Sorry I haven’t posted this earlier, I’ve had a few deadlines which I’ve needed to meet. So…this event. It was brilliant!
I’ll talk you through the day.
When I arrived, I was greeted by a group of young and enthusiastic organisers who registered us and sorted out necessary paper work; agreeing to allow our plays to be filmed and shown. I was a little uneasy at first as most of the people in the room were young, straight out of Uni and bubbling with optimism.
I think as you get older, you can be guilty of hiding that exuberance under a cloak of composure and I’m conscious that this can look a bit smug and unapproachable – so I decided I would bounce off their energy with my own version, which may have made me look like I was auditioning for a ‘presenters’ job in children’s TV.
I was relieved when some older people arrived as it allowed me to calm myself a little.
The organisers explained that seven writers had been chosen for this event and that professional actors had been selected by the team, who they believed would best deliver the material. We were introduced to our cast and then given a director to work with, who would help to coordinate the play ready for performance.
It would be the first time that both the actors and director would see my writing. I sat quietly, feeling very nervous, whilst they read through my monologue, my anxiety fading slightly when they appeared to laugh at certain parts of the script.
I was asked questions about my character, how I saw him, mannerisms etc and the my actor ‘Mark’ performed the piece for the first time. I have to say I was mesmerised hearing my words being spoken by someone who brought them to life in a way that I could never have imagined.
The director made suggestions about phrasing, movement about the stage and emphasising different aspects of the monologue and then Mark went off to practice, whilst I sat and chatted with the director.
Later in the day, the audience was invited in and the performances began. I have to say, I was feeling very exposed and nervous waiting for my play to be performed but I needn’t have been. Mark completely blew me away by doing a fabulous performance, owning the stage and having the audience in stitches as he delivered the lines which I so hoped other people would find funny. I was in complete awe and had one of those moments of pride that I thought I would only feel at my own children’s achievements.
At the end I was congratulated on receiving an excellent audience response and told that my piece had been one of the first they had chosen because it had made them laugh so much.
The event has led to other projects which I have been beavering away at. I will keep you posted of their progress.