This morning, in the wake of our Lowry success, we have the pleasure of posting up a blog from one of last night's writers - Joe Osborne of 'Spring Forward Fall Back'. The feedback from Joe's work last night was truly phenomenal and it is a piece we cannot wait to see in its next incarnation.
Apologies that Joe's blog is written before the event - but we hope you enjoy getting in the mind space of this writer, 24-hours before the event.
Thank you again Joe for your hard work, incredible talent and generous writing. Here's to the future!
Here I am, just 24 hours away from a rehearsed reading of part of my play, Spring Forward Fall Back, which now has three quarters of its scenes and a plot outline to hang them on. As I sat watching rehearsal today, I had to pinch myself as the group gave collective attention to my script. The actors are now speaking words which once sprang from a blurred conversation in my head. There’s a director poring over phrases and a stage direction taken from a fleeting family memory, and a photographer composing an angle between two characters that might well have been the start of it all.
It’s a memorable feeling - letting go of your creation and handing it on to others to scratch, shape and inhabit. In a way, the play is no longer yours, like a child leaving home, exposed to the wider world, and with only your name stamped upon it. But I would have it no other way. How wonderful to see an actor express one of your silences, provoking laughter in the process, or hear a director’s note that captures the subtext of half a page you once wrestled over. It’s the payoff for the hard slog of play writing - the collaboration, the coming together of creative minds, and the boost it provides for the next phase. You learn to let go. If that feels too painful, then give up on the play and turn it into a novel or short story instead.
I’m so grateful for the support of Hannah, Diana and all at Manchester ADP in getting the play this far. I’ve already written short scenes up to 15 minutes and a short play. But pushing on, moulding a story, writing more scenes and rewriting those you thought were completed, is a hard business. Having the group show faith in your work, and then shine a light on it with the help of actors, directors, photographers and promoters, all giving their help for free, is a gift you can’t put a value on. I’ve supported other writers at ADP from my seat, with messages of support and as an actor, and there is a mutual desire to support one another and keep the writing to the fore. The play after all, is the thing.
I’m ready for the best part now, the sharing with an audience. Of course, I’m nervous… watching your work from a seat is far more exposing than walking onto a stage as an actor. If you’ve written a heartfelt play, then your memories, your sensibilities, in some ways your soul, are all on show. There is nowhere to hide. But when there’s spontaneous laughter, a shared intensity of listening, or a collective in-breath of surprise, then you know that your words have worked, in the way that only play writing can.
I hope there’s some of that tomorrow and that Scripts Aloud will make even more noise in future.