Number 8 | Write a play based on a true story …

Well, it’s vaguely true. I’ve written a one-act play based on the very thing that led me to this point – the ex-boyfriend and the theatre group (go refresh your memory and read ‘The Story’ link on this site).

So far in my creative life – which sounds so much better than, “what I do when I doss around” – I have written numerous sketches, based on everything from ‘Dr. Who’ to Steve Irwin. I’ve written two children’s books and self-published them through Amazon. I’ve written one film script, and started a sitcom. And I’ve also written three one-act plays.

The first play, ‘Thirtysomething’, was about a one-night stand between Nicola and Ben. The morning after, Nicola holds Ben hostage WITH AN ACTUAL GUN until he agrees to be her boyfriend. This is not based on a true story in any way, although quite a lot of the dialogue was.

The second, ‘Useless’, is about a bloke who gets dumped by his girlfriend. His friends rally round to avenge his dumping, and it turns out that they are all superheroes. Really, really crap superheroes. As in, they speak in Shakespearian dialect / sing in harmony / tell stories through interpretative dance. I don’t think I need to point out that this is in no way based on any true story in existence.

And now we’ve got ‘The Fixer’. I wrote it as a reaction to last year’s break up but switched around some of the details. The girl, Caitlin, now breaks up with the guy, Ed (YES! REVENGE WILL BE MINE!). Ed is getting too into his theatre groups, loving the attention from all the women, and it’s making Caitlin unhappy and left-out. From Ed’s point of view, Caitlin is being too clingy (at least, this is how I imagine the ex in question saw me), which she’s only doing because she actually wants to see her boyfriend, who she loves. Along comes The Fixer to fix things … by nearly killing Ed. This is the part that never happened.

But so much of the dialogue is based on real thoughts and feelings from that horrible period. I wrote it a matter of days after all the shit kicked off and, when I went to re-read it a few months down the line, I realised it was basically just a rant about this certain ex. Sometimes that’s healthy to do, to get everything out of your system like that, and I realised that I didn’t want to change much. I wanted to make it a bit less personal, add in some ridiculous elements to make it slightly more absurd … And it was done! We performed it at the Leicester Comedy Festival earlier this year (which is where the photo below was taken) and we’re doing it AGAIN at The Little Theatre as part of the All-England Play Festival on 31 March. This time around we’ll be competing with 11 other one-act plays to win various awards and go through to the quarter-finals of the festival. We also get adjudicated IN FRONT OF EVERYONE, so if the adjudicator thinks it’s crap he will let us know.

 

But come and see it! Support will be most welcome – check The Little Theatre website for details. Support won’t overthrow the adjudicator’s decision if he *does* think it’s rubbish, but we can definitely get a large enough group of people together to beat him senseless with a rolled up copy of the Metro.

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