Katie Mccullough Talks and Writes

Words will get written here and some videoblogs will appear. You don't have to look but it would be nice if you did.

Riddled With Niggles August 20, 2013

Hallo you,
 
I’ve had a lot going on over the past 18 months, both good and bad and it’s culminated in a huge swathe of doubt, bigger than I’ve had before. I’ve been getting this strike of fear that sits between my head and my chest and in the back of my throat. It creeps up on me at the most mundane of moments and swells until I don’t know what to do except embrace it and wallow for a few moments. Then it’s back to normal, back to emptying the dishwasher, cleaning my whiteboard, parking the car.
 
My fear is that I’ll get a few years down the line and wonder why the fuck I’m still attempting to do what I’m doing now. My future self will ridicule my present self and tell me I’ve been stupid chasing this dream and I should concentrate on other more important things.
 
I’m being honest. I pride myself on being honest because if I’m not honest with myself who else is going to be.
 
Here’s an insight into my life: it’s all writing. Scoff all you want, I do very little else. So when I get another rejection, get pipped to the post for another scheme, don’t place in an award it’s a large cavernous dent in my thinning armour. I do not know how to switch off and stop working, I have a fear that I’ll miss an opportunity. It hurts. It hurts a lot to know that my mountains of work, my paper children I’ve birthed, will sit and stack in the corner of my overcrowded room.
 
I’m running on the spot and I’m not sure if I’m learning anything new apart from years of experience of not being heard. I want to share my work, I do not have money to mount my own productions, I do not have a sponsor to kindly do it for me, I can’t even afford to move out of home. I sit here writing knowing that more people have probably read this blog than seen my stage work and that’s fairly minimal. Why do I do it? Why do I insist on carrying on knowing it’s a waste of time and that there’ll always be someone else who reaches that destination before me? Why the fuck do I think I’m different? And why the frilly heck do I feel the necessity to compare myself to others?
 
I don’t know. I simply don’t know. I’m tired. My heart aches at the thought of not writing, although I’m suffocated at the prospect of carrying on. I’ve lost the spark that I used to run towards, now I’m frantically searching around for it. Actually, I’ve passed that and I can’t be bothered to look around. This may seem bombastic, but all I do is write because I want to, it’s the only thing I’m good at. Maybe you’ll read this and think, “maybe no one’s paying you attention because you’re a shit writer?” And maybe you’d be right. Maybe that’s the thing, maybe I’m not being honest enough with myself to say that I cannot write well. I don’t know. That’s the worst thing, I do not know how to find this out.
 
I’m going to be quiet for a while (writing wise) because I’m a bit lost. And when you’re lost you don’t really make a lot of sense. This isn’t a cry for help or the cue for you to send me reassuring words, it’s an attempt at an explanation as to what’s going on, why I haven’t done anything, and to maybe quash the questions for a bit. I know people are only trying to be kind, and I love them for it, you are the people I’m writing for. Real life has meant that I’m putting writing on the back burner for a bit. I’ve lost the passion and I don’t want to force it. I’m pretty sure in a few months this post will be redundant, I would like to think so.
 
No doubt you’ll see me in real life or on the usual social platforms soon. If you do, let’s talk about anything but me writing. And bring gin.
 
Much love,
 
Kx.

 

DROPPED SEQUINS for #FUTURESPARK is cast! July 2, 2013

I’m thrilled to say that my short play DROPPED SEQUINS for How It Ended Productions’ FUTURESPARK has been cast! Let me introduce the superb ladies…
 
StephO
 
First up (above) we have the delightful Stephanie Overington, a fresh young actress based in Luton. I recently worked with Stephanie on a charity video to raise awareness of self-harm. She has the right spark of naturalism and plays that vulnerability to suit the part of Natasha brilliantly. I’m really looking forward to working with her more directly and on some new writing.
 
RachelJ
 
Then we have Rachel Jackson who I’m really excited to be working with. I saw Rachel in a Coming Up (Channel 4) episode from a few years back, then saw her in a short play as part of RedFest last year, and both times she’s stuck out for me. She’s got the feistiness in her for sure and the boldness that completes the part of Gemma.
 
Two actresses who will bring my work to life under the direction from the lovely Madelaine Smith. Niceness.
 
REMINDER TO BOOK TICKETS! —> here 

 

LONDON PRIDE is imminent! April 25, 2013

Crikey mikey pudding and pie!

 

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LONDON PRIDE is impending, like a loveable rogue over that yonder hill. I’ve stopped by quickly to tell you a few things… 

  1.  You can buy tickets here – clicky clicky, buysy buysy
  2.  

  3.  On Sunday 5th May from 4-6pm there will be a New Writing Surgery where both of us, myself and MJ Starling (author of Audience With Ghostfinder), will be present to help or just chat about your work. More info can be found here – click for WAFF info
  4.  

  5.  There’s a post show Q&A with both of us too on the 9th May
  6.  

  7.  I’m quite excited about everything.
  8.  

 
See you there!

 

LONDON PRIDE is cast… AND ON SALE! March 16, 2013

blackshaw_doublebill 

Yup, it’s all auditioned out and we have our stellar cast. It was great sitting in on the auditions and meeting some of the talent out there. And as always you want to use everyone and have an interchangeable cast because you don’t want to send anyone away… But we whittled it down to a cast that I’m very excited to be working with. The most thrilling aspect of auditions for me, is when it’s the character talking in front of you and not the actor. They make me forget what I’ve written and make it seem like I’m snatching snippets of other people’s conversation. Definitely.
 
So without further ado, here be the cast:
 

Fiona Skinner

Fiona Skinner as SHELLY

Tom Slatter

Tom Slatter as PAVEL

Martin Berhman

Martin Berhman as JOE


 

Details of where and when and how much (including the rest of the programme for the Wandsworth Arts Festival & Fringe) can be found here: clicky linky (we’re on page 15, just so you know)
 
Tickets can be grabbed here: clicky-clicky-booky-booky
 
See you there? Mine’s a pint of gin.

 

LONDON PRIDE – fancy a pint? February 17, 2013

I’ve got a play on soon… The lovely people who are Blackshaw Theatre Company are to produce LONDON PRIDE this coming May as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival and Fringe. I’m thrilled that the play will get a proper production (it received a reading at RADA back in 2011) and also overjoyed that it’s to be paired as a double bill with writer M.J. Starling. LONDON PRIDE and Audience With Ghost Finder will be performed at The Selkirk Upstairs in Tooting. I’m also really really chuffed that it’s in a pub as that’s where my play is set.
 
 

London Pride

 
 

They’re also casting for both plays so if you’re of the Acting variety then have a ganders at the breakdowns and get applying. And there are also some Designer/Crew opportunities too. More details: here

 
And here’s a bit more info about the two plays…
 
 
LONDON PRIDE by Katie McCullough

In Shelly’s rundown pub dreams are revived, hope falters and someone’s looking for a fight.
 
A new arrival sends ripples through Shelly’s humdrum life and riles Joe, a regular determined to defend his territory.
 
 
 
Audience with the Ghost Finder by M. J. Starling

1912. To lift a cruel curse, ab-natural investigator Carnacki must tread the border between enlightenment and madness.
 
Sherlock Holmes meets Ghostbusters in this original tale of William Hope Hodgson’s classic character, Carnacki the ghost finder.
 
 
 
So times and dates are as follows:
 
May 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th and 17th all kicking off at 7:30pm
 
Tickets are £10 and that gets you in to see BOTH plays – what a bargain! Tickets will be available soon so keep an eye on the Blackshaw Twitter or Facebook or their website. Niceness.

 

 

London Threeway For New Work (@uglysisterprod & #SP4TT2012) November 1, 2012

 

 
I’ve got a short piece on as part of Ugly Sister‘s The Story Project 4 which means I’ll have my work performed as part of their curated line-up at three different venues on three different nights. It’s my first time working with this theatre company and they seem like Lovely lassies which is always a bonus.
 

Dates and places are as follows:
 
Sunday 18th November – The Arcola 

Monday 19th November – Theatre503 

Sunday 25th November – Southwark Playhouse

 
I’m extremely thrilled that I’m going to have some work performed at the Southwark Playhouse because out of the three, I’ve yet to be performed there. The brief was nice and open taking the title, ‘Tears, Terror and TwentyTwelve’ and a ten minute mark with basic props/set. As I’ve mentioned before I like having restrictions and this was a great task.
 
I’m chuffed with how my idea, ‘Lifetime Subscription‘ came together. I’ve written for two female voices which, for me, is a rarity but is fast becoming a good habit. The conceit is bold and quite expressive of how I feel as a person reacting to our current climate regarding tragic events reported in the media and the collective response. I’d like to think it holds a mirror up to a lot of folks and makes them think about their human response and the emotive responsibility we have to each other. It’s dark. And I enjoyed writing it. I don’t want to give too much away because it hinges on you being there in the moment. As far as I’m aware it’s the last thing I’ll have on this year that’s been asked of me so do come along to support all us writers and the company and if you want to buy me a gin you’re more than welcome. But do come up and say hallo because it’s nice when humans do that to each other. 

 

Doing Things Theatrically Differently With @Soup_ToNuts August 21, 2012

One of the scripts I’ve been trundling along with nicely is a commission for new theatre company, Soup To Nuts, which now has a name after being a heart symbol quickly followed by the word ‘play’ for an extended period of time. The play has now been christened, ‘The Thump You Feel When You Fall‘ and has been through many incarnations from the start including a completely new narrative. Soup To Nuts is a new writing company formed by Jayne Edwards and Laura Atherton, who met whilst studying at Bretton Hall College. Their mission is to develop work in an open forum similar to devising where the creative process is shared and discussed. As part of their ethos I’m allowing them to be parry to the writing process of the script so they can both see the decisions/changes as the script progresses from being a nub of an idea to a fully grown finished version through the different drafts. This is really interesting because where my role of a scriptwriter has normally taken me before is handing over the finished product at the end ready for rehearsals. So it’s a nice working relationship where the respect is noticed from the beginning and we’re all learning how we develop ideas in our own creative roles. What they’ve learned from me is that I write stern notes chastising my stupid ideas and demands to rectify them.
 

This is from another script but in the same vein.

 
The writing process is a lonely one. You spend an undisclosed amount of time trying to fling your story onto pages and hoping that it will stick. Then you have to make it interesting. And then you have to find some actors to read it. And of course find someone to stage it. Soup To Nuts’ ethos of opening up the development process to all those involved is not only informative but incredibly useful. After talking to many actors it’s clear that they have many questions about the simple task of writing but never have the real opportunity to act on them. Having the opportunity to open up the development at such an early stage in the writing experience was slightly daunting but extremely helpful. It’s rare for a playwright to still have the script in an undeveloped state to produce before actors. And it’s even rarer for actors who it’s written for, to read it and give feedback. The initial anxiety of handing over a script knowing it’s not finished soon vanished after the readthrough started. It was actually quite thrilling having an open discussion about the themes, narratives and characters with the actors as if we were further down the development path. The feedback was being explored knowing that the script was in a state of flux and sometimes it’s good for an outside eye at such an early stage to point out slithers of plot that have been forgotten or not tied up. Being so close to a script can blinker your ability to see what’s going on. By having actors who are invested in these characters that you’re still forming, it gives you the incentive to carry on. But more importantly it allows the writer to have an explorative relationship with the actors without the constraints of a rehearsal period and the end goal of a production. In no way was this new method restricting or hindering on the overall genesis of the script, if anything it’s added depth to the writing process.
 
Soup To Nuts can be found on Twitter: @Soup_ToNuts and Facebook here