I was contacted the other day by a high school student who was doing a research project on playwrights. She asked if I would answer a few questions. Well after resisting the urge to ask her why she had asked me as I wasn’t a ‘real’ playwright like Caryl Churchill and David Hare (and because I was impressed at how polite she had been) I answered her questions. The answers actually surprised me. ‘So that’s why I do what I do,’ I thought. Here they are: Continue reading “If only I were a ‘real’ playwright …”
Many students on my writing courses think that only three rewrites of a piece of work are necessary: the first draft which gets the story down, the second draft which then tidies and tightens the story then the third draft which is essentially an edit. However, most professional writers know that if you can get away with three drafts, you’re lucky!
I’m currently working on the seventh draft of my play Marathon. This is not because I don’t know when to stop – I thought I had ‘cracked’ it with draft six – but after feedback from a theatre group at a staged reading I realised the story of my heroine Stamata Revithi needed to start earlier and take a slightly different direction.
I know this seventh rewrite will not be the last as now that the story is being reshaped it will need further work. However, I’m encouraged to keep going with it as there is talk that it might actually get presented on the day the Olympic Torch passes through the North East of England.
Writing is a marathon, not a sprint.
In 1896 a Greek peasant girl, Stamata Revithi, heard that the Olympic Games were being relaunched in Athens. A gifted runner, Stamata decided to enter the marathon, not realising that women were banned from competing. Inspired by a true story, ‘Marathon’ is the story of how one athlete’s quest for justice came into conflict with the politics, scandal and corruption of the first modern Olympic Games.
A staged reading of my latest play, Marathon, will be held at The Customs House in South Shields, on Monday 10th October, 3.30pm. Entrance free.
Directed by Jackie Fielding. In association with Cloud Nine Theatre Company.