the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other Dorset writers

Big Heads staged at Bridport Arts Centre

Over the past couple of years, Sarah Scally, Maria Pruden and I have been co-writing comedy sketches. Once we had sufficient material, Maria approached a group of local actors who agreed to perform the sketches and Bridport Arts Centre offered to stage it. The premiere of Big Heads & Others was on Thursday 8 November 2018.

The first sketch we completed was called Killer Ladybugs – this was drafted during a workshop led by Christine Diment of Juno Theatre. The sketch clashes the invasive behaviours of harlequin ladybirds with Donald Trump’s America First policies. It was topical material at the time of his election yet two years later and (unfortunately for the world) the material remains fresh.  This sketch was originally staged by Cast Iron Theatre in Brighton, so we were confident the writing was entertaining. Our actors Declan Duffy (Borderbug) and Lee Wyles (Ladybug) brought a new and exciting interpretation to the sketch.

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Another sketch called Baby Love also had a previous outing, this time at the Salisbury Fringe where it was performed as a scripted reading. This gave us ideas on how to stage the sketch at Bridport where a woman (Lee Wyles) waits for the X54 bus and chats to Lauren (Sally Hunt) who is obsessed with her little one, Dasiy-Waisy.

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Big Heads was the most experimental of the pieces and took our audience to Easter Island where they learnt what the famous statues were thinking. This was a static piece which relied on voice, silence and facial expression to convey meaning. Our actors Sally Hunt, Dewi Lambert and Declan Duffy performed this brilliantly and audience reaction confirmed it to be a popular sketch.

The three sketches were tied together with a linking piece that used physical theatre to tell the story of a hapless charity envelope collector (Declan Duffy) and his encounters with others.

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The evening was held as a charity fundraiser for the Bridport Arts Centre. All tickets for the show were sold and we had a warm and receptive audience. Thank you to everyone who came along and laughed in all the right places. This was the first time Maria, Sarah and I had directed a performance and we were incredibly grateful to Lee, Sally, Declan and Dewi for their ideas and input. We also had additional roles to ensure the performance went well: Sarah  was responsible for sound effects and lighting, Maria for narration and prompting, I was backstage assisting with costume changes and we all helped as stage hands.

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Gail Aldwin, Sarah Scally, Maria Pruden

 

It was a splendid collaborative effort by performers and writers, one that we plan to repeat in 2019 with further comedy sketches.

Thanks to Peter Roe of Wessex Media for the fabulous photos.

 

 

 

 

 

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Big Heads and Others

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Really pleased to see Big Heads and Others an evening of comedy sketches co-written by Sarah Scally, Maria Pruden and me in the autumn brochure for the Bridport Arts Centre. The show will take you on a journey from the topical and tropical to the meticulous and ridiculous. Do come along if you’re in the area. It is being staged on Thursday 8 November 2018 at 7.30pm. For tickets click here.

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Killer Ladybugs in Brighton

Back in May, I posted details of a comedy sketch writing workshop delivered by Juno Theatre in Lyme Regis. The collaborative 10-minute play developed from the workshop by Sarah Scally, Maria Pruden and I was then performed as a scripted reading at the Marine Theatre. (You can read about the event here.) After the positive feedback we received on Killer Ladybugs, I sent the script to other theatre groups and it has been accepted for performance as part of a short play night with Cast Iron Theatre in Brighton.

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I am delighted to say that Killer Ladybugs will be performed by Cast Iron Theatre 24-25 November at Sweet Juke Box Theatre, Brighton. If you’d like to get tickets, you can purchase them here.

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From page to stage workshop and performance

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I’ve been attending workshop facilitation training with the Lit Up Writers’ Pool since the beginning of 2015. It’s provided a fascinating opportunity to share practice and receive training on working with a range of groups in a variety of settings. The participants are hugely talented and come from many different writing backgrounds including novelists, poets, playwrights, performance poets and more. Please find below information about an event that is being hosted by members of the Lit Up Writers’ Pool. There are workshops for adults and children aged 7-15 years and the opportunity to showcase your work at an event in the evening. Do go along – I’m sure it will be lots of fun.

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FROM PAGE TO STAGE

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP

Write, develop and refine a poem, rap, story, song, short play and perform it in The Talent Showcase that same evening.

Price: £7-50

Where: At the Twisted Teapot, 16 Sea Road, BH5 1DB

When: 30th of May 2015 workshop from 13-30pm to 15-30pm and Talent Showcase from 18-30pm to 22-30pm

Also workshop for  7 to 15 years old

Write, develop and refine a poem, rap, story, song, short play and perform it in The Talent Showcase that same evening.

Price: £5

Where: At the Twisted Teapot, 16 Sea Road, BH5 1DB

When: 30th of May 2015 workshop from 13-30pm to 15-30pm and Talent Showcase from 18-30pm to 22-30pm

For further information contact: sistermym@yahoo.co.uk and Facebook Myriam Word Maker

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Story Slam in Shaftesbury, North Dorset

In the tradition of a poetry slam, where poetry is recited, a story slam encourages prose writers to take the stage and read their work.  Events are informal and fun, with feedback from judges and applause from the audience.  The idea is to enjoy sharing stories from a range of genres with a wider audience and prizes are awarded.  In July, Storyslingers in Shaftesbury are holding their first story slam event and would be very pleased to have you join them.

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