It’s the last week of 3.1 (year 3, semester 1) and my lack of posts through these important weeks could say one of to things: The semester has passed without inspiration or creative/ interesting thoughts OR the semester has been such a busy one I simply haven’t had time to thrash them out here! It’s the latter.
This semester has actually been one of my most creatively stimulating. Frustrating, though with rewards too. I’ve definitely learnt a lot. The reason? I took my first creative writing module; Writing for Performance.
Yes, this semester I have written my very own 1 act, hour long, play I have titled Brick. You may remember, or you can look back on my last post and read about how I found my Summer a distinctly desolate period for creative inspiration. My play has shown that this wasn’t in fact the case! I have based it on an experience I had over the Summer; the three nights I spent in the bar I worked in during the London (England?) riots.
One of the best and yet worst things about it during the writing process was my dedication to depicting the event in detail and with great accurately. I felt this was very important, as I saw my writing the play as a way of documenting the events that happened. What this approach made me short-sighted of was that the play wasn’t just about the event, or even the reactions of the characters to it which was my medium of presentation, it was about the characters themselves. I had to depict their individual lives and use the events happening outside as a catalyst to their own internal conflicts. So yes, the play is about the riots (an external conflict) and I did a lot of research to present this as accurately as I could but it is primarily about the characters: Louis still coming to terms with his war-time experiences, Brian defending his bar and his lifestyle, Monty addressing his relationship with money and it’s affect on his family, Katie’s unrequited love of Jack, Ffion’s newly discovered pregnancy, Ryan’s dealing with his sexuality and Martin’s search for Luci, which leads to devastating hurt and betrayal. Through these characters experiences I also explore and address the rich-poor and generational divides, as a way of questioning where the culpability for the event lies.
Whilst I am generally pleased with what I have written (though there is still some editing to be done) I am just hoping now that I have done justice to the people and the city I love. I hope that those who read it, wherever they come from, get a sense of the tension and fear, but also the unity in the face of it that I saw occur. I also like to think that in a theatre environment my audience would question what they see, the characters and their opinions and motivations as well as the event itself. My aim was for it to inspire debate, though in my opinion my play does not offer a clear right or wrong answer.