James Dawson starring on stage as Bumblehole, the son of Santa

James Dawson in Get Santa

James Dawson in Get Santa, at the Putney Arts Theatre.

Guardian -- The Queen of Teen is taking to the stage as Bumblehole, the son of Santa, in a production of Get Santa at the Putney Arts Theatre!

About a year ago I realised I was a workaholic. Five books in two and a half years should have been a clue really, shouldn’t it? The problem is, when you love your job as much as I do, it’s tempting to write seven days a week. I am so, so lucky that I have a job that never feels like a job. I could write stories all day and be quite happy. But that’s a problem, because a single… thirtysomething… man can slowly turn into a recluse (the beard was inching towards Ardagh levels). I don’t want to become a Crazy Snake Man so I decided I needed a proper, old-fashioned hobby.

My friend Kirsty suggested I audition for a part in the chorus of her Christmas musical, Get Santa by Antony Neilson. I haven’t done any theatre since university but I thought that might be fun. Somehow, I landed myself the leading role of Bumblehole, the clumsy, hapless son of Santa (who may or may not be an elf). I’ve never sung in public before so it’s a terrifying prospect, but one that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Creativity can sometimes feel like an energy and it’s been interesting to vent some of that on something other than writing. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’ve just been cast in a second show – a comedy about Stalin, so just a little bit different.

I suppose this is what happens when a hobby becomes a jobby – it can take over your life. I certainly won’t be branching out into full-time acting any time soon! I’d advise all writers to occasionally turn the computer off and find alternative creative outlets. Now that I’ve been away from writing for a few weeks while we’ve been rehearsing, I feel reinvigorated and ready to start work on a new novel.

Get Santa opens at Putney Arts Theatre today and runs until Saturday 13th. 7.45pm, Saturday matinee 3pm.

Source: Guardian



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