On July the 19th, 20th and 21st C54 Theatre Company will be transforming Oliver’s Village Cafe in Belsize Park into an airport lounge. The evening is guaranteed to be an intimate affair if their Winters’ Tales event was anything to go by, which also sold out what with tickets being limited and all. I’ve been asked to write another monologue again and I’m chuffed I’ve been asked back. The audience that were there for the Christmas themed event last time were engaged, warm and extremely attentive. I really like that the small cafe completely welcomes a theatre crowd and this holiday/airport themed night is definitely going to be interesting. My piece, ‘Unattended Luggage‘, is a tough monologue but one that I’m really looking forward to an actor getting their teeth into and I’m definitely intrigued to see how it goes down with the crowd. Tickets are available on 0783 4317850 or contact them on the Facebook page here.
Terminal 92 with @C54TheatreCo July 2, 2012
Last Chance To Catch Me This Year November 17, 2011
The Lovely folks over at C54 Theatre Company are putting on a Christmassy night in Belsize Park at Oliver’s Village Cafe called ‘Winter’s Tales’ on the 8th and 9th of December. The whole event will be fuelled by mulled wine, mince pies and I hear a lot of good cheer will be present. Niceness.
I’ve written one of the tales and it’s called ‘Extension’ and this will be the last time this year I’ve got some work on for you to come see (and possibly for a while). I’m really looking forward to this night as it’s a more intimate venue and basically a nice reason to have some well earned hot alcohol juice and mince pies. A cosy evening with some new writing and smiling faces. Heck, I may be becoming sentimental as I age, but at least I’ll do it with a glass in my hand.
The details to get tickets are on the poster above (email/mobile number) and I hear that the first night is almost sold out. Do come along and raise a glass to the year that’s whizzing by. 2012 eh? Yeah, it’s just around the corner. But first, let’s have some more mulled wine…
#excitedladybird Post Number 3 August 1, 2011
GREAT GUBBINS! We’ve beat our WeFund target and there’s even still time to donate!
And there are some fantastic incentives on offer which you can see here at a quick glance…
And there’s also another #excitedladybird blog update as well. Aren’t we nice to you? Then again some of you have been super nice to part with some pennies and subsequent pounds. We’re all Lovely. There, that should do it…
It Wasn’t You, It Was Me. March 19, 2010
I’ve gone done it again and left you in the lurch. My sincerest apologies. Here, have a photograph of me looking shifty to try and rectify this problem (I’m wearing a trilby Ma McCullough bought me randomly and there is a pile of scripts behind me, they feature later):
I’ve been quiet of late on both Twitter and Facebook (the latter not so much recently, it has featured high in my procrastination fund) because I have been bizzle. Extremelyoso. That’s not a real word but I just wrote it so it fits neatly in my head as being 100% real.
What have you been up to Katie? I hear you cry. Well, I hear some of you mumble. Because I’ve just practically eaten a whole bag of sweets to myself the following will become a blur of words and facts and memories that seem like yesterday but were last month:
* I got invited to see a rehearsal performance of Philip Ridley’s new play ‘Moonfleece’
* I saw ‘Off The Endz’ at the Royal Court
* I watched one of my bosses shave his locks off (not slang for bollocks I promise, I would have stepped in if that were to happen before my eyes, even if under the influence of sugar)
* I saw ‘Peter and Vandy’ at Theatre503 and took part in the invitation to do their writers’ response (but didn’t get picked).
And in between all of that I’ve had a whole load of shitty rejections but teetering the balance I’ve had some fucking amazing segments of news. I’m not going to discuss neither of those parties just yet. Oh I’m a big sloth like tease.
Like I say this will be a brief ‘hallo’ just to prove I’m still here and doing stuff.
I’ve been plugging away at episode two of the children’s TV programme idea I had for the CBBC competition a while back. Encouraged by my other boss and after having it professionally read and given full blown feedback on it I thought I’d do something about it. And the reason I had (some small limited) time on my hands was because “I Still Get Excited When I See A Ladybird” is in the ether and floating around through hands and slush piles and panels. Exciting? Uh huh. So I signed up for a Lab at the ICA and then had the space of a week (whilst weaving in and out of my other jobs and rehearsals) to write episode two. It was hard to begin with because I was being a dunce. I didn’t have time to plan what was going to happen over the entire series so I ended up just writing blindly to create a second episode.
The results aren’t too bad but I’m not sure if it’s an episode two. The reading’s soon and I’ve been rushing around not only finishing the thing but casting and arranging chaperoning children up to London on a Sunday. I feel like I’ve sacrificed a whole forest today after printing out 22 scripts. Gah.
When I’ve more time I shall be teasing my next idea from my head on to this blog. I’m sure you wait with baited breath. I can smell it, please brush vigorously next time.
In the mean time you may remember me discussing song lyrics and using them as an exercise to create a monologue. Well I had my lesson with my student a few weeks ago and we read her efforts back to her and they were brilliant. A fellow friend and reader of this here blog has sent their work in so I shall now unveil it. If anyone else has done it please feel free to let me know and I’ll pop them up here. Without further a do…
Well isn’t that just one of the scattiest blog entries you’ve ever read. I have a certain charm for these things.
Update from my face and mouth February 15, 2010
And here are some photographs of The White Room for some more proof that it’s progressing. Not that you’re going to hurt me if I don’t… right?
I didn’t realise that because I’m attempting to whip “I Still Get Excited When I See A Ladybird” into shape I’ve temporarily dropped the 8th monologue BUT I didn’t give you a visual update of JUDITH who was the last one to be written. Bad me, slapped wrist and botticle.
And for good measure I shall include a very fuzzy photograph of my rejection letter from the Arvon/Jerwood Mentoring Scheme which I didn’t get. But I was shortlisted to the final ten which is something to brag about I suppose. Ho hum, on to the next thing…
Visual Update #5 (of how many I don’t know) February 5, 2010
I’ve had my fair share of busy days and relaxing days but today was dedicated to that of GEORGE. And I was looking forward to writing him so much I looked at my alarm as it rang stupendously early this morning and politely gave it the cold shoulder.
Then I properly woke up and pissed around and then realised I’d done lots of scribbles the night before on my whiteboards so set about reading them. GEORGE has been a little difficult to write because not only am I discussing something I have strong views about (and going against) but I found him a little boring. So I’ve pinned him down as much as I can but in the second round of drafting he will get a beating.
I think because I know the end is in sight for the first draft I’m lagging a little, cutting stupid corners and racing ahead. I’m a glutton for punishment so by imposing strict rules on myself I have to have a very good reason to defy them. The last two are going to get as much attention as the previous ones. I’m playing the tortoise at this, with good reason.
Visual Update #4 (of how many I don’t know) January 29, 2010
I’m home back at home home and I’ve found it both a struggle and fairly easy at the same time. Dunno what I’m trying to say. I’ve been busy with actually writing these monologues and asking permissions from people I admire.
Just finished writing CLAIRE who I first thought was going to completely zap my energy because of the subject matter but actually she came to be born quite fluidly.
This is her name on the whiteboard. It’s quite self-explanitory that sentence so I’ll leave that there. I love my whiteboards. That one’s explains itself also. This is how I look and feel today:
And here is photographic evidence of myself and CLAIRE in the same room together. She’s treated me well:
And I’ve just gone to check CLAIRE off my list when I realise I only have three monologues left to write. These are all first drafts but still that makes me feel a tingle of something. Excitement? Dread? Both? Possibly a certain type of eagerness. It’s a jigsaw at the moment making sure each one isn’t completely off the radar so they hang together. They’re linked but not explicitly so. I’ll leave you in pieces/peace as I’m thinking aloud.
This is what I woke up to this morning (Charlie aka Shitface):
Nothing Like Human League In The Morning January 21, 2010
I’ve always considered music and storytelling in any format entwined. Which probably goes to say why I prefer narrative music videos and overall songs with fantastic lyrics. (Don’t get me wrong I like a fair helping of hardcore techno as well). But I find music helps me to write but it also shows us structurally how a story unravels.
(This is one of my favourite music videos. Thank you Tunng.)
As part of the individual tutoring I’m doing at the moment I’m helping a student to write a monologue for her to perform as part of a playwriting exam. I told her to think of songs with lyrical content as the ultimate monologue. They can be in the first person or third person narrative but their intended goal is the same; to tell a story and keep us captured for however many minutes. There have been many times when lyrics hit the spot, they make us stop and sit up at how poignant they are. Or how they resonate. They’re both taking you by the hand and willing you to listen intently, which you do.
In my lesson before I talked at length about the Snow Patrol song ‘How To Be Dead’. I wouldn’t count myself as a massive fan but the reason I liked this song is because it doesn’t have a chorus (which is why it didn’t make that much of an impact on the charts). It’s a clear cut story with two parties identified and contains the beautiful lyric that I never forget, “It seems I’ve stepped over lines you’ve drawn again and again”. Crystal clear, beautifully written and forever imprinted in my mind. But aside from that it’s storytelling, it’s all dialogue.
I also talked about how classic rock ‘n’ roll songs from the fifties are very ‘of the time’ and even more narrative. They’re all about losing their baby or wanting to kiss their girl before dropping them home and persuading them to stay out later or uncouth women (!). The reason I adore my motown is because the lyrics are familiar (not from over-play) because they a story and everyone remembers a good story. We’ll sometimes even go as far as describing a story as being lyrical. One of my most memorable motown songs is a classic, “The Tracks Of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and The Band. It’s there in its sad tortured self for all to see it’s a story of love-lost and the forlorn qualities of seeing an old flame with a new spark. And it’s laden with beautiful images.
So building on the idea of songs being the perfect template (structurally, I understand that lyrics tend to be more expositional or abstract at times) for monologues my lesson plan included this task. Taking a song that’s fairly narrative add or detract punctuation and/or scene directions to change a list of lyrics into a performable monologue. The story is already there so that’s one less thing to worry about; your aim is to raise the tension, craft the drama and give it the theatrical flavour. As an example I read out lyrics to Death Cab For Cutie’s, “Bixby Canyon Bridge” and Elbow’s, “Scattered Black and Whites”. Then handed over both for my student to explore and basically hack into her own piece of work. As a further experiment to highlight how this might work I did it myself before the lesson and decided to tackle Human Leagues’, “Don’t You Want Me”. Stupidly I didn’t realise that the song is multi-narrative until I came to picking it apart so it ends up being a two-hander, but you’ll get the point.
Click on the photo and you should be able to read it.
I had immense fun doing this and it’s nice to concentrate on what makes something dramatic, garnering a sense of conflict from something that you know or might not know already. You shouldn’t feel constrained by repetition or lyrics that end abruptly or aren’t succinct sentences. It’s something to play around with. Looking at my example I merged sentences, I isolated certain words. I for one am a big fan or the power of silence on stage so play around with pauses. Nothing’s concrete as I keep telling myself and my student; just because you’ve written it down doesn’t mean you have to keep it there. Imagine how different something would read if a pause was entered before a revelation or after. If a fullstop entered half way through the sentence. If the character was whispering or shouting. Depending on what song you choose it’s only a page of work. If you do it yourself please tell me what songs you used and how you found it. Turn a song on it’s head. Maybe give it another meaning… nothing’s concrete.
Visual Update #3 (of how many I don’t know) January 18, 2010
I battled through with the troublesome CHLOE and eeked her for as much as I could in this draft of things. She now looks a little like this:
And now I’m onto a seventeen year old boy, ALEX. In a writing sense of course. He’s spouting a lot of nonsense at the moment but every other line is a keeper and I have a feeling he’s going to be fun to write. He’s a kid with a certain unease with the world and speaks a lot about the observations he’s concocted from the world he was born into. A real throw your fists in the air monologue but he’s a little unhinged which is actually quite fun to write. It’s not didactic at all, it’s merely presenting ideas and letting them dwell. With a little bit of shock in there.
What an auspicious beast he’s turning out to be.
Visual Update #2 (Of How Many I Don’t Know) January 14, 2010
I’ve not had that much time to dedicate to the monologue project (“I Still Get Excited When I See A Ladybird”) because of working or generally getting my car stuck in the snow and not feeling like it. Oh and the film I was involved with for the 48Hr Film Challenge over in Jersey won! Super mega chuffed and it was great to see familiar faces from what seems like a lifetime ago. The films are still up for people to view (I think) over here. But I’ve thrown myself back into the new project and it seems to be getting hard now…
…and I know why. So far I’ve written two male monologues, both older, and I find these relatively easy. I enjoy pretending to be someone else and really get my teeth into it. I’m now crafting a female monologue and she happens to be 26. That’s extremely close to my age and I suppose what I’m worried about is people will assume that this is my agenda, this is my message as a young female playwright of 25. It’s not at all, I’m merely exploring ideas that I’ve talked about with people but the content is very sexualised and delves into what we impart on people and what we’re frightened to admit. And it’s true, there’s a part of me in this monologue but there’s a segment of me in all of my writing and I’m trying to write and keep the flow of the narrative going without worrying too much about the repercussions. Counter-productive to be troubling myself with these sorts of things now but I can honestly say it’s making writing this monologue hard work. So when I get to the end of the first draft I’ll be leaving that in a drawer for longer than a week it has to be said.
I find it much easier to write for men.