It gets a mite lonely. Writing.
One of the reasons I enjoy directing are the plentiful opprotunities it provides to work with other people.
So it was lovely to be treated to a busy week as a writer with There is a light that never goes out.
In April I had the progression There is a light from March’s Progressive Playwright at the Tron, closely followed with a weekend with DRAFT at N16 in Balham. I was able to work on the same bit of text with two different groups of rather extraordinary artists and – but magical chance – with the estimable Jordan Blackwood at the helm at both events.
DRAFT was really wonderful. Six hours to dig into ten pages of text. What a gift. During the final sharing, I really enjoyed being amongst the audience and watching how people were responding to the characters.
There’s a bit in Simon Stephens’ diary about “being dependent of the laughter of others” as a measure of success -
“We become a bit addicted to whether or not our lines are going to get laughs because laughter is the most tangible and legible measure of how happy our audience is.”
Yeah. I can feel that I’m going to get a bit addicted to that.
After DRAFT I put together a little document of all the people who’ve helped me with There is a light in case I ever get to stage the play fully and get to put together with one of those “thank you” pages in the programme. With DRAFT, Progressive Playwright and my first meeting with the characters - Sasha, Ashley and Lewis – during my postgrad, there’s actually a rather meaty list. And it contains some of my All Time Favourite theatre artists. When did that happen? I was too busy freaking out about lopping my guts out to other people that I didn't quite clock the sheer force of goodwill behind me.
I’m not feeling so lonely any more.
And I taught some Londoners what a VL is. Bonus.
PS. The New Current interviewed the writers taking part in DRAFT.
"You all set for Draft 2, do you get nervous when showcasing your new work?
As long as my mum isn’t in the audience I’m usually okay. Rehearsed readings can be scary because there’s no bells and whistles to hide behind. It’s just the actors and the script. I’m usually too caught up in star struck wonder at the work the actors and director is doing to remember that scooping out a piece of your brain and plonking it in the middle of the floor for people to poke and prod is a really terrifying thing to do."