CentreHouse Press


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Garry O’Connor is a biographer and novelist, noted for his publications on theatrical and literary figures.

Educated at St Albans School and King's College, Cambridge, he was President of University Actors.

After Cambridge, he studied mime at the École Jacques Le Coq in Paris before joining the RSC as Michel Saint-Denis assistant. This was during the Peter Hall seasons at Stratford Upon Avon. Thereafter he directed plays in London and elsewhere until his decision to become a full-time writer. Read more.

CentreHouse Press is an inde-pendent literary publisher, specialising in highly distinguished memoirs, travel books, plays, literary fiction and non-fiction.  The press also publishes ebooks.

CentreHouse Press has published, in either paper or electronic form, the following writers: Garry O’Connor, Val Hennessy, Allen Saddler, Peter Cowlam, Tony Phillips, Mari Garcia, Keith Bush, Roy Batt, Harry Greenberg, Richard Hillesley, Bob Mann, Eliza Granville, Brian Poilly, Robert Vint, Jo Larsen, Lucy Bancroft-Lowe, and Sam Richards.

The press has also featured the work of the following artists: Anne Boulting, Christopher English, and Julie Oxenforth. The press has also worked with French artist Thierry Naiglin.

Latest news

Two new plays by Garry O’Connor bring together Debussy Was My Grandfather and The Madness of Vivien Leigh. The first is set in London in the late 1960s, and is about a composer, conductor, pop group manager, former dancer, and for good measure the daughter of a Zürich gnome (as they were known in those days). All play their instruments in a family concert of comic torment conducted in Belgravia, where England scoffs smoked salmon at foreigners’ expense. The Madness of Vivien Leigh is based on books O’Connor has written about Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and Ralph Richardson. Darlings of the Gods, which he takes as his main source, was published in 1984 and filmed as a three-part mini-series, scripts written by Roger Simpson and Graham Farmer, and by Thames Television and ABC Australia.

Some of our authors

CHP books

For all the latest CHP news, events, readings etc., Caxton’s Muse, the CHP blog, is regularly updated. CentreHouse Press also recommends Exfoliations, a general arts reviews blog.


Print and ebooks published by CentreHouse Press can be ordered online at all the usual retail outlets. Follow the link here for more information.

The Finger

The Finger, a journal of the arts, literature and culture, enjoyed a brief starburst in the closing quarter of 2005, running to two issues. Published by CentreHouse Press, and edited by Peter Cowlam, it featured the work of writers Val Hennessy, Allen Saddler, Mari Garcia, Jack Degree, Richard Hillesley, Bob Mann, Brian Poilly, Robert Vint, Jo Larsen, and Sam Richards.

'The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ, / Moves on...'

Issue 1, October 2005; Issue 2, November 2005.

Peter Cowlam is a freelance editor and the author of literary fiction, plays and poetry. His first novel, Electric Letters Z,  was published in 1998. His second novel, New Suit for King Diamond, published in 2002, was nominated for the Booker Prize. His brief stint as a commissioning editor saw two issues of The Finger, a journal of politics, literature and culture. His most recent fiction is his novel Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize?, a satire on literary celebrity. Read more.

Sam Richards is a musician, writer and academic, who in his student years in London absorbed the music and ideas of John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, the Fluxus Group, AMM, Lamonte Young and Terry Riley. He took part in and organised improvisational music events in London during the mid-to-late 1960s, performing in new pieces by Cornelius Cardew, creating collaborations with electronics pioneer Hugh Davis, and numerous musical happenings at the Arts Lab in Drury Lane and elsewhere. CentreHouse Press is pleased to publish his new book The Engaged Musician, a fusion of music aesthetics and left-wing politics. Read more.

Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize? by Peter Cowlam. For Alistair Wye, assistant to ‘top’ novelist Marshall Zob, Zob makes just two mistakes. First, he plans a commemorative book celebrating the life and work of his dead mentor, John Andrew Glaze, whose theory of ‘literary time’ is of dubious philosophical pedigree. Second, Zob turns the whole literary world on its head through the size of advance he instructs his agent to negotiate for his latest, and most mediocre novel to date.

Secretly Wye keeps a diary of Zob’s professional and private life. Comic, resolute, Wye stalks through its every page, scattering his pearls with an imperious hand. An unsuspecting Zob ensures perfect conditions for the chronicler of his downfall. Publication date 24 April 2013.

The Engaged Musician, by Sam Richards, is a passionate call to musicians, of whatever genre or discipline, to rescue themselves and us from the commercial tyrannies and dictates currently forming our musical life, and relocate it very determinedly in a meaningful social and aesthetic exchange. The book focuses on various themes typical of social, political and cultural engagement, without insisting on sectional interests. In part it scrutinises pervasive myths and doggedly held positions. Publication date 12 September 2013.