Katie Mccullough Talks and Writes

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The Next Big Thing (of sorts) December 24, 2012

My illustrious and regular theatre-friend Julie Mayhew has tagged me in a meme thing going round which isn’t as horrific as it might sound (it isn’t the novotastic flu thing). The idea is that you can let folks know about what you’re up to and I’ve slightly altered the questions so I can respond to them as a playwright. I feel a little bit of a fraud calling it The Next Big Thing, so humour me for a gentle blog post. I for one know this particular script needs a lot of work. But here they are…
 
1) What is the working title of your next play?

Thursday’s Child – that’s been the working title for quite some time now that I think I’m going to stick with it.

 

2) Where did the idea come from for the play?

I work visually so the scene that I saw clear as day and ended up bring the springboard for this play was stark. It was a man pissing in the corner of a run down dated bedroom and a little girl rushing to stop him.

 

3) What genre does your play fall under?

Hmmm. I think putting plays into genres is a toughy in that I don’t think they’re so strict as in film. At a push I’d say a State Of The Nation play but not as polemic. Maybe a State Of The Nation/Slice Of Life mash-up. Basically it’s a story and it’s a play. A journey through a brother and sister’s life through a lower class situation dealing with the care system, job seeker’s allowance and relationships.

 

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Right. I’ve got four parts in this play…

Sandy (12) Feisty yet naive – Ilana Kneafsey
Terry (29) Bit of a drinker and outspoken – Rupert Friend
Charlotte (29) Bold but bored with life – Olivia Poulet
Wayne (15) Frustrated and spiky – Jamie Borthwick
 

Ilana Kneafsey

Ilana Kneafsey

Rupert Friend

Rupert Friend

Olivia Poulet

Olivia Poulet

Jamie Borthwick

Jamie Borthwick

5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your play?

5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your play?
Two siblings discover what it means to grow up and get real in amongst the comic books and issues in their life.
 

6) Will your play be self-published or represented by an agency?

As a playwright I’m the first cog of the development. So as soon as it’s done and finished proper like, it’ll do the usual rounds of literary departments and then see what happens. If I had the money to hand, I’d put it on myself tomorrow. Well, maybe after I’ve finished it proper like.

 

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the play?

I did a very condensed vomit draft of it back in 2008 which took me 48 hours. After cringing every time I tried to re-read it since, I took a day or two to do a massive redraft to it a month or so ago. I say massive as in it was set in the 80s and is now current day, was set in the midlands and now set in Luton.

 

8) What other plays would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hmmm. There’s the danger of sounding a bit too pretentious here isn’t there? I’ll tread carefully and speak widely… In terms of story there are elements of Mike Bartlett’s, ‘Love, Love, Love‘ as in the social impact of desires and money through the years. Character wise my male lead is a bit like Jimmy from ‘Look Back In Anger‘ by John Osborne. But I like to think it echoes the childlike innocence yet naively informative tones of Charlotte Keatley’s, ‘My Mother Said I Never Should‘.

 

9) Who or what inspired you to write this play?

Elements of my childhood, but I’d like to stress that it isn’t drawn from my personal experiences. Aside from that I’d say Leo Butler. He’s been a mentor every time I’ve been at the Royal Court for the writing groups and this was the result of the first one. He told me to be bold, hit the audience on the temple, then see what happens.

 

10) What else about your play might pique the reader’s interest?

 

Hmmm. Again, I’d say this is hard when talking about plays. I want to say my play would pique an audience member’s interest because my protagonist is a 12 year old girl who escapes her life through old comics. But then that could be seen as sensationalist because it’s a young girl. Tricky. But it does have a 12 year old girl who escapes her life through old comics and in the process strikes up a relationship with a fifteen year old boy. Yes, it does sound like one of those plays. But I promise you it’s not all doom and gloom, their friendship is beautiful and makes the adults present pale in comparison.
 
So they’re my answers about one of the plays that I’m redrafting. And in the spirit of things I’m going to tag the following folks: Gerry Hayes, a charming funny man who I’m currently collaborating on a project with and who writes, and Stephanie Ressort, another charming funny lady who I lovingly nicknamed Theatre Devil Incarnate who also writes. Both of these people don’t write enough so I’m being the metaphorical fire under their butt cheeks.

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One Response to “The Next Big Thing (of sorts)”

  1. […] writers I know have done this already : Samantha Ellis, playwright ,  Helen Smith, novelist and Katie McCullough, playwright, are just three . And of course you can catch Natasha’s […]


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