SYNOPSIS: Adam is accused of committing a crime whilst under the influence of drugs, he doesn’t remember either. Through a series of confrontations he meets his shame privately, legally, in his family and ultimately in the middle of the night standing naked on a station platform. A drama about reclaiming what we’ve lost, the lengths we have to go to reach people, and questions whether we can ever escape a legacy of shame?
Writing this play gave me a working understanding of how important change is to characters in drama. I’ve learned how to thread personal politics, image architecture and story together. I am also immensely (and shamelessly) proud of this piece of work.
Examples of organisations my work has been shortlisted, or performed, with.
The BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition is a platform for aspiring screenwriters to have their work showcased and take their writing career to the next level. Following a blind judging process, selected script extracts are performed by a professional cast to an audience of producers, development executives, directors, actors and literary agents, aiming to give a platform to emerging writing talent from across the country.
It tells the story of Keith, who arrives in the Big Smoke seeking post-university infamy and claim his place as a musical icon. The only problem being that he can’t play any instruments. So, instead, to assuage his landlady he is sent to work, reluctantly and rebelliously, as a “vigilante educational reformist”. He joins a primary school as a special needs teaching assistant, alongside the eternally enthusiastic if beleaguered Lucy, Pete and Damien. Songs from his concept album, Life Support, play out against his learning curve, where a culture of failure is turned into an appreciation of those who compensate us for what we are not.
This project has been on an interesting journey. It started its life as a ramshackle scratch as part of the Hatch Festival for new work at York Theatre Royal, based on the success of its first outing we were invited to return for a second time. Then, a protracted development process with producers and Paul Robinson (formerly AD of Theatre503, now Stephen Joseph Theatre) And, since writing it, the composer has become a priest (true story). I recently revisited the script, and the songs, and I feel deeply that this show hasn’t had the life it ought to have yet. Maybe you’re reading this and discovering this is the precise project you are looking for?
Anyhow, this project was so much fun to write. I truly learnt the art of re-writing. I had so many things to say; it is a play with songs, and I was younger as a writer when I started, so have spent a lot of time in re-draft separating what serves the story and what serves my ego (a valuable lesson).
“Boy what got”
Dan Beam, The Press, York
As a writing process this taught me a lot about dramatic action, attention to detail and quality control. We worked with a dramaturg (the tenacious Kevin Dyer) and it was an exhaustively detailed learning process that I owe a lot to. It was where I began to truly understand how character relationships define the action of any story.
This was my first experience developing a new play, with a professional playwright, for production. A project I contributed to as a writer and as an actor. It taught me how to write a play, and what kind of plays I want to make. It’s a gutsy play about real people who are trying to connect at the intersection of class, gender, race and sexual identity. These themes resonate through my work today.