So as I feel i’m creatively nearing the end of my current project where things have just become, move that, reorder that, rewrite that, I had been worrying will I ever write or think of anything to write thats as good or I enjoy as much as this? Well luckily I came up with something I’m really enjoying working through, and it’s all to do with Witches in Essex… well not exactly more the belief in them… but in the 80s (typical me) So if anyone has anything interesting thats a bit different they know of witches, let me know?
So with a more readable draft done, not as long and easy on the eyes what I’m surprised by is how much people want to read it and actually like it when they do. I’m not saying its really good or that my writing is bad but more surprised by people connecting with it. The story being so personal to myself and in my view it’s very much “Essex” but apparently you don’t have to be from Basildon to like it. This probably sounds fairly obvious to most but to me I kind of just thought you had to be from Bas to “get it”. I didn’t think the welsh would want to hear about some up-start little Essex prick but I was wrong. So I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve learnt it doesn’t matter where or when it’s set because the story is universal, something I’m glad I’ve learnt even if it has taken me a while.
So the second trip of Gregynog is tomorrow. I have finished my first draft of my theatre piece! Which is a better place than some people were this time last year. So thats a plus.
Am I happy with it?… Yeah I guess so, I was surprised at how surreal I could write. I have often seen things that wax lyrical but are also very odd in their dialogue that seem very surreal and random but somehow manage to be relevant to the play, so I’ve seen these things and thought “I could never write like that, I’d always stay on topic.” but in a longing to write like that kind of way. But somehow I feel I’ve ended up writing in a way that does this, realising that these things are not random they come from a place in the writers life that is relevant but if you put it in a place in the narrative that seems out of place it becomes off beat and slowly works it way into being relevant and important to the narrative. None of that probably made any sense. But it won’t matter come Saturday when my arse is handed to me and my script torn to pieces by my tutors.
A few years ago I was travelling into London from my home town in Essex to meet up with my cousin, I was on an overground train with a friend and we passed by a very unusual building, I said “fuck me thats ugly, I like that.” Thought nothing of it and continued to meet up with my cousin, the next day we went to portobello road market. As we got to the end of the market we happened down one of the final streets with any stalls left, there was a large street party going. Predominantly the crowd were Afro-Caribbean and the street party seemed to be a celebration of the culture. As I gaze up the street party was all happening in front of the ugly building I had pointed out, this building was Balfron Tower. My cousin then proceeded to tell me of the designer of the building, Erno Goldfinger, and brutalism as an art form. I enjoyed the whole scenario at the time but didn’t quite realise the impact it had on me, this single moment of working class celebration against an industrial landscape has shaped my writing and outlook on art and life.
So I haven’t posted in a while a longer stretch than I usually go with an update as my writing has taken a new direction, that direction being the stage! I was convinced to do my current project as a theatre piece. I was very skeptical at first but after reading some monologues I realised that what I originally thought impossible was indeed very possible. Reading a lot of In-yer-face theatre helped too, Anthony Neilson most notably, this style of theatre is very much who I am I feel, I want to be an Angry Young Playwright!
Though my final major project is coming along nicely, i’m not having any sort of writers block or anything what I am finding difficult however is the subject matter. The topic, location and people are so close to home it’d really quite upsetting to write, trying my best to distance myself from the piece but it’s quite hard when the character is essentially me.
If you’d have told me 5 years ago when I first started to show signs of interest in the study of film that i’d be writing a social realist piece…out of choice! I’d have probably told you “to fuck right off sunshine.” but here I am writing the synopsis for my final major project and it’s social realism! Maybe it’s because the character is essentially me or maybe I’ve really turned a corner.
Really been getting back into the skinhead scene lately, wearing me fred perry polos and docs, listening to Ska and Reggae. Makes me really want to write something in that era, though it’s hard to not just re-write This is England. I’m thinking there may be a parallel between my Black Panther idea and the Skinhead scene, both very much wrapped up in racial tensions and have some crossover in terms of time period.
Gregynog…Well…I was a fish out of water to say the least. Enjoyed the activities, people and experience…However the place really wasnt me. I’m not inspired by nature and trees and that, I’m a city boy, I like industrial, council houses, tower blocks and general concrete things. No wonder my short script meant to be set at Gregnog was set in the car park.
Going home recently to attend a disastrous wedding has inspired me to write something in the vein of dogma classic Festen. Dressed in full skinhead regalia with eyeliner on and jumping over my old houses back fence to get in in the early hours of the morning to sneak in without alerting my now almost estranged folks was a lovely image, one which i could see on screen.