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.

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. 

 

Miniaturists 33 January 31, 2012

Coming up on Sunday 5th February at The Arcola is The Miniaturists, a collection of short plays that have been written by playwrights who have been invited to do so. And I have been kindly invited to write one and do so. Working alongside my brilliant director Abigail Graham and the superb actors Geraldine Alexander and a Josh Darcy, we’ll be airing an experiment of an idea that I really want to explore further. The piece is called ’18+’; Tom and Lily’s daughter was a porn actress until she was hit by a car. Tragic. The only way they can remember her is watching her back catalogue. It was her job, they are very proud of what she achieved. Disconnection of intimacy and how grief can alter our relationships with each other not just with the person in question. It’s a snapshot of a larger idea that I want to spend time really delving into, but at the moment I want to take the idea out for a spin to see if it’s got legs. And what better way to do it than this.
 
I’m in good company with the other invited writers being Jon Brittain, Brierley Thorpe, Kate Russell-Smith and Al Smith. I’m really looking forward to this short being put in front of an audience. The last few short pieces I’ve written have been a step apart from what I usually write in terms of chronological narrative and style, but I’m really enjoying this approach.
 
There are two performances, one at 5pm and the other at 8pm. Do come along and say hallo.
 

MINIATURISTS 33

5 February 2012

Arcola Theatre

£12/£9

5pm and 8pm

 

 

My Play At The Arcola February 14, 2011

It doesn’t matter how many times I write or say that, it still feels special. Things have been progressing and London has been seeing more of my work steadily. And this particular play holds a special place in my heart. The reason? It was the first commission (in London) I was asked to do by the wonderful Box Of Tricks theatre company. These Lovely people approached me and I said yes. Because that’s the kind of person I am, and of course, what a brilliant opportunity.

 


I’ve mentioned these folk before because they were asking for donations to help put this night of new writing on. Through the WeFund website they hit their target of £500 to aid the five night run in Studio 2 of the new Arcola site. For those of you who donated you are made of special stuff, special stuff that only special people can love. And collectively we all love you. (On a side note, for those who donated and are coming along to see the show, please let me know when and you’ll have to allow me to verbally thank you, possibly even stroke your tender loving face).

As I prepare my train times to get into London tomorrow and see the first rehearsal of my play, “Let Them Eat Cake!” and meet the actors, I feel a wave of something wash over me. It’s gratitude. And I’m feeling it on so many levels with regards to Box Of Tricks, the actors, the Arcola, to the impending audience, to many things. It’s a nice feeling to have and one that will drown out the nasty sting of other things as I chug along on the train listening to Tame Impala early tomorrow morning. I’m very happy.

 

Asking For Your Support January 22, 2011

I’m here as an artist asking for your support. Last year I received my very first London commission which made me as giddy as a schoolgirl. It was from a Lovely company run by Lovely folk called, Box Of Tricks. The script has been written and the casting wheels put into motion. I will be shouting about this nearer the time with regards to dates, places .etc., but right now I have something important to discuss. As any of you will know the arts took a beating when it came to the cuts from the new government. Seeing as, ‘we’re all in this together‘ I thought I’d ask you for help. This isn’t just for me, it isn’t just for Box Of Tricks, but it’s for the arts in general. Y’see people think that the arts don’t touch them and question why they should even consider thinking about art. Art isn’t just paintings or some shonky expressive dance group – it’s that and much more.

 

 

I’m an avid believer that art exists in education more than people realise. Sure we have TIE (Theatre In Education), but we also have science videos which have been crafted and acted and filmed and created for a class, scripts that have been written and printed and cast in schools, c’mon the very act of being a teacher is a form of art. It gives people a voice, something to nurture and gain confidence and skills. We learn to speak through watching others, playing with objects that help us understand colour, feelings, emotions, all the senses.

 

 

The visceral act of writing is a performance that everyone learns in primary school. Some could say I’m being overly poetic about it, but think back to when you learnt to write. The act of wielding a pen and drawing these strange hieroglyphics and everyone being so proud of you. Everything does not boil down to an exam paper and a chewed biro. Being creative is not limited to tools such as a paintbrush, crashing two symbols together or cradling Hamlet’s skull. The essence of being creative is crafting a thought, processing it and acting upon it. Everything is creative that we say, do and feel.

 

(for the first Ken Robinson TED talk click here)

 

 

 

 

Now of course I’m coming to this particular point as a playwright. But I’m sure that all of you reading this will have attended, say, a music concert at some point in your life. Whether it be to see your favourite band or because your child was picked to play the lead recorder part in the end of year play. Everyone having this opportunity is something that we should cherish and utilise. We shouldn’t sneer at something that we think doesn’t directly refer to us.

I optionally chose to work in a profession where there is very little money, but a tonne of reward. And one of those rewards is getting to see your work performed by professional actors for an audience. For Box Of Tricks to put on their work they rely on fundraising, which is of course something that is common knowledge and I don’t need to explain. For this particular production of Word:Play 4, Box Of Tricks are using the website WeFund to gather donations. What WeFund does is allow you to promote your cause and achieve a target sum. What this entails is the idea that people can pledge their money and it will only be taken off the donator once the end result has been achieved. If the end result isn’t achieved, no one’s money is donated. Box Of Tricks need just £500 in total to create a fantastic show that is promoting 6 new playwrights in one of London’s renowned venues, The Arcola. It’s not a lot of money in comparison to other London productions, but it’s money that unfortunately isn’t there right now.

 

 

I’m asking you to pledge whatever you have spare. This could be one pound, two pounds, possibly even five pounds. Anything, anything you can spare. If you’re feeling extra generous there are certain privileges you can garner from the more larger donations (which are detailed on the WeFund Word:Play4 page). I always bang on about collaboration and like I’ve said before, it’s not limited to people within a rehearsal room. To create theatre you have to have an audience, your audience are your co-conspirators. It’s a nice flourish that the new writing night is called, ‘Revolution’. Be part of the process and show your support, and let others know what they can do.