Adey left drama school in the UK and embarked on a series of regional tours, and repertory and children’s theatre projects. During this time he played leads in RICHARD III, BLOOD WEDDING and performed in productions of WHEN WE ARE MARRIED and TICKET OF LEAVE MAN, as well as numerous children’s theatre and pantomimes. He also worked for the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre and the West Midlands Children’s Theatre Company.
Whilst still in the UK Adey wrote various sketches for touring shows and variety. He penned two Torquay pantomimes, DICK WHITTINGTON and PETER PAN and his first full length farce, SEND IN THE CLONES. Written as a comedic look at genetic engineering, the play had echoes of Ray Cooney, Dario Fo and Jo Orton. However despite good intentions, the production failed to open due to the theatre being demolished due to structure problems!
Adey then transferred from traditional theatre into variety and joined Holiday Club Pontins for 6 years as a resident comedian. Learning magic, stand up comedy and ventriloquism helped Adey master the art of timing and all aspects of comedy from slapstick through to pathos, whilst being able to learn from the ‘old time’ variety acts that once toured the Music Halls. He wrote various cabaret variety shows while at the holiday camps and left to earn his living as a full time professional comedian and MC.
In 1996 Adey moved to New Zealand, working as a comedian and freelance theatre director. In 1999, the Variety Artists Club of NZ awarded him their Rielly Comedy Award. Always willing to earn his keep in writing Adey began to ghost-write for authors and speakers, and pen scripts for comics and TV sketches. His next full length play IT’S NOT YOU… IT’S ME! was written for a group of actors who had decided to produce a play of their own. Produced and directed by Adey, the entire budget came under $900 and the season sold out. It remains to this day Adey’s most popular and frequently requested play. It was during this time that Adey co-founded the Caught Jesters Theatre Company, (www.caughtjesters.co.nz), a professional company made up of a pool of revolving actors to present classic, forgotten and new comedy plays from around the world. The company has produced the plays The Opposite Sex, No Sex Please, We’re British, The Graduate, many of Adey’s own plays and various pantomimes, with Adey as producer and director. Also in this period Adey found himself to be in demand as a freelance director and to date has directed 40 productions of classic plays, musicals and comedies. As a freelance producer and set designer Adey has worked on all manner of productions from Shakespeare’s The Tempest through to modern day comedies, musicals and children’s theatre.
As a playwright and Director Adey has been influenced by the comedies he saw in his youth from the rom-coms of the 1950's, (Doris Day, where are you now??), the slapstick of the old black and whites, the hey day smut of the 'Carry Ons' and of course the legends of Chaplin, Keaton and Harold Lloyd. An avid fan of the old style 'book' musicals and classic comedies of Neil Simon, Harold Brooke and Kay Bannerman, Ben Travers, Derek Benfield and Michael Pertwee and the actor-managers, Brian Rix and Ray Cooney.
In early 2001 Adey wrote the adult black comedy DON’T GO THERE!, which premiered at the Off Broadway Theatre, Auckland in 2002. In 2006 Adey wrote, produced and directed the comedy-drama THRILL OF THE CHASTE, loosely based on Marivaux’s 18th Century comedy “Les Serments Indiscrits”. Again the season sold out and the play remains very successful. During this time Adey rekindled a huge childhood interest in the golden age of murder mystery and penned OPUS CORPUS, a comedy-thriller and homage to the days of Agatha Christie and the plays Deathtrap and Sleuth.
Adey has just finished his latest play, the adult black comedy BUNNY BOILER!, a change in direction for Adey in writing style with characters addressing the audience directly and a composite set reflecting such scenes as bedrooms, bars, cafes, planes etc. The script is aimed to be staged with minimal set and is also awaiting its premiere. In 2007, at a New Zealand theatre awards ceremony, Adey achieved the hat trick of winning Best Play, Best Musical and Best Director for his productions of the Lloyd Webber/Ayckbourn musical By Jeeves and Ray Cooney’s It Runs in the Family. The following year he won Best Play for Willy Russell’s Educating Rita, a production he revived in 2012. 2011 saw Adey nominated for the same hat trick of awards for his productions of SPAMalot (Best Musical, Best Director) and Stags and Hens, (Best Play, Best Director, Best Set Design). He actually won Best Play and Best Set Design.
In 2014 Adey won Best Play and Best Director for his stage version of Blackadder Goes Forth. The production also won Best Props, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Special Effects.
1n 2012 Adey founded the Newmarket Stage Company, an initiative between the arts and business to bring profesional theatre into the community of Newmarket. As Founder and its first Artistic Director Adey managed to secure funding and local support to be able to present his revival of Educating Rita. The play starred iconic kiwi acting legend George Henare who also agreed to be the company's Patron. The company's follow up production was the NZ Premiere of Tuesdays With Morrie, based on the hugely bestselling book by Mitch Albom, which achieved a staggering 82% occupancy.
As an actor Adey has appeared as Roger in ‘Noises Off’ (Best Actor Nomination) Zoltan Karpathy in ‘My Fair Lady’, Buttons in ‘Cinderella’ (Best Actor Nomination) and Mark in his own ‘Don’t Go There!’
Adey and his family are now based in Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire. Adey retains a position on the Board of the NSC as Executive Director, whilst his wife works for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Adey represents himself for all theatre related work - contact details can be found on the 'Contacts' page.