I started writing plays in 2008 as part of Proteus Productions, a sub-group of Leicester University Theatre dedicated to producing ten minute plays written, directed, and performed by its members. I was in the group from the offing, and started to write ten minute plays to be performed there. For any aspiring playwright I can honestly say that having some people to perform your work is always a great help in defining style and deciding what works and what doesn’t.
In summer of last year I conceived of an idea for a full length play – a character study in grief. Spurred on by success with writing ten minute plays (and the kind words and criticisms of other members of that group) I spent the summer months writing what would go on to become The Empty Chair. A play about reactions to grief and the effect it can have on faith, The Empty Chair tells the story of Grace, a young Christian woman, and her family as they react to the sudden death of her father.
Around the same time as writing The Empty Chair I had an idea for a ten minute comedy play based around God and Jesus writing the Bible. The combination of writing a religious character and needing a comic relief from the research and writing of grief undoubtedly gave me the inspiration. Titled In the Beginning… after the first words of Genesis, I set about having a bit of an irreverent look at what it might have been like for God to write the Bible (and before any says it, yes, I’m aware it was humans that wrote it, but the traditional Christian belief is that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit…). Ideas kept coming for it, so the script ended up being longer than I had originally intended, and even after I had nicely rounded it off I found I had surplus ideas. Thus began Let My People Go!, followed neatly by The Law’s an Ass, The Night Before Christmas, When A Child is Born and Crucify This!. I now had an episodic on my hands, and decided to give them the umbrella title Paradise (Lost), which suited the feel of the entire thing.
My second play, Lost & Found, is based (loosely) on Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare. The story is more or less the same (with some revisions and dropping of characters), but set in a Lost Property Office in the London Underground. It was performed 23rd-25th November 2011 by Leicester University Theatre under the aegis of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project.
In March 2013, two of my one act plays were also performed by Leicester University Theatre – The Way Things Are and Now or Never – as a two act play, under the umbrella title The Way Things Are. It was performed 5th-7th March.
Below are some extracts from some of my plays:
The Empty Chair, an extract from scene two. Lily’s monologue.
Paradise (Lost): In the Beginning…, an extract from episode one. Jesus checks up on God’s progress with the Bible.
Against the Wall, very much the end of an affair. After all, it is his wedding day…
Block, a ten minute play. A writer struggles to start a new book, much to a friend’s annoyance.
Bare Feet, a ten minute play. Four seemingly unconnected characters tell their stories.
The Calm, a short film script. A politician is about to make an important speech and is in last minute preparations with his aide.
Coffee & TV I: The Non-Date, part one sees two young men discuss just what going for a coffee with a girl means.
Coffee & TV II: The Favour, part two follows up on just what happened on the non-date with a girl from the office.
Coffee & TV III: The Date, part three and Pete has a date, much to Alex’s incredulity.
Coffee & TV IV: The Double Date, part four and Pete has another date, one which Alex has mixed feelings about.
KissCam, a ten minute play. Janey’s flatmate finds out the hard way that you should be careful where you kiss.
The Seasons of the Heart, a ten minute play. Tracing the trajectory of one relationship from glimpses at the bus stop.
Leaving Eden, a ten minute play, charting what happened to Adam and Eve after all that business with the apple.
Office Life, a ten minute play. Just like anything other office, really.
Serenade in Blue, a ten minute play focusing on a couple in the park.
Star Sun, a ten minute play. A single mother visits her mum for the first time in a while.
The Pearly Gates, a ten minute play about what the afterlife is really like.
Versions, a dramatic monologue. A person talks about how we accommodate our differing senses of self.
Watershed, a short monologue. A young woman talks about her problems with writer’s block.
Welcome to Kid Zone, a ten minute play about three children’s TV presenters off air.