Play Right – Part 1

Yesterday I started writing a play.

Well, technically I started today as it was after midnight and roughly four pints, but these are mere trivialities in the face of the historical importance of my play-writing. Playwrighting? Writing of plays? Play.

The important thing is that I was writing something which wasn’t simply a blog entry or reworking an episode of I Am Tim for the fiftieth time, something totally new and totally fictional. Well, as much as anything I write that doesn’t involve monsters or spaceships is fictional.

I was spurred on by an encounter with a person I’d never met before, as is so often the reason for any writing spurt I have. She (of course she was a girl, who do you think you’re talking to?) was the singer/guitarist in a pub band my good friend was drumming for and invited me to see, and between playing Bob Marley and Queen we got to talking and I discovered she was an actress, just doing the gig so as not to get evicted from her place next month.

She seemed ashamed to admit, after some prompting from myself, that she’d won a couple of awards at drama festivals, going on sheepishly to tell me that it kind of wasn’t about that for her.

“Oh yeah, I know what you mean. I’m a writer, so I totally know. It’s all about the art.”

I’m not certain that was the order, but yes, those are the words that came out of my mouth. Somehow this seemed like a perfectly non-douchey string of sentences to me at that point, but thankfully the actor/singer/guitarist (seriously, how often does that combination come along in this town?) decided to ignore my obvious pretence and asked me what I wrote. Was I interested in doing plays at all?

Sure, I said. I’m working on this screenplay at the moment, but I’ve got a few play ideas on the boil…

Which really means I’ve got about a sentence on two ideas that I’ll get to in six months or so. I’ve never written a play before. Never even attempted to. I’ve talked about it, even gotten to the meeting plotting stage with a couple of would-be collaborators, but my interests always wandered. Shouldn’t I concentrate on getting half-decent at one branch of the craft before I go swanning into a completely different playground?

The sensible answer is, of course, yes. But when she told me I should submit something to the theatre company she’s with, everything else went on hold and I became Mark Allen: Playwright. Cue 45 minutes later and I’m on my bike rushing home, having entrusted Tariq to get my information to this new muse of mine and my creative juices freshly lubricated by several fruity ciders.

It’s a wonder I didn’t crash into a hedge on my way home.

Part Two Tomorrow!

(Yes, mercifully I’m going easy on you with regard to these long posts. Might seem a little…daunting to new readers. I’ve no idea why.)

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