Thursday, August 31, 2006


I don't want to write about the environment, the war in Iraq, the political system of Zimbabwe or Nigeria or any other country for that matter. As an avid theatre-goer, I also don't want to sit through the testimonials of an aslyum seeker or political prisoners, or sit through a thinly-disguised political satire about soldiers in Bosnia. I don't want a play that has visual or digital arts thrown in to try to make it appeal to the younger 'cooler' generation. I'm sorry if this might offend any artisitc directors out there, but frankly, if I wanted to know about the war in Iraq, I would read a newspaper. If I wanted to know about the war in Iraq from the point of view of a civilian caught in the struggle - I'd also read a newspaper (The Guardian in particular has done numerous features in this vain). I don't want to sit for two hours watching how some writer has incorporated the recorded testimonials of an elderly Iraqi lady and a British soldier into a two-hour 'play'. Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against political theatre. But I get a bit narked off when every single producing theatre in London (it seems) is putting on this kind of stuff (and all written in the same style). And it makes me wonder, maybe this is the reason there are more musicals than plays on in the West End at the minute - perhaps it's what the audiences want?
I want to be representative of my generation, sure, but I also don't want to be defined by it. I want to help create it. Yes, UK domestic and foreign policy affects everyone's lives in some way at the moment. But it is not the be-all and end-all of our daily existence. We still think, and feel, and love, and shit, and hate, and all that stuff. I think there are emotions that are synonymous with the world in which we live today - like paranoia for example - that can be taken and placed in a different context completely. It's those characteristics that will ultimately come to define the noughties, just like it defined the 50s with the witch-hunts that took place.
Where are this generation's 'Angry Young Men' or 'In-Yer-Face' crowd? Hopefully stewing in Leicester, believe it or not. Watch this space...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Brick and Co. update

Well, some of my friends came and read a few scenes from my 'Youth Hoody' play (really need to think up a title!!), and I think it's got potential. We were having a bit of a debate (or more likely, after 5 glasses of wine I was having a rant) about who would actually put my play on. I mean, it's really about a group of 13 year olds, but due to the swearing in it, I doubt whether a youth theatre would want to stage it, for fear of offending someone's parents/grandparents. And I really despise it when they have actors who are 30+ years old pretending to be kids. It's annoying, because I'm trying to reflect how 13 year olds from small Leicestershire villages actually behave (well, how they behaved in 1993 anyway!). Of course, I don't want to be responsible for introducing innocent children to the 'f' word, but at the same time, most 13 year olds know this word already. I suppose it's not my job to worry about these things, so I'll just keep on writing it and see what happens. Perhaps it can be a play cast with teenagers but marketed for adults... I mean, they make horror films like Poltergeist and The Exorcist using children, so perhaps my play won't be such a big deal. If I ever get round to completing it of course!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Momentum Festival

I've just spent two days at this year's Momentum Young Writer's festival, and I found the sessions I went to really informative. I attended sessions given by representatives from the Soho Theatre, Paines Plough, BBC radio and Nottingham Playhouse/Theatre Writing Partnership. Was nice to see everyone from last year again. I've posted a picture that my friend created of our Leicester writers' group going off to Momentum - it's supposed to move too, but I can't get it to on here. I'm the one with the big L on her chest, and in the moving version, I fall over a lot!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Youths -update

Over the weekend I've written a couple of scenes for the untitled play about some teenagers hanging around outside a corner shop. So far so good. I've written what could be the opening, and also a scene where my two main characters allude to the abortion one of the kids has had recently. The characters I'm working with so far are: Naomi, the 'romantic heroine' as it were; Jase, her beloved; Mouse, a timid boy with a substance abuse problem; Sandie, Naomi's brother; Brick, Naomi's best friend; and Whitby, Brick's love interest and sort-of leader of the group. I'm also trying to figure out how I can set fire to a lynx can on stage (and turn it into a mini flame-thrower) without damaging the actors and the set and giving the stage crew heart attacks. Well, I suppose if I write it, then it's up to the director and safety marshalls to figure that out. Ha ha!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I've had another idea for a play, which I started writing on the train to rehearsals, and it's heavily inspired by what people at my high school used to get up to. I want to examine everyday contemporary village life for the young people who live there, the decay of village life, and youth culture today. The story will follow a group of kids, no older than 15, one evening after school, as they loiter outside the corner shop, smoke fags, get a bit pissed, and then eventually crawl home in the early hours of the morning. I just want to state that these kids aren't chavs, they're scutters, and there's a difference. Anyway, I'm trying to write it with an authentic Leicestershire accent, and so far it's going well, but I'm sure I'm going to have to go home soon and sit in the park just to get back into the flow of it!

Lucy :-)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Recently, finding the time to write has become more and more difficult, and it's so frustrating! I work two jobs, have rehearsal twice a week, so when I do have a spare evening, I'm so knackered I can't really get anything constructive done. Anyway, going to post a picture to cheer myself up!

Lucy :-)

Monday, August 14, 2006


Right, back to the writing. The play which I developed as part of this year’s Momentum Young Writer’s workshops with Emma Rosoman was ‘Red and the Wolf’, which examined the relationship between Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, and looked at growing up and why we may be tempted onto the wrong path (if there is such a thing). I really wanted to give Red a voice, rather than her just being this passive little girl who had to rely on granny or the woodcutter to come and save her from her own naivety. I researched the origins of the tale and found that the original story saw Red outsmarting the wolf by herself, and also, over the years, I discovered that she has lost her name ‘Biddy’ to become ‘Red Riding Hood’, so again, she has become a mere symbol rather than a rounder character. Anyway, the play itself is about 20 minutes long right now, so I’m going to try to expand the characters themselves, and add a couple of new scenes, possibly expanding on ‘the seduction’ and then one for ‘the morning after’. I’m also not 100% happy with the ending, which I wrote on the same day that I posted it to Momentum for the festival, so it’s a bit hasty.

I also had an idea to perhaps create a full length play, and write a companion piece to be the second Act of ’Red’. What I am initially thinking of at the minute is to write maybe a short monologue based on Snow White as a separate piece in the middle, between the two acts, and then write another one-act play based on a fairy tale for the conclusion, although perhaps do a contemporary version based on a tale, rather than take the characters themselves. The problem is finding another story that will tie in with the themes that I’m developing in ‘Red’ – which had the alternate title ‘Lost’ earlier in the day. Currently I’m thinking of Rapunzel or Rumpelstiltskin, but again, it would have to be a story that I could identify with. Might have to read my collection of Grimms’ stories again…

Lucy :-)

Avenue Q

Just a short post to say that I saw the musical 'Avenue Q' on Saturday, and thought it was superb. It hit a note with me, as I'm still smarting about how the 'real world' doesn't really live up to my expectations (and how I 'wish I could go back to college'!). I'd recommend it to anyone who doesn't get offended by rude language and muppet sex.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Creation of my Novel

Ok, I got the idea for my novel after hearing about some elderly ladies’ magazine’s short story competition, where they wanted people to submit historical stories and were offering £1000 as prize money. Well, a grand is a grand, so I set about racking my brains for a historical setting for my story. I decided upon the early 1900s, as I had written my A-Level History coursework on the economic and social position of women at the turn of the twentieth century (many moons ago) and felt like I remembered enough about the period. Then I started researching suffragettes and suffragists and somewhere I read that when World War One broke out, the suffragette movement was sort of put on hold. I then started thinking about what did these women do during the war? Did they lose that political zeal? Were they resentful or patriotic, and so forth. So I decided to write about a young suffragette and her role during the war. I’ve discovered that there isn’t much written about the Great War from the ordinary woman back home’s point of view, so it’ll be breaking some rarely trodden ground. Anyhow, I fell sick with the flu (in the middle of July, ridiculous I know!) and the short story never got sent to the women’s magazine. But my novel was born.

I have decided to focus the story on two sisters, Esther and Katy Fletcher (though ‘Katy’ might become ‘Emily’, I’ve not decided yet), who during the war get jobs at a munitions factory in Leeds. Esther, the elder sister, was a suffragette before the war, though not a ‘famous’ one (I’m trying to decide what social class the family are, so if she is working class, she wouldn’t really be in a position to speak at meetings or take part in and organise campaigns, like the Pankhursts), and is enjoying the freedom that has opened up to her now that most of the men are away fighting. Katy/Emily is the younger sister, who idolises her sister and follows wherever she goes, but as she grows up, she begins to find her own identity. There is a reclusive young ex-soldier, Stephen, who lives with his elderly aunt near to the Fletchers and who befriends Katy/Emily. At the moment, his story is that he was wounded in an accident during training, so never got to France, and was so embarrassed and ashamed that he has basically locked himself away.

So right now, I am researching the suffragette movement and also women’s roles at home during World War One. If anyone knows any good books/websites, please let me know!!

The picture above is a picture of women munitions workers in 1915. I got it from a website (I think it was one about the history of Leeds), so hope I’m not breaching copyright!

Lucy :-)

First Post

Right, let's get this blog on the road. My friend Sabrina is well into writing her blog, and so I thought I'd give it a go too. I'm a bit of a technophobe, so this is all a bit scary, but I'm going to take it slowly and see what happens.

Right, I'm currently working on a couple of stage plays and a novel, though I keep procrastinating and really need to focus. I'm going to hopefully use this blog to keep track of my ideas and 'chart my development', though I'm sure I'll end up just posting random rants on here too.

Sorry this first post is a bit boring. Will come back when I have something more interesting to say. Hopefully this blog will mark a 'new dawn' in terms of my writing development (sorry, know that sounds corny, but wanted to justify including this lovely picture I found on my hard drive!!)

Lucy :-)