Covid-19 has meant most of us are finding different ways to work. The cliché of the writer is they simply like to be on their own – full-stop. I would argue that a writer is highly productive on his or her own with the prospect of human interaction on the horizon. None, is quite different. So, in response to self-isolation we – me and our drama making company – are bringing stories and monologues alive via 2020 technology and creative talent.
Our first audio work will be launched on Thursday evening at 8pm. I do hope you can join us here – on this website – to listen to my very first fairy tale, written this Spring and narrated by the outstanding Matthew Houlihan. Think of it as a First Night during Covid-19. Here’s your invite:
Tell the world!
The show will go on…
My latest script had its first reading this month. I finally identified the medium the true majority of the script belonged to, as I was torn between perfecting it as a performance piece and the spoken word. This particular series of monologues could work in both categories but I needed to fully commit to one for maximum impact. It was time to be brave. Jeremy Sheffer kindly facilitated this realisation through gentle and considered direction.
I am thankful for the talented cold-reading skills of Mark Philip Compton and Tori Louis. They allowed me to diagnose that I need to centre the script around interactions. I was allowed to sit back and observe the world of the script for the first time. I am now energized enough to redraft it for the New Year.
My Summer got off to a fantastic start with rehearsals then a rehearsed staged reading of That Mad Little Planet Called Earth at Theatre 503 in London. We were delighted to perform to what seemed to be a near full auditorium, according to very generous supporters!
This Summer has, in part, been about writing up any adjustments needed to the script from our recent outing of this evolving project. I am grateful for the That Mad Little Planet Called Earth talented and tight ensemble who have brought life to this project. Here is what some members of the audience said:
“A tremendous success and a great cast.”
“A very clever performance. The actors were stunning! Looking forward to it flourishing far and wide.”
“It was so good to see your play last night. Really enjoyed it; you managed the spectrum of emotion from laugh out loud funny to very poignant. I thought it was excellent and I hope it does super well. Your actors really brought out some great dynamics.”
“Just adding my congratulations too! An intriguing play full of fun, wonderful characterisations and some delightful insights into how us human beings have been trying to survive since the dawn of time!!”
“Congratulations from me too on such a successful evening. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
“I am a fan now. Please sign up for more…”
“Bravo! You managed to engage all the generations present and knowing how judgemental they are-that That mad little planet called Earth is a real hit! The kids absolutely loved it and are still talking about it…so are we. Sincerely hope these are is the beginning of its very bright future.”
We had fun.
To print, or not to print, that is the question.
There is a false finality about printing out a new full-length theatrical script. The finality is that anything printed is only printed if it deserves to be printed – so this is final, this is it, this is life, this is big, this is so much, this is so much that your-life-depends-on-it – argh!
The falsehood is an unperformed theatrical script can be final. The print-out has to be the best start for a journey that will involve many creatives before the script is perfectly ripe for an audience. A printed new full length theatrical script is usually the beginning of an adventure towards production.
Print, it is not the end, it is the beginning.
Apart from London being warm, light and lush enough to pleasantly enjoy walking to off West End venues, Spring also offers what seems like an increase in new work. Last night I saw a play that is part of the Science Fiction Theatre Festival, the largest theatre festival of its kind in this country. Previous to that, I have seen short plays that are part of new writing nights alongside stand alone new full length plays at small venues. These might be your future Fleabags and This House in years to come, or they might never be picked up. Regardless, it’s an adventure (and often a frontier) you will always remember.
London is almost like Edinburgh Fringe Festival for new writing throughout the year. The city is alive with new work. I am cherishing this time, as I surprisingly cherished the creativity and outwardly looking UK during the 2012 Olympics. I do hope this blossoming continues in what could be years of uncertainty.
Whatever happens I am confident that I will look back at this decade as an inspiring time to be involved in new writing, and even worth visiting London for (you don’t have to live or write here). Writers write, wherever.
I was delighted to be part of a new writing night to celebrate International Women’s Day in March. An act of one of my play’s ‘in progress’ was thoughtfully performed to a highly engaged audience made up of impressive writers, directors, actors, producers and people interested in new work. There was a Q&A after each of the selected extracts that helped clarify what worked, and what didn’t. The value of these occasions is multiple to the writer. I was also impressed by the focus and energy of The Hidden Theatre Company producers in creating a dynamic safe space for new work. I am now working to a deadline to complete this particular script for the end of April. Thank you to Jennifer Oliver, Rachel Wheeler and, director, Amy Mauvan for bringing my piece alive.
As someone who spent years of my childhood living on the edge of Loch Ard, surrounded by the Forestry Commission, I was particularly touched to be longlisted for a Forestry Commission writing commission earlier this month. In Scotland, the intense evergreen trees were as mysterious as the snow capped Ben (Ben Lomond) that seemed to stoically guard our home from afar. Those trees were dominant. I can still smell them – I can still feel the firm bouncy ground they sheltered and remember that you can’t quite be barefoot as you weave between the neat potent pines. Their world seemed mainly quiet, muffled from the elements, dryer. Any noise presented hope that there might be some wild animal living in the forest – preferably a Scottish wildcat with a litter of chunky kittens who wanted to be friends! The Forestry Commission seemed to contain possibilities of another ordered world, in contrast to the more untamed sheep-dominated landscape at the time. I look forward to learning more about how the Forestry Commission will celebrate their centenary this year.