Fela’s Queens rewrite

July 30, 2009

Final Draft 8 arrived, installed and registered. Have to deliver draft 2 of Fela’s queens (formerley known as The Wives (many) of Fela Anikulapo Kuti) on 28th of August. Re-read it last night for the second time since the first draft was delivered on 1st August 2008.
A lot of good things but some drastic changes required. Need to make the five wives more distinct, to drive the plot much better. I’ve had a week off since finishing Boat Gypsies so looking forward to writing again.
(p.s I’ve got 7 but wanted 8.)

carcass-script reader feedback

July 26, 2009

Just received my feedback from the Script Connection as part of my failed Film Council first feature film fund application (10.30 on a sunday night? Is the script connection one person working all day and night?).
Very detailed feedback that slowly dissected the script leaving it’s skin exposed on the examination table. An apt metaphor I feel.
Lots of good points to work on for the next draft. The visual and the story/setting element got the most positive comments which is good just need to sort out the plot, characters, subplots, secondary characters, props, logic, emotion, grammar, typos…….
Might get a chance to look at it november/december, if not then then next year 2010.
Report gives me lots of concrete things to cogitate. Excellent.

writers lab09 showcase event

July 24, 2009

the event went well yesterday. all the pieces were strong. A comment from the floor during the q & a afterwards remarked on the ‘strong sense of place’ for each of the diverse pieces and I agree with that comment. The actors were uniformly well cast and delivered strong performances, the Directors staged the pieces well and the writing was strong so all in all a good event.

This was the first time the pieces have been performed and after only one day of rehearsals it was amazing to see how immediately strong they all were.

There is a spot in decibel09 to showcase some of the pieces and then again in October during the momentum festival organised by twp.

Hopefully some/all will get commissions from this process. Not necessarily with the writers lab 09 piece but through developing relationships that might be formed with the producers, companies who attend the showcase events. We had audience members from afar yesterday so lets hope these can be developed.

Special thanks to Ben, Imogen, Andre and Ivan for all their hard work on Boat Gypsies over the two days. Reflecting on the proces for me before thinking about the next stage of this project.

Boat Gypsies -rehearsed readings

July 22, 2009

Rehearsing Boat Gypsies today. Directd by Ivan Cutting we have Andre Squire as Mac Robinson, Imogen O’Sullivan as Fleur See and Ben Norris as Harris See. It a script in hand performance tomorrow at Lakeside Theatre Nottingham to an audience of rural touring bookers and companies. It was good watching everybody work. Today was the first time the script has been read by actors so that was good. Everybody was very perceptive and we rocked along satisfactorily. The nature of the showcase means we’ve made lots of cuts and jiggled and joggled around. Looking forward to tomorrow. The actors will be good for having had a night to synthesize stuff so tomorrow’s run through should be hot stuff.

boat gypsies-readings

July 21, 2009

In rehearsal tomorrow for the reading of Boat Gypsies Thursday at Lakeside Theatre. Five projects have been developed as part of writers lab09. The writers are “The Cliffs” by Leah Chillery, “The Honey Man” by Tyrone Huggins, “Palm Wine and Stout” by Segun Lee French, “Today’s Lesssons” by Richard Rai O’Neill and “Boat Gypsies” by myself.

Two of the five are in rehearsal today, the rest tomorrow and thursday am. Then run through thursday morning and then showcase to rural touring producers artistic directors and the like 2pm thursday afternoon.

I’ll have to do some rewriting no doubt which is to be expected as this wil be the first time the script is on its feet and not simply on a page so looking forward to that. Ivan Cutting is directing my piece.

Looking forward to seeing the other pieces. The three that i’ve heard discussed during the development over the course of the year all sounded really interesting and the writers had a sense of where they would go so looking forward to that.

Fela’s Queens

July 15, 2009

Reading ‘Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and calling it research. Biog of Abraham Lincoln and how he managed to get a cabinet of disparate rivals, personalities working together through the Civil War back in the 19teens. I have fived colleagues in my play who become putative rivals. I bought the book over two years ago and hadn’t yet started to read it, well now I can okay because it’s research and that’s important right okay? Right?


July 13, 2009

I attended the culmination of NAIDOC week. NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee. I had agreed to film the festival for a doctoral student I met randomly (that’s another story about black people abroad) whilst at a communications conference held at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. Basically capturing a series of interviews and some colour of the event as part of the research project.
I agreed to film basically because I figured it’ll be an experience and I was going anyway so why not right?
I was reminded during the filming of why I haven’t gone into technical roles as it was incredibly difficult to balance all the conditions out and I had a nightmare time of it. Too hot, busy, sweaty, sunny, noisy. Much too much like hard work. The positive was that I got to speak to lots of people as a result of having the camera, heard lots of good stories and felt connected to the celebration day.
The results are the results but not the entirety or real summation of the experience.
Really enjoyed the hot sweaty day all told.

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