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Friday, 16 September 2011

Performance Time

Last night I attended a showcase of work by writers, directors and actors which celebrated work in this region. I was lucky enough to have a piece included: a ten-minute play called 'Shards' which revolved around a woman's inability to communicate with her dementia-suffering mother following the death of her father. The problem is exacerbated by the woman she deems responsible for her father's death becoming friends with her mother. Honestly, it takes longer to explain the piece than to watch it!

I was pleased with the way mine looked on stage. I don't think there's anything that quite matches the sensation of hearing words you've written come out of other people's mouths. The three actresses involved in my piece were excellent. I saw a rehearsal on Wednesday evening and the first thing I said afterwards was that the actress playing Eliza was scary. The director pointed out that I'd written her that way but words on a page can sometimes be so subdued and the effect has to be seen to be enjoyed. Judging from the audience reaction, I think my play went down quite well and - when I remembered to breathe - I found I enjoyed it too.

The other twelve pieces were very varied. However, my father did point out afterwards that a running motif seemed to be death. That probably says a lot about the preoccupation of writers at the moment, feeding off the gloomy atmosphere and worrisome news stories. The comedies were very good though and provided some much-needed laughter in the midst of all the death and pain.

It was an excellent night all round and I'd like to thank my family for coming to support the hyperventilating writer and the various friends who have kept me calm over the last few weeks - Claire, Sal, Laura and Nicola included! Well done to everyone involved in the performances and I hope I get to work with some of them again in the future.

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