A Word from the writer: 07/09/2013

A Word from the writer: 07/09/2013

I’ve always loved theatre and wrote my first publicly performed script at the ripe old age of 7. It was a murder mystery and being in an all-girls school, it involved a lot of giggling.

I acted a bit at school but realised I probably wasn’t good enough to make it my profession, so spent a fair amount of time trying to shoehorn myself into employment boxes that didn’t seem to fit me very well. And throughout I wrote, though only for myself as I didn’t have the courage to show the stuff I produced to anyone.

In 2008 a friend dared me to apply for an MA in Creative Writing and after a fair amount of wibbling I sent off the form, confident in the knowledge that the rejection letter would swiftly follow and I’d be able to get on with my life. Imagine my surprise when I was accepted on to the course.

Initially I planned to major in prose, but was very quickly seduced by the thrill of script writing. I spent 2 years learning how to write for radio and screen and loved it. We didn’t spend much time looking at theatre and I knew this was an area I wanted to explore.

Out of the blue another friend sent me a link to the New Playwrights’ Laboratory at ARC Stockton – a 15 week, practical course in writing for theatre, run by Andy Willoughby. So I signed up, and began the journey towards “Weather to Fly”.

During the course I wrote a 15 minute play called “Toast”, which was directed by OddManOut’s very own Scott Young. We had lots of fun with it, and I was delighted when it was chosen as festival winner of ARC’s Short, Sharp, Festival of new playwriting. This led to an opportunity to develop the piece into a full length play, and one year on and with the help and encouragement of Scott, Katy Weir and Gez Casey we’re now in the happy position of taking the play on tour in October 2013, and the news that Arts Council England are giving us full funding is the lemon drizzle on top!

Much of the subject matter is drawn from my own experiences and at times this has made the writing process difficult. Scott has been an amazing right hand man, challenging me to be brave, to dig deeper and uncover the text, and I think we’ve arrived at something which will make for a good audience experience.

Working with OddManOut has been 100% positive. Scott, Katy and team prove that it’s possible for talent, professionalism and respect to work together, and I know consider them to be my friends. I wish them every success with the company and hope I get to travel with you again. Thank you guys. You are legends.

Since finishing ‘Weather” I’ve now completed my next script. The subject matter is very different and I can’t wait to begin a new journey with it, but for now it’s all Weather systems go as we get ready to cast and rehearse.

The birds are coming. Bring it on!