Writing musicals seems to be the ideal way to get rich never (I wonder where Andrew Lloyd Webber’s been going wrong). Denis once had five produced in the space of a year. His plan was to be a millionaire by fifty. Later he upped it to fifty-five. Now we’re hoping for two pounds ten by next Friday. They give you a million excuses, these producers: too expensive, no theatre available, wrong size theatre available, no big name available. Den says when your show ends it’s not just disappointing, it’s like a whole chunk of your life has been erased, because it was your life, for so long, but now suddenly it’s gone, fizzled. You have to re-adjust.

And you have to keep going, he says, never stop writing, keep at it, do your best, believe in it, and if your show gets on, wonderful, but if it closes without being translated into fifty languages despite your mother liking it a lot, that’s life, on to the next. He says he’s grateful to at least have the opportunity to do what he loves doing, which is writing songs and hearing them performed.

This seems a very grown-up attitude.

“Darling heart,” he says, “what would you have me do? Sit around sobbing?”

(Always worked for me.) Astrid King

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The King Brothers were the first performers to sing "Rock Around The Clock" on British television.

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