At last the read through! The Alma Tavern theatre sits above a pub (the Alma Tavern) in the Clifton area of Bristol, not far from Clifton College. It’s a very small theatre, barely 50 seats in total. The minutes beforehand felt like waiting for a dental appointment – not a mere checkup, but the kind of appointment when you haven’t been near a dentist in five years and suspect all sorts of problems – but in the end it all went very well. There were four scripts to be read before mine – all of them dramatic and interesting; all of them making me feel both that I wanted to know more and terrified that my ‘Cards for Clara’ wouldn’t measure up. Also, I felt incredibly stupid that I hadn’t realised how read-throughs work, and had left one of my characters with no actual dialog – in a read through, the cast sit on chairs and read their lines, with stage directions read aloud.
But in the end, it was all fine. It was truly inspiring to hear real actors (two of whom had been on Casualty, according to Google) bring the words to life, and my 10 pages really seemed to work well on the stage, even getting a couple of laughs despite the overall dark tone.
I don’t know when I learn about whether I’ve made it to the next stage, but even if I don’t, it’s been well worth it, just to get this far.
My ten pages of script plus treatment have now been submitted to the Picture This team… ten minutes before the deadline!
Next comes the read through, in the Alma Tavern Theatre (in Bristol this Saturday and Sunday) of all the 50 scripts. Eight will be selected for further development and a final five actually staged in the Autumn.
I would normally spend a much longer developing an idea into a script – plus it’s only the second time I’ve ever written for the stage – but all writing experience is good, and no matter how bad it may turn out to be, I am still looking forward to hearing my script being read by real actors.
My photograph has arrived from Theatre West/Picture This and looks like this:
I was hoping for something showing people, as I had a number of ideas that could probably have been quickly adapted, but that’s show business.
Now – inspired by the photo – I have to provide 10 pages/1500 words of a script plus a synopsis of the completed piece by 25th May, and all 50 entrants will get a reading over 29/30th May at the Alma Tavern in Bristol.
The complete list of runners and riders can be found here.
Back at the start of the year, I submitted a script to Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatre for their Script Space competition. I didn’t make the short list in the end, but they liked it enough to pass my details on to Theatre West (also of Bristol) and as a result, I have been invited to write a script for their Picture This project/competition – a one hour play, on one set with a cast of three, so watch this space!