Why being a director helps with being a playwright.

Oh, what a miserable delay there’s been between the last posting and this! Apologies. Thing is, I’ve been up to my lucky ears in directing a play – one of the other things I do besides writing them. In fact, I’d say, one excellent area of training as a playwright is to direct or, at least, shadow a director if you can find one willing to let you. It’s how I learnt, for example, that the last thing a director wants – or needs – are lengthy stage directions. More importantly, it’s how I learnt to ‘see’ a scene that I was writing from a director’s perspective – whether a scene was do-able; how it would sound; how it might be communicated to an audience.

The play is Federico Lorca’s ‘The House of Bernada Alba.’ It’s on at The Marlborough in Brighton from April 19th to the 25th. – tickets from: www.brownpapertickets.co.uk
Or: 0800 411 8881. The play was originally set in 1930s Spain during the rise of fascism and is seen as Lorca’s commentary on the political and social context in his country at that time. Following her husband’s death, Bernada has decreed that she and her five daughters will spend the next eight years bricked up in their home, observing the traditional course of mourning. Her daughters, hungry for experience, for life, have very different ideas.

I’ve moved the play into a Middle Eastern setting with a soundscape of the 2011 Arab Spring. In this way the daughters’ aspirations are reflected in the demands of the demonstrators, most particularly those of the women protesters.

The production is being staged by the Company I formed with three others. We’re called ‘Pretty Villain Productions’. Find us on: www.prettyvillain.com Anyway, come and see the show if you can. Tell you what, if you are in this country, and I know from your email addresses that some of you aren’t, but if you come along and afterwards can honestly say you didn’t enjoy it, I’ll give you your money back. Can I be fairer than that?

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