Ignoring the usual execrable teenaged poetry and the odd comic ode for family occasions, Adey began writing in 1998 with her first book Suddenly He Thinks He’s A Sunbeam. It was published in 2000 by SPCK and is the real-life story of what happened when her husband, ‘a perfectly normal, angst-ridden, atheistic, socialist hippy actor’ underwent a metamorphosis into a Church of England priest. The book has become a core text on many theological colleges’ reading lists was once preached upon at the opening of Synod by the Bishop of London.
At this point she took a left turn and has since been writing lyrics and libretti for a number of composers. A number of those that have made it to performance are:
- Diana Burrell - Love Song
- Stephen McNeff - There Once Was An Abbot of Angiers
- Orlando Gough - The Round Songs, In The Bleak Midwinter, The Number Seven
- Michael Henry - My Instant Echo, Transitions, Stairs and Crossings, Circus Tricks,
All Year Round
- Alexander L'Estrange - And the Stones Sing
- Peter Reynolds - Urban Songs, Heartfelt Songs
- Melanie Pappenheim – Inside, Primrose’s Despatch
- Jonathan Williams - Jungle Jingles, Creation-The Fall
- Graham Coatman - The Peacock’s Pageant, Still Stories, What Shall We Do Now?, Rainbow Songs, The Winds
- Christopher Maxim - The Song of Anna
- Marc Folan - The Endless Song
Other work as a lyricist include family day projects, a song writing project for Lambeth primary school children and song writing projects at the Hay Festival, all for ENO Baylis. She has performed her stories Adam’s Story and A Symphony Of Experiments in recitals with the great organ in Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.
In 2008 she was commissioned with Michael Henry by Tête à Tête for a short opera scena, The Agony Of The Knife Thrower’s Assistant. This was performed at the company’s Summer Festival that year. The piece then underwent further development in 2009 into a one act work, Circus Tricks, also performed in the Summer Festival. Tête à Tête then re-commissioned the piece to be developed into a full-length opera which went into production in March 2012 at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith. Adey and Michael continue to develop new work together on a number of varied projects.
Adey also writes as a historian. A Short And Anecdotal History Of St Matthew's, Bethnal Green was published in 2011 and, in 2015, she completed a number of children's resources for the church of All Hallows by the Tower, where she works as Education & History Officer. She also wrote All Hallows' new guide books, published in Summer 2015 by Scala.
She is a founding member of the Book, Music & Lyrics writers' laboratory, developing new musical theatre. Her songs, written with other members of the laboratory, have been performed at the Lionel Bart Masterclasses and she had two songs shortlisted for the Stephen Sondheim Award in 2014 and one highly commended in 2015. Also in 2015, her children's carol The Endless Song, was a finalist in Iris Theatre's annual competition Xmas Factor.