Over the last year and a half I haven’t been writing much prose fiction. Partly that is due to a good few bouts of home-schooling my boys! But also, it is because I have - and I’m finally ready to admit this - started writing play scripts.
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but felt I had no right to, somehow! Although I went to see a lot of amateur and semi-professional theatre as a kid, it still seemed like an alien world. I didn’t know all the correct terminology. How do you format a script? What do you do with it when you’re done?
In the end I admitted my ambition to a few people, and somehow it seemed easier to start after that. I started with adapting one of my flash stories into a monologue which the brilliant actor (and friend of mine) Emma Stansfield (Coronation Street, Jamie Johnson) filmed for me (see here!)
I then tentatively tried my first 10-minute stage plays. Imagine my delight when my first script was selected as one of the six winners of the Pint-Sized Plays competition - a competition that often attracts hundreds of entries! Another of my early tiny plays was chosen by the actor and director Antony Eden (The Woman in Black, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) to produce for Muck and Rumble, in aid of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity. It was performed so brilliantly by Julia Hills (2Point4 Children) and can still be viewed here.
Since then I have been working on longer things. I’ve managed to complete drafts of a couple of full-length stage plays, as well as a few smaller bits and pieces. I’m definitely in the learning stage - reading plays, reading about playwrighting, submitting things here and there. It’s a nice phase to be in - low expectations and great excitement!
The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is how much I love it. It feels like coming home - in a writing sense, anyway. I still love my prose fiction, but this feels like something different. And I’m excited to see where I can take it, and where it will take me!