Orion has partnered with Raze Collective to voice the unabridged audio edition of Henry Fry’s stunning debut novel, First Time for Everything. Publishing in ebook and audio on 10th May 2022 and in Hardback in June, the novel follows shy, 20-something gay protagonist, Danny Scudd, who has so far made it through life by not really interacting with his sexuality.

Raze Collective is a charity that supports, develops and nurtures queer performance in the UK, defining queer performance as “performing arts undertaken by people who identify as Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Intersex (LGBTQI+) or that contains LGBTQI themes, content or context.”  

Editorial Director Charlotte Mursell and Senior Audio Manager Paul Stark joined forces with Tim Other, Director of Raze Collective, to offer a casting call to the charity’s community. A panel of five judges including Mursell, Stark, Fry, professional audiobook narrator Penelope Rawlins and Hachette Audio Producer Matt Furmidge assessed the submissions. The winner, George Heyworth, will voice Danny for the audiobook as well as have the chance to create a showreel for future voice work.

Charlotte Mursell said: ‘Henry’s writing has that ability to make your skin shrivel and your heart burst in the very same line. I knew from the moment that we acquired First Time for Everything that the audiobook needed to capture that same wicked sense of humour and powerful vulnerability of the novel’s protagonist, and I’m so thrilled that we were able to partner with Raze and cast the brilliant George Heyworth.’

Henry Fry said: ‘I’m so excited to hear the awkwardness and absurdity that is Danny Scudd come to life via the amazing voice of George Heyworth! Raze Collective are doing incredible work centering queer creatives when often we have been relegated to sassy side roles or objects of derision and otherness. I have every faith in George and Orion bringing the vibrant world of underground queer London to life with sensitivity and humour in this recording! 

Raze Collective said: ‘Raze is very excited to be supporting the search for queer voices for the audiobook of First Time for Everything by Henry Fry. Voices of people with lived experience as LGBTQIA+ people are vastly under-represented in this field and we were thrilled to encourage our community to apply for this excellent opportunity with Orion Publishing.’

Henry is also currently adapting First Time For Everything for television, being both a writer and executive producer alongside Moonriver c.e.o. Xavier Marchand and producer Casey Herbert.  

The Gay Best Friend from every straight romcom finally gets his own story

Julie Cohen

Danny Scudd is absolutely fine. At twenty-seven years old he’s finally moved to London and escaped his parents’ tiny fish and chip shop, his beloved collection of house plants are thriving and every Monday evening he has a date night with his boyfriend, Tobbs.

But Danny’s life is thrown into chaos when he discovers at an STI clinic that Tobbs might be cheating on him. And then he – and his plants – are unceremoniously evicted from his London flat. So, he’s forced to move in with his best friend Jacob, a non-binary artiste who Danny’s known since childhood.

For the first time, and with the help of his inscrutable therapist and colourful new flatmates, Danny realises how little he knows about himself – and slowly starts to question whether he is fine, after all…

An honest, hilarious and wickedly smart drama comedy about a young, shy, gay man who’s made it through life by not really interacting with his sexuality. Perfect for fans of Ghosts by Dolly Alderton, Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan and How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne.

If you’re excited to listen, pre-order yours here.