Thin Ice is a welcome antidote to the media's trivialisation of actors as "luvvies". It should be required reading for drama students eager to understand the reality of their chosen path.'

Michael Arditti - Independant

This is a sensational life in a day.

It will provide wry entertainment for anyone in the profession or wannabes.

Philip Fisher - British Theatre Guide

The story is a brilliantly observed tale of what it is really like to be in the acting profession.

Dan Carrier


Charles Harwood is an out-of-work actor, but fill-in jobs aren't for him. He doesn't want to drive a minicab, deal dope or have 'another string to his bow' - he's a purist. And without any acting to do, the main event of his day is an audition for an ice-cream commercial. The next job, and getting through the day on the few quid in his pocket, are Charlie's main preoccupations. In one day, he wends his way through a traffic jam in his dilapidated car and meets old faces. An after-work drink turns into a big night out - an opening-night party, followed by a sexual encounter with a soignee star with an arthritic hip. This is the world of Charles Harwood and most other actors in the business. It is a hand-to-mouth, event to event, lifetime spent in a state of controlled desperation.

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It started as a one man show which he performed around the country and later adapted to be a novel

Listen to Alan as he reads an extract from his novel Thin Ice

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The one man show that became a novel


Book reviews


Play reviews

The Play

The Book

None funnier.

The source of a deliriously funny, politically incorrect account of a day in the life of a heavy-drinking, coke-sniffing contemporary thesp.

Michael Coveney - Observer Review

Alan Ford’s delivery is hilarious.

We are immersed in the vivid details of Charlie’s ill-starred day.

Kate Donovan - The Irish Times

It is both beautifully written and well performed. He proves himself highly versatile, imitating a variety of characters - male, female, Irish and homosexual - without resorting to stereotype.



I never did sit down to write Thin Ice from start to finish. It evolved from a collection of anecdotes and actors’ tales. Things that had happened to me and to friends of mine over the years. Recounting them at parties and in the pub was a pleasure for me.

Encourages by my good friend, the late broadcaster Pattie Coldwell, I began to write them down and assemble them into the shape of a novel. These tales that had happened over time, I now squeezed into one day. A day in the life of an out of work actor. These tales now became chapters.

In 1996 another good friend of mine, the actor/playwrite Peter Dawson, put up the cash to produce my performed reading at the Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington. I read and acted out the many different voices of the characters therein and this one man show was well received. It then went on the shelf for three years.

In 1999 I was invited to perform Thin Ice again. This time at the Dublin Theatre Festival. I accepted and the show went on at Bewleys Theatre Upstairs in Graften Street. Once again Peter Dawson produced, I performed and it was well received. It went back on the shelf for another four years.

In 2003 Richard Worthy, an old drama school friend, invited me to perform Thin Ice at the St. Germans Literary Festival at Lord Eliot's estate in Cornwall. This I was happy to do and yet again it was well received.

After the show, a lovely young lady named Kate Shearman of Weidenfeld & Nicholson asked me if my writing had been published. When I replied “no” she asked if she could read my work. Back in London, I delivered it to her at Orion House in St. Martins Lane. A few days later, Kate took me to lunch at the Ivy and said that Orion would like to publish my book. This meant a complete rewrite, adding chapters and bringing the story into the new millennium. This I did and Thin Ice was published in 2006.

My desire now is to see thin Ice evolve into a feature film. There is a wonderful leading role for an actor in the fifty year age range.

Any Takers?

Alan Ford



How Thin Ice Came To Be

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