Like all the best ideas, it wasn't mine. I'd had the genesis of a play in my
head for a long time. It kept bugging me to the point where I just had to write it.
I had a venue (The Alma Tavern Pub Theatre
) and a company
) in mind
when writing it and upon completion I sent it to them. I heard nothing. Then I got
an email invitation to enter their Picture This
project – 50 writers pick a
photograph from a bucket and write ten pages of dialogue and a treatment based on
their picture. The pages get read by actors in front of a panel of judges and eight
treatments get picked for development. Of those eight (or nine as it's turned out
to be) 5 will get a full production in Theatre West's autumn season, and the
remainder get a rehearsed reading.
I worked that treatment and ten pages and I've got through to the next round – which
means at the very least 'You're Going To Miss Me When I'm Gone'
will get a
rehearsed reading, at best a full production. Needless to say I'm excited. I've got
until the 25th of July
to finish the script. Holidays have been cancelled and schedules
have been cleared. You can all come and see the product of my work in the Autumn. I
might even buy you a drink.
There is something about the sea, something calming, as if confronted with that immense
and undeniable swell of indifference there is reassurance in our insignificance - a place
where even the biggest issue can appear lessened, somewhere someone whose world has fallen
apart might go to make a decision - do I step into the sea and disappear or do I return to
the land and face the reality of my life? I didn't see him at first, small and central, not
only dwarfed by the landscape but by the photo itself, but he was there - a character with
the genesis of a story - a young man who decides to find his father, a father who doesn't
even know he exists, a father who conceived him when married to a woman not his mother.
Not a story about the sea, but a story about fathers, sons and lovers, a story about the
search for meaning and purpose and truth, and how a seemingly insignificant event can
have devasting consequences.
And I've still got the original play looking for a home –
'The Spirit of Stuart Sutcliffe'
if anyone is interested...