All posts by Leslie Tate


Lucy Van Hove

I interviewed Lucy Van Hove, critic and participant in theatre-circus, and advocate for this innovative art form. Lucy describes herself on Twitter as: ‘London Mum of three, word painter & aerialist learning a few tricks. Curated Shhh! cabaret #Postcards2017. Now circusnavigating globe #sailingLaCigale …’

Leslie: How did your interest in theatre-circus begin, grow and develop?

Lucy: Organically… When I first moved to London to work as a trainee accountant in my 20s, I remember going to The Roundhouse to see an Argentine company called De La Guarda (now Fuerzabruta) where performers bungeed through a paper ceiling above us, signaling an evening of anarchic, surreal, madcap fun. They would clown around with the audience, rifling through bags (well, mine anyway) and sweep the odd spectator into the air. I remember thinking I would love to have a go.

Continue reading WHEN CIRCUS MEETS THEATRE – Part 1


Elizabeth Jane Corbett outside the Welsh-speaking centre Canolfan, named after Hywel Dda (Howell the good), the Welsh king credited with codifying Welsh law.

I invited Elizabeth Jane Corbett, who won the Bristol Short Story Prize and was shortlisted for the Allan Marshall Short Story Award, to write about how she discovered Welsh Mythology. Elizabeth lives in Australia, where she teaches Welsh, is an author and librarian, and her debut novel The Tides Between is published by Odyssey Books.

Elizabeth writes:

I am not an expert on Welsh stories. I didn’t even know they existed until my forty first year – not the fighting, red and white dragons, not the Lady of the Lake, or Taliesin, or the Mabinogion, or any of the strange tales of changelings and fairy borrowings. I’m not sure how unusual my ignorance is for the average Briton. But to me it is akin to an aboriginal Australian growing up without any knowledge of the Dreamtime. A travesty. I think that’s why the stories hijacked my Aussie immigration novel. Why, Rhys, one of my viewpoint characters ended up a storyteller. Continue reading THE TALES NO ONE EVER TOLD ME


Katherine Ashe, historian & historical novelist

In Part Two of her interview, Katherine Ashe takes up the story after being 30 weeks on the Amazon best-seller list. We talked about Katherine’s move into film production, how she works as a writer, and her views on fiction versus fact in historical novels.

Leslie: Could you describe the birth, growth and development of your film about Simon de Montfort please? Could you tell us about what you learned from the production process?

Katherine: First of all, the film has not been made. It is merely at the financing stage. With the budget at $200 million it may stick at that point forever. Getting that far, however, has been a lot of work already. Continue reading THE RISKS WE TAKE, WRITING HISTORICAL NOVELS – Part 2


Katherine Ashe, historian & historical novelist

I interviewed Katherine Ashe whose historical fiction, Montfort, stayed 30 weeks on the Amazon best-seller list. As Katherine says of herself: “In addition to researching and writing Montfort for 35 years, I’ve also written plays and screenplays on historical subjects, ranging from ‘An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe’, commissioned by the New York City Historic House Trust, to ‘Supper with the Pope’ on the Borgias on the beginnings of Western versus Islamic imperialism, and ‘The Treasure’ about a convent in France where, during WWII, the starving nuns rescued British flyers and hid the Belgian national treasure.” Continue reading THE RISKS WE TAKE, WRITING HISTORICAL NOVELS – Part 1


In Part Three of Cy Henty’s interview I asked about his comedy pilots for the BBC, his podcasts and alternative films and the philosophy that sustains him as an innovative actor, writer, artist and comedian.

Leslie: Tell us about your podcasts and what they led to. Continue reading AN ACTOR’S TALE Part Three


Cy Henty in Mark Crane’s ‘Tick Tock’.

In Part Two of Cy Henty’s story I asked about his tour with Russell Brand, his run at The Pleasance Theatre and his character work in indie films.

Leslie: Can you tell us about what happened when ‘Sam and Cy’, your comedy double act with Sam Ball, got taken up by a London agent and ‘went big’?

Cy: We were fortunate enough, through this agent, to end up on The University Tour with Russell Brand. I remember him stripping off at one show and demanding a bottle of Jack Daniels from behind the bar – at another spraying the audience with a fire extinguisher and all of us getting escorted out by security. Continue reading AN ACTOR’S TALE, Part Two


Cy Henty in Mark Crane’s ‘Tick Tock Trilogy’.

I asked actor, writer, artist and comedian Cy Henty about his stage career – including touring with Russell Brand and a run at The Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh. Cy has starred in thought-provoking and sometimes scarily-absurdist films, playing the part of a manic gameshow host in a conch codpiece in one, and a policeman with an imperial moustache in another. Behind this, in his personal life, Cy is a people person, an ex-Mental Health Occupational Therapist and a passionate father who likes working in duos.

In a revealing three-part interview, Cy gave a frank account of what it’s like to work as an actor and caring individual in the hectic world of alternative stand-up and horror/comedy. Continue reading AN ACTOR’S TALE, Part One


Often, when I describe a location in a story, I draw on details of a place I’ve lived or visited. When I do, the images that come up are usually more like impressions from dreams than moments captured in real time. They might be slightly distorted, or blurred and selective, or they might include several locations run together – but I draw from direct experience because that way I can get closer to my subject matter. Continue reading THE POWER OF LOCATION