After all that, it’s over. Shed and Cake have had their first outing in front of an audience and it went really well! But first, a tale of woe:
There once was a man called – let’s not give him a name, borrowing from the fantabulous Neil Gaiman, today is Wednesday so I shall him Mr Wednesday. (Sidebar: my computer recognises fantabulous as a word …) Mr Wednesday was an actor, a rare mythical creature that can often be found in meaningless part time jobs and living in London because ‘that’s where it’s all happening.’ Mr Wednesday offered his services as an actor to a struggling writer. The writer, let’s call her Marie Antoinette because she wants the world to eat Cake.
Miss Antoinette invited Mr Wednesday to an audition. The characters had been living in Miss Antoinette’s mind for a long long time and she was very protective over them. They looked a certain way and acting a certain way. Mr Wednesday did not fulfil her dreams. She thanked him for his time and politely declined his services. Long story short, Mr Wednesday is threatening to take Miss Antoinette to small claims court for his travel expenses. All £31.40 of it. Fun fact, it would cost Mr Wednesday £50 to file the claim in the first place.
I suppose we can’t have it all, yet … on the other hand, check this out:
“And finally this weekend over to Colchester to the beautiful St Martin’s Church (now deconsecrated) for a new collective created by theatre director Gari Jones to allow space for new writers and new emerging talent to have a voice and a space to test that voice. Renegade is a long way from Gari’s acclaimed CV as an associate director for Harold Pinter on many of his productions in London and New York, and the creation of immersive theatre in the Depot for Colchester Mercury. Here he is returning to his roots of poor theatre, “new ways of thinking, a sign of the times, a needs must”.
I didn’t know that Charlie Hay, who I first met on the TRAIN scheme at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, was already getting noticed as a new playwright through submissions with Menagerie and other new work searches. We saw her post-apocalyptic vision of a damned country from which there is little escape, Shed. It’s beautifully written on a personal scale to hint at an epic canvas. A rather extreme allegory on the current situation in our world drawing on issues of leaked secrets, corrupt powerful leaders, and ever decaying communities but shining new profit centres… for the good of the people! Shed feels completely ready to go into a pre-production development phase and I so hope that she’s picked up by one of the major new writing houses. We couldn’t stay for her second new piece Cake – but she has kindly offered to email it to me and in the meantime check out her great blog.”
I am speechless from the support and praise for both Shed and Cake. I know I have thanked my cast a thousand times but I am truly thankful. Thank you for your time, dedication and patience. Thank you to The Boyfriend, my writing husband Ryan and everyone and anyone that took the time to read Shed and Cake, every criticism and every note has made it better and better. So what’s the future for these two pieces?
Shed needs a serious tidy, a ruthless trim. There’s scenes of nothing but stage directions during climatic moments that slow it down. They most go, obviously. There’s small plot holes such as a character contemplating information they’ve not got yet. And other ginormous mistakes that I’m too ashamed to share. Once I have a cleaner edit, one more read through and it’s off to any theatre that will take new writing.
Cake is faulted in so many respects, but now I know what’s wrong. It was wrong to show short seductive scenes in quick succession because it would appear that the character goes on a … for lack of a better word … rape spree. No one wants to see that. It needs a personal touch. We’ve all seen the awkward bar pick-ups. Cake needs a personal touch; the morning after, the sharing with friends, the psychopathic lack of empathy. It needs more research into the ‘other’ women. That’s the problem with my concept being so ground breaking, not a lot of history to draw upon. This idea has always been bigger than me, I need help.