Theatre Bournemouth Gardens


When Dexter’s mum is sent to jail for getting mixed up in a jewellery robbery, it’s up to Dexter and his best friend Winter to get her out.

On their journey to uncover the truth and free mum, their detective work leads them to some surprising discoveries.

A mad-cap adventure story for all the family from one of the writers behind CBeebies hits RASTAMOUSE, APPLE TREE HOUSE and SWASHBUCKLE.

Nathan Bryon Q&A


Actor, author and screenwriter, Nathan Byron will be familiar to TV audiences from his roles in ITV’s Benidorm and BBC’s Some Girls.

Last Year Nathan’s one-man show Mixed Brain, a show about his mixed heritage premiered at the Roundabout at the Edinburgh Fringe and his latest play Dexter and Winter’s Detective Agency is touring in the Paines Plough Roundabout for six months including its local run presented by Lighthouse as part of Bournemouth Arts by the Sea festival.

Nathan has secured a three-picture book deal with Penguin Random House and his first Look UP! is out now. It has already been optioned to develop into a TV series.

On Saturday 28 September Nathan will host a free workshop for Lighthouse Young Writers at Roundabout in Bournemouth Gardens.


So, you’re an actor, author and screenwriter, can you give me a brief synopsis of what order they came in?

What came first, the chicken or the egg? I was an actor first, that was my first foot in and that was the first thing I knew I wanted to do and still want to do, which is great. The first time I ever wrote anything was at the Lyric Hammersmith, they had a poetry event called ‘lyric at lyric’ and I wrote and performed some poems – which we will never see ever again, thank God.

The first thing I ever created was a story called Afro Kid about a girl with Afro superpowers that we are still working on so that is really exciting. Now, I have written my first children’s book and my first play Dexter and Winter’s Detective Agency and I am so excited to see it.

Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with Paines Plough, how they supported and nurtured your journey up to this point?

Paines Plough changed my life. I have told George and James this, it was my university of theatre. Before I worked with Paines Plough, I was only going to the theatre when someone offered me a free ticket, but when I did the big Writers Room Fellowship, that completely changed my perspective on it.

Paines Plough allowed me to see different types of theatre, go to Barcelona to have an extract of my play put on and put Mixbrain on in the Roundabout a couple years ago – doing a one man show, that’s scary. Then George and James asked me to do Dexter and Winter’s Detective Agency, it has been an incredible! I also did the Fiery Angel scholarship which was awesome and allowed me to see loads of West End plays.

Now I feel like I have to write loads of plays because I have learned so much about how theatre is made. So yeah, Paines Plough I love them a lot!

This is your first children’s play, but you have a lot of experience writing for children. Can you could talk a bit about that?

The first thing I wrote for young people and children was Rastamouse, that was the first time I went in and pitched my TV show idea. The producer Greg bought the show and called me into a meeting to ask me if I wanted to write for Rastamouse and I tried to play it cool, but in my head I was screaming: ‘Yes!’

He gave me every single episode of Rastamouse on DVD (that was how long ago it was!) and I watched every single one. After that I wrote loads of different Cbeebies shows, Swashbuckle, Gigglebizz, Oh Just, AppleTree House, which was great. I also wrote Look Up which is a series of books and the second one will be out next year.

All of that led me onto the play Dexter and Winter’s Detective Agency. It was a joy to be asked to do it and from my writing experience I know young people want absolute chaos and this play is chaos, these actors are working overtime. It looks incredible from what I have seen so far. Stef the director has definitely created a great show, it is going to be very visually wild and that is what young people like, I hope!


Can you talk a little bit about themes of the play, what you want people to get out of the experience both fun and more serious side of things?

The themes of the play are family and starting to see your parents as humans. It explores the idea that your parents can make mistakes. When you are growing up you see your parents as super humans, they look after you, they take you everywhere, they plan your life.

Dexter sees his mum as a superhero, she has done everything by herself, she has juggled a million and one things, she has never missed anything. If Dexter asks for a holiday or a video console his mum has done everything to make sure he has that, but because of that, she has got herself in loads of debt because she has given him everything he could have wanted and more.

The debt keeps piling up and she wants a quick way out, so she gets involved in some crime, she tries to get herself out of a sticky situation. Dexter believes in his mum so much that he and his best friend form a detective agency to try and prove her innocence.

I think I was inspired to write the story when working with some of the young people at Feltham Young Offender Institute. The story is about putting your hands up to your wrongdoings, owning up and doing your time, but it is also about getting another chance.

What projects have you got in the pipeline?

My first picture book Look Up is out in shops now in the UK and America. The Apple Tree House series three came out in June, which I wrote a few episodes for and of course Dexter and Winter’s Detective Agency which is on for six months so go see it everywhere immediately please!

:: The production photo of Dexter and Winter's Production Agency shows Toyin Omari-Kinch and Charlotte O'Leary. Photo by Rebecca Need-Menear.


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