Boat Gypsies Reading- Thoughts

October 28, 2009

Boat Gypsies was presented last night at the Momentum:Nottingham Festival organised by Theatre Writing Partnership.

I didn’t feel it went as well as the showing in July but this is why I like theatre. The five shows were presented and I felt the shows after the interval, including Boat Gypsies didn’t play as well as before. My cast were the same, Ivan Cuttings Directed once again, traverse again but I felt the energy after the interval resulted in a slightly different show. Their were small changes to the script but everything was pretty much the same. So the audience, the audience, the audience.

What really did work was the traverse. Traverse in the Nottingham playhouse was a new experience for me. The space was very tight but this worked really well as they no longer needed to ‘act’ the limited space. Their proximity was also very good.


Fela’a Wives-reading thoughts

October 27, 2009

Woke up this morning with a clear idea of how to approach the next draft. The feedback after last night’s performance at Nottm playhouse was positive. The characters seemed vivid and were the thing that got the most response from the audience. The thoughts this morning were about clarifiying the story. Will reflect a while before committing to the next draft after convo with Kate Chapman and Bianca Winter at TWP.


Ending Panel

October 26, 2009

Enjoyed the Momentum: Northampton readings on the 24th. They took place at the Royal and Derngate theatre Northampton. My monologue piece Ending Panel was presented as part of the Young Britain season. The actor got the energy of the piece and did a good job. The piece got lots of positive comments from the locals. The specific Northampton references to places and postcodes in a way that people recognised and identified with, It’s language, particularly seemed to strike a chord. People kept complimenting my on how I ‘captured’ the speech. I kept reminding them it was the edirol R09 record button that did that. As I’ve posted before about 90% of the script is directly from the young peoples words, almost always used in context also.
Some light talks about whether the piece can be expanded from it’s 15 mins to a larger piece. I am confident this can be easily and creatively done to make an interesting piece of work. We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks and months.


Fela’s Wives- Rehearsal

October 25, 2009

First day of two days of rehearsal over. Met the cast (I was late), made lots of decisions. Cut twenty pages. Still not sure what I feel about the piece. See what happens with it in front of an audience.


Fela’s Wives- Rehearsal

October 23, 2009

Went to Africa House on Handel Street, Nottingham to speak about the Fela’s Wives reading on Monday.

Spoke to a couple of committee members about the project in an attempt to get them to speak to their members. The project seems to speak to their constituency of Nigerians but as the project is also about empowerment and responsibility it will also speak to others. The opportunity for the Nottingham playhouse to also perhaps get a different type of audience is also there. The publicity material shows my inability to decide on a project name as there are earlier publicity material and then later, later draft publicity material. Not entirely happy with any title as yet but we’ll see.

I was also keen to stress the opportunity for feedback from the audience after this first public performance.

Rehearsal takes place this Sunday and Monday at the Broadway cinema.


blatant plug

October 20, 2009

check it out and buy a ticketMomentum Nottingham


Reading screenplays

October 19, 2009

Bought a sony eReader a couple of weeks ago. Got the more expensive touch version so I could read pdf’s (not sure if the standard version does this ) and also as it is the version that allows annotation and can hold other media (audio/images). Talked myself out of buying it a couple of days before as
I had read a couple of reviews on the waterstones site where people had returned it due to the display being “poor” but then the guy next to me at ntu came in with one the next day. He demo-d it and I went out and got one. Couple of idiosyncrasies mainly about charging. You can’t use it while charging through usb and a power unit doesn’t come as standard so Sony get another £25.00 out of you.
So now reading all the scripts I have backed up from http://www.scriptorama.com, http://www.imsdb.com and http://www.simplyscripts.com. Also the gutenberg project http://www.gutenberg.org has 30,000 free ebooks available to download. Classics rather than contemporary.

eReader verdict so far? It’s good.


Reflections on my writing process

October 16, 2009

Having come to the end of an intensive and extended period of writing four plays (3 stage, 1 screen) I want to do a post about my writing process.
The adage that ‘writing is rewriting’ is an old one but for me it is an extremely important phase. I discover the script through the rewrite. Especially if that rewrite is based on Readers’ notes. I now do more ‘working out more the details of the story’ work than I used to before embarking on any draft but am still reluctant to do more work in this area. The sketching and capturing of ideas while I am writing the script always moved the piece in new directions for me so too much ‘pre-viz’ work becomes frustrating. (Whether this is more frustrating that multiple not so good drafts is a moot, I’m not going to get into that right now’ point.)
I think this way of writing is also a reflection on the competing time demands of my circumstances but looking back I have always enjoyed writing in this way more regardless of circumstances than any of the other ways I have written.
It relies on understanding commissioners though and the usual patience and perserverance of the writer.
Looking forward to a break for a while now. I have a meeting set up on 27th of this month where I hope to move towards another commission so intend to do very little writing between emailing Ending Panel to twp and the 27th.


Young Britain-script

October 15, 2009

Finishing off the Young Britain script right now after receiving some note from Kate Chapman, Chief Exec & Artistic Director of TWP. ‘Ending Panel’ will be directed by Poonam Brah and is going to be performed at the Royal and Derngate Theatre on 24th of this month as one of six ten-minute plays.
I haven’t done a literal word count but something like 90% of the words came directly out of the conversations I had during the two sessions at the Youth Offending Service centre in Northampton.


Young Britain- session 2

October 8, 2009

Had the final of two sessions down with the Young Offenders team in Northampton today. I felt I had the piece already in my head after last weeks’s session. Today was about trying to sort out the world of the play and also get answers thrown up after last week, such as where are the young women? (There are that many doing stuff in Northampton or if they are they skip that step and it’s much more serious).
I chatted mainly about the future today and that was useful.
(Eidrol RO9’s are cool recorders)
I have about 10 days or so to deliver the 10 minute play. Doing one quick pass of Fel’s wives and then Young Britain piece which has about four titles so far!


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