After a poor West Riding Grammar School education, characterised by cheek and corporal punishment, Ray Brown began to study aeronautical engineering. Soon politicised, he changed to psychology, at the Universities of Hull and London. He worked in industry before becoming a Research Fellow in social psychology at Leeds University. A standard academic text, Children in Television, was published in Britain, Germany, Yugoslavia and the USA. After eight years, he gave up research to write fiction, and gravitated to making programmes for BBC Radio 4 and writing/producing/directing for theatre.
Since then, he's written for broadsheets and magazines, had two short stories win awards and made some 100 features for Radio 4, including plays (In the Absence of Loving; Barnes and Molly; Steinbeck in Avalon), five-part features (Starry Starry Night; Down to Earth; World's Apart) and half-hour programmes (The Courage to be Happy; Duffled; Talking to Things), plus too many talks, columns and short features to list. His producers include Pete Atkin, Nigel Acheson, Bob Carter, Gillian Hush and Martin Jarvis. His radio and stage actors include Finetime Fontayne, Emilia Fox, Sandra Hunt, Philip Madoc, Jamie Smelt, Everal A. Walsh, Sam West, Geoff Wilkinson and many others. His latest play The Yerney Project was commissioned by Headingley Litfest: the audience left embarrassingly fulsome feedback.
Mainly through his company NORMAL PRODUCTIONS, he has produced, directed, (usually) written and toured plays at numerous venues including Arena Wolverhampton, Bath Theatre Royal, Bradford Alhambra, Drum Birmingham, Hackney Empire, Georgian Theatre Richmond, Manchester Royal Exchange, Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough, Soho Theatre, Warehouse Croydon, West Yorkshire Playhouse, York Theatre Royal and Wetwang Village Hall. His production of Living Pretty, based on his highly praised co-written biography of Alfred William, To Live it is to Know It, was included in the 2006 British Council Edfringe Showcase. With his partner, Ros Marsden, he has curated two seasons of theatre for Seven Arts Centre in his home city, Leeds.
It's an ordinary Saturday in May 1979. As the clock moves from noon to ten thirty a handful of Leeds people coalesce, entwine, laugh, cry, go their separate ways. But for some it's a day they will never forget.
This is WHOOSH!, a novel pulsing with life, smouldering with humour, tempered by moments of joy and sadness.
'I laughed out loud...
...then laughed out loud again!'