Friday, June 24, 2011


That’s short plays, not trousers. Six writers, mostly TV, mostly unused to theatre, writing 15 minute plays for the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival. It happened for the first time last year, three nights, sold out, went down very well. Mine was set in a soap storyline office. This year mine’s set at the bottom of a cliff, after a nasty accident …

Hope it goes all right, I’ve got a great director and cast, but there’s been hardly any rehearsal time, availability problems, space problems. Tech yesterday, tensions running high, there was almost a fight – nothing to do with my merry little band – it was a thespian sort of fight, a lot of words and not much else. Eventually someone threw themselves between the combatants shouting ‘Leave it, he’s not worth it!’ and it all ended happily. Dress today, opens tonight. One of my actors leaves Wolverhampton at 5.30 to be in the theatre and on stage at 8.30. Let’s hope there’s no motorway pile-ups. It’s good though, good to sit in an audience and hear and see and feel their reactions to the piece line by line as it develops and unfolds. Telling a story, and seeing the response in someone’s face as they listen. Don’t get that with telly, don’t get that with books either, not unless you sit next to someone who’s reading it, watching their face intently, nudging them now and then to see if they’re enjoying it. Which isn’t really feasible.

This is what writing is – communication, Of course if the audience boo, or sit in stony silence, I might not be feeling so naively upbeat about it tomorrow.

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