Some talents need time to be able to blossom – and in the case of local writer Alan Goodchild, they need a reason to burst into bloom. His is an inspiring story in itself.

After a long and successful career as an engineer, Alan found himself, newly retired, wondering: “What now?”

He threw himself into a wild array of projects but nothing really gave him the sense of satisfaction and fulfilment that he sought.

Encouraged by his wonderful wife Kay, he decided to try his hand at creative writing, a quiet passion of his.

Never a man to do things by halves, he attended courses, enrolled with the Open University, read voraciously and wrote, and wrote and wrote. 

He had found his “What now?”

He found a talent for telling relatable, human stories and a gift for dialogue.

Play writing fast became the perfect vehicle for him to express himself. He and Kay were regular theatre-goers and it was as if something had just gone ‘click’.

Plays give him the opportunity to ask and answer ‘what if?’ to create characters and explore relationships, to give us all a chance to imagine a different life, for better or worse.

Prologues, on Wednesday, July 5 and Friday, July 7, will mark an important milestone in Alan’s eventful life.

On those two nights Tilbourne Players will be performing three new, original black comedies written by Alan for the group.

Almost by chance he had made friends with local actors who recognised his talent and commissioned him to write a murder mystery for a charity event they were planning.

Alan, accustomed to working hard, rose magnificently to the challenge, and became a valued and versatile member of the troupe. It was a great success.

Not content with that, the troupe then asked him what else he had that they could perform.

A year later, audiences are about to see the premieres of three of his one-act plays, Speed Dating, Feet To The Fire and Phoebe.

Each of them tells a story of human relationships, love in later life, marriages that work and marriages that don’t, what might have been and what can still be.

The consistently excellent Tilbourne Players are presenting these three pieces at the Tilford Institute on Wednesday, July 5 and Friday July 7, at 7.30pm.

These evenings of theatrical fun will be a celebration for author and cast and guaranteed entertainment for the audience.

Tickets, priced £15, are on sale now at and include interval cheese and wine.