the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other Dorset writers

(unusually) ahead of the technology game

Now everyone is using video technology to keep in touch during lockdown, I’m proud to say I’ve been using this throughout my VSO placement in Uganda to continue writing collaboratively with friends at 3-She. Our comedy writing trio began in March 2017 when Sarah Scally, Maria Pruden and I attended a comedy sketch writing workshop. Our sketch Killer Ladybugs was then selected for a scripted reading scratch night at the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis.

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Flyer from the event in 2017

We continued our comedy writing journey at Sweet in Brighton, where Killer Ladybugs was staged as part of Cast Iron X, the tenth collection of short plays from Cast Iron Theatre. You can read about the experience here.

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Screenshot from WritersDuet of Killer Ladybugs

As we worked on new material, travelling across Dorset to meet up became very time consuming so we started using WritersDuet. This professional screenwriting software enabled us to draft our comedies collaboratively while discussing content during WhatsApp video calls.

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Impro on WhatsApp!

We’re still collaborating in this way and we are hoping to have a new sketch show ready for rehearsal whenever lockdown restrictions are lifted.

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What a weekend!

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L-R Michelle Donkin, Sarah Scally, Gail Aldwin, Andrew Allen

On Saturday I was delighted to be in the audience for Cast Iron X a short play night by Cast Iron Theatre in Brighton. The programme included Killer Ladybugs a ten-minute comedy written by Sarah Scally, Maria Pruden and I. The photo shows Sarah and I with the founders of Cast Iron, Michelle Donkin and Andrew Allen. We were fortunate to have Michelle direct the play and act in a small part. The production was excellent: great performances and splendid use of lighting. Many thanks to Michelle and the actors Esme Bird and Andrew Allen.

It was fascinating to watch the other plays, too. Quite remarkable to see how minimal props , effective lighting and clever writing can support such a range of creative work. I particularly enjoyed the play written and directed by Sam Chittenden. The Two of Us  was performed by Annie Packman and Kerri Frost with an interesting section of dual speeches delivered simultaneously.

A bonus of travelling to Brighton meant that we were able to stay with Regina Keith who now lives in Peacehaven. Regina is doing a wonderful job continuing her commitment to global health by teaching on the post-graduate programmes Global Public Health Nutrition and International Public Health Nutrition at the University of Westminster. Well done, Regina – keep up the excellent work!

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