Peter Mc Manus with Matt Peach at Bridgefest



August bank holiday concludes every year with a visit to Bridgefest. A music festival at The Old Crown Inn, Cavendish Bridge near Shardlow in Derbyshire. This year had a double ‘Carrot Nappers’ connection. One of the festival organisers is the multi-talented musician, magician, actor Gabriel Lockwood who plays Onion Head in the fantastic trailer we filmed last month

Peter McManus (Vinnie in the same video) took to the stage as lead singer of punk group Brand Zero. Charisma personified, Peter donned his trademark gold coat and Fred Astaire style top hat as he enticed the audience onto their feet with an energetic mix of original numbers and sing along covers of punk classics. Featuring alongside him on guitar was the fast fingers of Matt Peach who appeared again later in the evening performing his solo act. As local artists go Matt Peach is a personal favourite of mine. Any guitarist who gets invited to perform on stage with Mike Peters of The Alarm fame, attracts my attention. Matt Peach’s Bridgefest set comprised crowd pleasing cover versions amongst his own numbers. Particularly memorable was a fantastic version of David Bowie’s ‘Rebel Rebel’ which saw Matt standing on a table in the audience, surrounded by a chorus of dancing festival goers. He also performed ‘One Guitar’ the number he regularly duets at Mike Peters Flowerpot Derby gigs. Complemented by some of Matt’s self-penned songs including the catchy ‘Liberation Radio’. I’d personally like to hear more of his own material as I think Matt Peach is an artist who has the talent to follow the last band I saw in Shardlow who went on to make it big, They were The Struts who  less than 3 months after I saw them at Shardlow’s Smithy’s Bar went onto to support The Rolling Stones in front of 80,000 people in Paris

Earlier in the day, I’d spent the bank holiday travelling to another magical Derbyshire place, the beautiful spa town of Buxton, home of the UK’s third largest Fringe festival. I’m pleased to announce I’ve secured a venue to take Carrot Napper Productions back to the Fringe in 2017. Following on from our last screen appearance there, with the Gabriel Lockwood starring film ‘The Crisp Strike’

This time it will be a stage performance (or performances). What show (s) or actors we’ll be taking there is yet to be decided. Though expect a return for Gabriel Lockwood. How can we not take him after securing a backstage area with it’s own bar? Yes that was a deal clincher in choosing the venue. After landing the perfect place for our after show party, I can say this bank holiday began and ended in the best traditions of Rock ‘n’ Roll.








About seven years ago, after a successful time winning some national poetry and short story competitions, I was encouraged by my creative writing tutor at the time to try my pen at playwriting. I spent the summer of 2009 having great fun adapting a published short story I’d written ‘Beware of The Carrot Nappers’ into the stage play ‘The Carrot Nappers’. It was written at the time when the country was in deep recession and intended as an antidote to the doom and gloom in the world. Fast forward to the summer of 2016, what a good time to bring back ‘The Carrot Nappers’

And bring it back we will. First you’ll see the original script is being published in book form to raise some more vital funds for the Stroke Association. Sadly my mum passed away last year after suffering a stroke and the book published in her memory is due for release on the first anniversary of her death.

Anyone who was in the audience last week at Nottingham Playhouse to watch my play ‘Disconnected’ will know I don’t always see eye to eye with technology, but anybody who has worked with me will know I don’t care how we get the job done as long as we get it done. So if it’s not up and running to purchase the book on Amazon on August 4th, just drop an e-mail to one of the ‘Nappers’ team at and Jack will give you details of how to buy the book.

Last week we had fantastic fun, filming the book trailer with a new Carrot Napper cast. Some of the stars from its last stage run were unavailable due to other acting commitments. I knew they’d be hard to replace, so I was delighted with the acting performances of all the cast on the book trailer. The three actors playing the male characters, Peter McManus as Vinnie, Gabriel Lockwood as Onion Head and Mark Theobald as Albert had all been brilliant at our Conquer Stroke new writing night back in March so it was great to work with them again. Eleanor Burke was sublime in the role of Lisa. We’d first worked together six years ago when Eleanor was fresh out of drama school and it’s been wonderful to see how well she’s progressed since first working with us and then going on to appear in the Oscar nominated film ‘Kon Tiki’, along with several national television appearances and a recent lead role on the American TV channel ‘Discovery’.

Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing actors we’ve given opportunities to, make their mark around the globe, even better when they return to work with us. I look forward to doing more things with ‘The Carrot Nappers’, including bringing it back to stage, even if it means an open air performance at an allotment with an audience dined on sunshine and cider.

Of course there’s also the possibility of turning it into a pilot TV show now we’ve found some fantastic film makers in Wayne and Matt at MGL Media and Spoonjar films. My thanks to them for producing a brilliant book trailer and being an absolute pleasure to work with.

Finally thank you to Kev at The Shakespeare Inn in Shardlow, for allowing us to use the perfect location for filming, and top Carrot Napper crew member Tommy for looking after everybody on set!