And breathe. It’s been a hectic last couple of weeks with rehearsals and performances and SELLOUTS and MORE sellouts. Five sellouts each five nights it was performed. Forgive me if I feel inwardly proud and outwardly smug! (Obviously I have no control over making it a sellout, but those of you who I pestered to come helped do that, so thanks.) It’s been a fantastic experience from start to finish. Adam and Hannah who run Box Of Tricks are dedicated to promoting and nurturing new writing and it’s a fantastic showcase not only for the playwrights commissioned, but the actors involved (many doubled up parts).
What I found humbling about this experience is the genuine responses from the audience. I knew a few people who were going who were friends and family, but there were a whole load of other people. That no one knew. What I refer to as ‘proper punters‘. Those who had chanced seeing the production, someone who had read or heard about it. And they were extremely vocal about how much they enjoyed it. It’s extremely bizarre to be in a position where you can hear people talk about your work with such adoration, that it’s like being five over again and overhearing what Father Christmas is getting you for Christmas.
Some exciting things have come out of my time being a part of the Box Of Tricks group, some of which is still unfurling. But what I can give you right now this very second are some photographs of the show, beautifully shot by Ludovic Des Cognets.
(And I’ll present them in running order)
King of the Castle, Becky Prestwich
With Mum bollocksed upstairs, and his sister refusing to play, Callum decides it’s time to seize power and take Daddy’s throne.
Broken Windows, Daniel Smith
For Bobby B, grafitti’s not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle choice. But can politics and spray paint ever mix?
The Collectors, Jaki McCarrick
As Ireland faces financial freefall, Virgil has a novel way to recoup his losses. Two ordinary people learn how extraordinary they really are.
The Turn, Siân Owen
The funfair has come to town! But it’s not all fun and games. A dark comedy about fairground attractions, as four people try to break the cycle.
David, Daniel Kanaber
“It’s amazing how much life fits into so little time”. A portrait of one summer and its impact on a lifetime.
Let Them Eat Cake!, Katie McCullough
Couples picnic in the park, but the course of true love never did run smooth. Sometimes what you want is simply not on the menu.
“With Word:Play, Box of Tricks is giving six playwrights the chance to experiment with new work in a safe space, but the benefits of this type of bite-sized theatre extend to the audience too… What we get with such an evening of work is a reminder that great plays don’t just emerge fully formed on the stage at the National Theatre or the Royal Court… For a fascinating glance into the world of playwriting, bite-sized theatre is well worth finding the time for.”
Jo Caird, What’s On Stage Blog
“Becky Prestwich kicks us off with King of the Castle… a well-written and heartbreaking piece of theatre… The Collectors by Jaki McCarrick [is] a moving, shocking and powerful piece… Siân Owen’s offering, The Turn, is a charming piece of writing… This piece shines with originality… David, written by Daniel Kanaber[:] witty writing means this tragic monologue is light and humorous… Katie McCullough ends the evening with her Let Them Eat Cake… With delightfully funny and inspired performances from Worthing and Dowd it is a memorable way to end a memorable evening.
“The design by Stephanie Williams, and direction, from Box of Tricks’s Artistic Directors, Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder and Adam Quayle, were simple and perfectly suited to each play… This is exactly the type of showcasing of work that should be done more often.”
A Younger Theatre
So yes. My play contained a food fight. Specifically with custard. Knowing the viscosity of custard to that of, say yoghurt, is something that I wouldn’t necessarily consider crucial knowledge when attempting to be a playwright. But for this project it was at the forefront of my mind. I’m a person who works quickly, but who also loves having a challenge. I respond well to having restrictions set in place for projects and I don’t mean in a negative way. Having the buzzword revolution to work with made for an interesting project. And seeing the responses from all the other playwrights made it such an eclectic mix, but also not a predictable one which I think is great.
So now I’m in mourning for all the fun and intrigue of Word:Play4. But I’ve made lots of new friends and had a fantastic experience and a hearty wine/cupcake shout out goes to Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder who was the director of ‘Let Them Eat Cake!‘. My thanks go to all those involved including the following actors:
Hasan Dixon (King Of The Castle & The Turn)
Ciaran Dowd (The Collectors & Let Them Eat Cake!)
Natasha James (The Turn)
Clive Moore (Broken Windows & The Turn)
Emily Nagle (The Collectors & Let Them Eat Cake!)
Simeon Perlin (Broken Windows & The Turn)
James Rigby (David)
Matt Sutton (Broken Windows & Let Them Eat Cake!)
Charlotte Worthing (King Of The Castle & Let Them Eat Cake!)