This year, I’m planning to give Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player a major re-boot by publishing it with Troubadour books. I’ve been fortunate to meet a Derby based illustrator, Paul Warren, who has provided a fantastic set of images for the book which you can see on the campaign page here.
I’ve also been very lucky to involve Alby James who has generously donated his time and skills to support the campaign.
Alby James was born and raised in north London and is one of five children of immigrants from Jamaica who arrived in the UK in 1950. He attended local schools in Crouch End up to GCEs and Southgate Tech for A-levels, where he became politically active. He became president of the student union in his second year and went to the University of East Anglia from 1974-77 to study international development.
This is where he also cut his teeth as an artistic director for the theatre during his 2 years as president of the Student Drama Society. After a 15-year first career as a theatre director, (including nine years as artistic director of Temba Theatre Company, which toured nationally in the UK and in Europe) Temba, working in co-production with many London-based and regional theatres, helped establish cultural diversity in the treatment of the classics and a more mixed repertoire in the programming in British theatres.
Alby moved into film and television in the mid-90s and has since worked predominantly as a producer and script executive for films and TV series, occasionally writing and running training course for writers, directors and producers. He has been instrumental in helping the new South Africa to upskill members of the formerly disadvantaged communities in South Africa to be able to have careers in the industry as well as writers and writer/directors in Russia. Currently, he is working with the film industry to improve the opportunities for the UK’s black filmmakers and for them to co-produce with international partners.