bruce howard bayley

Personal Notes

I was born in Bombay, Maharashtra State, India on 13 August, two days before India's Independence which makes me one of 'Midnight's Children'. I was , I suppose, a 'strange' child growing up in a mixed culture (see 'anglo-indian' and 'spirit'pages. I attended the Cathedral & John Connon School, Bombay up to 1965 and sang in the choir of St. Thomas' Cathedral. I left for the UK in 1966.

Suffering from not actually knowing what to do with my life I chose a 'least-objectionable'option and did a B.Sc(Econ) degree (with Sociology and Psychology) at Kingston Polytechnic (1967-70) and surprised myself most of all with a 2.1 pass, even though my scholastic strategy was of the 'least-amount-of-lectures-and-most-amount-of-time-spent-with-the-dramatic-society' type of thing. However, the result did get me a 'not-sought-after' offer of a SSRC award to do an M.Phil. at the London School of Economics (1971-1973) - an offer which I instantly accepted - as I still had no idea what to do with my life.

At the LSE, I was introduced to the newly-formed core of what was to become London's first University based Gay Soc.(names like Aubrey Walters, David Fernbach, Jeffrey Weeks and David Starkey all spring to mind). The Gay Liberation Front had formed as a result of theStonewall riots in the USA two years before. I came out with great exhilaration and chose an 'exotic' subject for my research - the politicization of deviance. However, as my two years' worth of SSRC money began to come to an end (together with my interest in an academic future as a sociologist of deviance), I left this personally exciting but ultimately unsatisfying pathway to disappear back to India for the Summer and I re-emerged with a clear idea that I wanted to 'go into the theatre'.

Bruce Bayley as Magnus Hirschfeld in 'As Time Goes By' (Gay Sweatshop)

Paying my way through Mountview Drama School (1974-1975(via personal loans and other dubious and not very salacious means of making money, I did my stint as a jobbing actor for a number of years, which included Brian Way's Theatre Centre, Harlow Playhouse, Theatro Technis, The Rock Garden Theatre Company, ending up working with Gay Sweatshop as Magnus Hirschfeld in the original tour of "As Time Goes By" (1977), which I left in order to start Cauldron Theatre Company.

In 1979, with Phillip Timmins and Sarah Hardy, I co-wrote "Who Knows?" for Gay Sweatshop. This was devised and written specifically for gay youth and was presented at the Royal Court Theatre, London. I joined Action Space at the Drill Hall and then Action Space (London Events) until 1981.

For the next nine years refuge in the awful 80s was found at Hoxton Hall Neighbourhood Centre and Theatre (1981-1990), before Hoxton and Shoreditch became 'trendy'. This gave me a wide range of work - performing in and directing a number of community drama projects, directing the Youth Theatre, the New Playwriters' Festivals and a number of Outreach Projects together with what I enjoyed the most - traditional Old Time Music Hall!

While I was with Hoxton Hall, I also worked with Tom Castle's and Michael Jones' Event Group, in multi-media,cross-cultural performances in venues from Richard Strange's Cabaret Futura, to Heaven and performed in a number of Stuart Marshall's video films - 'Distinct', 'The Love Show' and 'Bright Eyes'.

I qualified as a Dramatherapist in 1990 at St. Alban's College of Art and Design and went on to do an MA in Dramatherapy(1990-1992)at St. Alban's which by then had evolved into the University of Hertfordshire. This little series of moves set the 90s up for me and I have been a Dramatherapist in various settings - psychiatric hospitals, community projects, youth work, in sexuality and gender issues and in private practice. I completed my Ph.D in Queer Performance at the University of Exeter in 2000.

After 10 years as the Manager of the CETS Croydon Resource Centre for Unemployed People, an Education and Training Programme for the London Borough of Croydon, part-time lecturer in Dramatherapy at the University of Hertfordshire and Dramatherapist in private practice I spent a further 10 years as Co-ordinator of the Camden Listening and Counselling Centre in Camden Town and a free-lance Dramatherapist. During these years I was also a Panel Partner for the HPC on the Registration, Training Validation, Conduct and Competence and Health Panels until 2010 Now I continue in private practice as a Dramatherapist, Supervisor, Trainer (teaching on the MA Dramatherapy course at Anglia Ruskin University), writer and presenter of various articles on various Queer and Dramatherapy subjects. I also offer special training workshop days – Tribhuvan : Three-fold Dramatherapy, working with body, soul and spirit (See tribhuvan page).