama queen) than someone who spends their Wednesday nights in a church hall rehearsing Oscar Wilde. No matter, I am sticking with it, hence the title.

It’s been a while since my last broadcast, so I’ll try to keep the gap smaller next time. In the meantime, enjoy this one and maybe think about treading the boards come autumn.


And it’s also here on Podomatic. It’ll pull through to my iTunes channel soon.

Happy listening.




Creativity? Of course, you can!

Honestly, I could scream. Here I am with a Great Idea and all ready to rock and roll. What’s stopping me? Simply, my own technophobia. Yes, a podcast is all about the content and I’m feeling confident about that, but ask me to edit it in recording software….well, you’ve come to the wrong address.

Now, in my last post I was very cagey about my theme and content, except to say that it’s about creativity. And although neither the podcast nor this blog were supposed to be about my own creative travails, this does seem germane to the topic.

What I am interested in is people’s ‘spare time’ creativity. Do you write, sing, play, craft when you’re not at the day job? Do you do it in order to escape, or is it linked with what how you earn your living? Perhaps you want to turn professional? So many musicians and comedians work the circuit in their evenings whilst holding down a full-time job. That’s real commitment.

There are estimated to be over 2,500 amateur and community theatre groups in the UK.  What’s special about these to many people must surely be the sense of community. I’m interested in finding out more.

But I don’t want the project to sound too serious or worthy. I do think it will be fun. I’ll meet some interesting people and share what they’re doing and I hope some of you reading now will get in touch and join the project and share your work. Great talent isn’t the exclusive preserve of the trained professional or the famous. If you’ve ever seen a barnstorming pub gig, you’ll know that.

I also want to share gig information, so you can see these great people for yourself, or, if they are writers, crafters or visual artists, share links to their work.

So, there you have it, my Idea.

Now I want to turn it into a reality, but that’s when I realise that I can’t just come home after a hard day at the office and get straight down to it. I need to learn some new skills. I’m using some highly recommended recording and editing software called Audacity. I think it is probably quite intuitive, but, over the weekend, it seemed to be defeating me.

With more than a whiff of anger and desperation about me, I set off for a bank holiday lunch with my friend, Maria. She’s the younger friend I mentioned in my last post. Without her social media insight, I probably wouldn’t be writing this now. So I unburdened.

Maria, thanks so much for your clarity of thought. She showed me that I needed to look at my project differently. So, the podcast might take longer, but I can still reach out to my audience and get the conversation flowing here. I see now the sense in that, but I was so down in the dumps at the thought of chucking the Great Idea. It’s still an idea that will come to fruition, and, anyway, who’s on a timetable?

SO – Question time. Would you like to share your creative endeavours and your motivation for them with Squatting Toad? We’ll highlight you on the blog and, hopefully (!), the podcast.

If so, please email me at I’ll get back to you as soon as I can with a short questionnaire, unless you’re happy just to write something. Or just leave a comment.

Of course, as soon as I started to think about how to overcome my lack of skills, I quickly found another young friend to help with that. So, watch out, I may be coming to you over the airwaves  sooner than I thought.

In the meantime, happy creating and let me know about it.