Sunday, 5 June 2011

My playwriting debut...









So, it's been a tremendously exciting week this week: normally I spend all my time talking about other people's plays, but this week I have been scrutinising my own, as my short play Bystanders was performed as part of the CP Players New Writing Season. It's been an exhilarating, if nerve wracking, experience...


Obviously, having two books and a considerable chunk of other material published, I'm no stranger to my work being "out there", but it's amazing how different it feels when my writing is only a small part of the creative process. There's something both thrilling and terrifying about having your work filtered through the talents and ideas of others, and seeing something that lived in your head coming to life on stage: things that I thought worked, worked less well, things I hadn't noticed seemed to really impress, and - since I saw the play performed on 4 consecutive nights - these weren't always the same things.




But for me the scariest thing was the lack of control in the end product. Obviously, it's nice to have a safety blanket (if it sucked, not my fault) but I'm used to my writing standing or falling on its own merits - it's terrifying thinking it depends on the actors, the director, the audience reaction, whether the technical things work and the set doesn't fall over... a whole load of things I have no control over at all. So the week has been a tremendous learning curve for me, and one I am enormously grateful to have experienced.




I have also been very lucky: served by a great cast and director (so thank you, Barrie Addenbrooke, Andrew Cleaver, Sharita Oomeer, and Hannah Ivory), a camaraderie of playwrights (Michael Sands and Gareth Strachan) not to mention the truly fabulous stage manager, Raj Wadhera, who not only did a great job, did it with an erring cheerfulness that was good for my frayed nerves. (I was also truly delighted by this enormously throughtful gift, featuring a cover of a book featured in the play that is tailored to my own life...!)


I'm also thankful for the support of my friends, both those who came to see the play, and those who couldn't manage that but sent messages of support. As anyone who reads my sister blog will know, I have rather shamelessly milked the whole experience, and I thank them for not smacking me round the head.


Next stop the West End...


No comments: