CHARLOTTE BINGHAM -           Novelist and Playwright
 
 
                             MUMS ON THE RUN BOOK ONE

                                       AND BOOK TWO
 
                               A DIP BEFORE BREAKFAST 



        MUMS ONE THE RUN (1) was such fun to write, that I have been encouraged by many kind souls read the first one to write another. Terence Brady, my playwriting partner (to whom I also happened to be married) has made the first book into a comedy series, and Celia Imrie is now reading the first one because we think she would make a perfect Biddy. I have always loved writing comedy, and returning to the same cast of characters has been a joy - each morning I get to my desk wondering what has happened at Hartley House? What has Boris been up to? How is Biddy coping - if at all.
 
Chapter One of the new book is entitled THE SPA THAT CAME IN THE FROM THE COLD -needless to say handyman/butler, Boris, has found a man who is going to turn their fortunes round by putting in a pool......or so they all hope.
 
Before I return to more adventures of Biddy, Tom, and Boris at Hartley House, and MUMS ON THE RUN (3) I am writing a book about a group of children who are evacuated from war time Britain to the USA.  The inspiration behind this came from a friend who sent me his account of his own evacuation.  It is fascinating to go back to this era, and each time I realise anew how much, much greater is the harm done by war.  Set aside the destruction, the million upon million dead, the never to be forgotten scars left for generations unborn, the ruination of beautiful towns and cities, the poisons left in the earth, and on the minds of men - this book deals with the unease created from not knowing your parents, no longer knowing your wife or your husband when you are at last re-united, the disappointment when longed for peace arrives.  My novel begins after the war, from there shifts backwards and forwards drifting into the nineteen fifties......Although the book is titled, I am not giving the title away here, as I am fed up with people pinching them.  Announcement will come only on or just before publication day. 
 
Since last writing our daughter CANDIDA BRADY has won half a dozen major awards for her film TRASHED, featuring Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, which was you may remember was chosen for a special showing at Cannes.  Her awards include Best Documentary Director at the Paris Film Festival and likewise at Tokyo. We were all thrilled to bits and the film is now available on DVD (through Amazon etc) and as a download for pads, pods and phones. n
 
 
                                 UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS
This now very, very famous television series never seems to be off our screens, either in the new or the old version. Terence and I were lucky enough to write several plays in the first two BAFTA winning series. One of ours was about a little Irish scullery maid who fell in love with the page boy in another household and ended up taking her own life. This episode made a great impact very early on, and apparently has since been voted the most popular play of the entire series on the internet. It is because of this, and writing a book from the series, that we keep being credited by the press with creating more of Upstairs Downstairs than we actually did, people even thinking we have contributed to the new version....which we didn't!  I have no idea why the production company found it so hard to do anything remotely right with the new version, but having seen a few episodes I am not at all surprised that it is not being re-commissioned.
 
                                    THE SHELL SEEKERS
Terence and I adapted Rosamunde Pilcher's novel to the stage - well, to be truthful, it was my idea, and I started it, but then he took it over as he is much more the theatre playwright than I am. It was very, very successful, and we were also thrilled when, following three successful national number 1 tours, starring in turn, Stephanie Cole, Rosemary Leach and Susanna York, it also swept the board at the Amateur Dramatics Festival! Thanks to Samuel French's acting edition, it is still being performed everywhere, and is particularly suited to amateur production as there are so many parts for actors of different ages. I must say if I was an actress I would love to play Penelope..but happily for all concerned, I am not ever likely to do so!

FOUR OF HEARTS
Terence and I finished a new stage play recently - called FOUR OF HEARTS - about love, and loss and friendship - set around a group of friends who meet to play cards and are trying to put their lives back together after the husband of one of their group dies. At the kind invitation of the management of Guildford's lovely theatre, the Yvonne Arnaud, we held a professional reading recently which was considered to be a great success. We were lucky enough to attract a notgable cast of actors, including JAMES BOLAM (who has had done a lot of our work in the past) , SUSAN JAMESON (likewise), and LIZA GODDARD (ditto)  - and now we look for a management - one that does NEW PLAYS! Guildford are very keen but thanks to the lacerating Arts Council cuts (grrrr)do not have a gap till 2015 and we really have to get it on before then! So if you know of any aspiring managements or even if any established management reads this - it's ready to go! e-mail us
charlottebingham@btconnect.com or terencebrady@btconnect.com.



DOGS
Terence has a Tibetan called Dickon, who has his very own Tibetan way of going on..and is probably one of the sweetest natured dogs ever to have trotted our pastures. 

I  have a pug called Bertie, who replaced my first beloved pug called Henry, who even featured on the cover of my book, DEBUTANTES, the original painting of which hangs over the chimney piece in our bedroom. There is Henry seated on Portia's knee, very Henry-like, and that is all before you open the book and find him actually featuring in it.


The third  and last dog picture here below is of beloved Wilkie who passed away very recently and is buried on the green bank outside our house with his three friends, Henry pug, and Lhasa Apsos Mopsy and Tootsie.  When Mopsy passed I dedicated one of my books to her. This was, I was told, mocked by a literary Dame of some fame, but, obviously, a heart of lead.  Well, Mrs Literary Dame, I have to tell you - grieving for your animals and dedicating poems and sculptures, monuments and paintings to them is a rich tradition, going back thousands of years.  Byron wrote a masterpiece on the death of his dog, and if I could I would write a masterpiece about Wilkie, but since I can't and couldn't aspire to such genius as Lord Byron, my dogs have to be content with being remembered in my books.  To say that I miss Wilkie is to say the least.  I miss his good manners - always waiting for me when I make early morning tea, providing Household Escort ahead of me up the stairs.  I miss his joyous bark before walking, I miss seeing him let the pug kiss him, all the while pretending to enjoy it, I miss seeing him scrambling for his toys, making me laugh playing one of endless and very varied games with one of his many toys.  I miss his eyes closing , momentarily, when I patted his head before going to bed;  and now that he lies with his friends on the grassy slope, I put flowers on my old friends'  graves, and in a few months I shall plant bulbs for the spring, all the while remembering that I am part of a noble tradition.  The Ancient Egyptians mourned their dogs for many days and weeks, covering themnselves, and even their furniture with black.  They too like us must have wondered at the pain of their loss, all the time, perhaps, remembering, that we love our dogs, short though their lives are, because we love to love. Byron took it further in his poem, he thought the dog a great deal better than the man.  So I will treasure the memory of yet another of my beloved friends, but my greater sadness by far is for that Literary Dame. How heavy must be the heart of lead that has never loved to love.




                       WILKIE 2001-2012 Rest In Peace Old Friend
                                               Charlotte
 
 
 (still sadly missed. Not a day goes by....)
 
                       WILKIE 2001-2012 Rest In Peace Old Friend
                                               
*

My new book is nearly finished ~ AS CLOUDS ROLL BY.
You can read all about it in STOP PRESS - a new page, on which I am going to try and keep you all up to date with what's happening on my desk.....some hope!

I as also offering for a FREE READ the first chapter of a book by TERENCE and I called MEADOWS GREEN which is a light hearted novel about a young family who move to deep country some years back. Wonder who they were based on....

Love

Charlotte x
 
 
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