24 Hour Playwrighting

A3 24hour copy

The 24 hour hour play is returning to Lark Lane as part of Liverpool Fringe Festival.

At 10pm on Friday night, the Old Police station on Lark Lane is aligned with 6 writer, 6 producers and 24 actors. They are grouped together:

1 writer + 4 actors + 1 director

We have creative micro clusters and that will, if nothing else, guarantee fireworks! Over the next 24 hours the play must be written, the lines must be learned, the process must be directed, and finally, it must be performed.

This year, writer, Irene Stuart returns to the creative chaos of the 24 hour play, we catch up with her about playwrighting and her plans for slumber-time scribbling:

So Irene, it’s you second year of writing for the 24 hour play, can you tell us a little more about last years event?

Last year’s event was definitely exciting. Staying up all night, writing a play from scratch and then seeing it performed, all in 24 hours was amazing.

We all turned up in Lark Lane for 10pm on the Friday, names were drawn from a hat and I was lucky enough to draw two wonderful female actors: Gemma and Hayley, Margaret Connell was drawn as the director. I arrived home around 12pm and immediately started to write. I came up with a spin on a dating show and called it Mr Loverman, a comedy. The actors really got into their roles and the audience were very appreciative. I was amazed at the quality of all of the writing and how quickly all of the actors had learned their lines, there was no script in hand and as far as I could tell, no fluffing of lines. It was a great experience and one I’m looking forward to reprising on 12th/13th April.

Was it simply a matter of getting home from Lark Lane then churning out dialogue or did the idea’s generation process take you into the early hours of the morning?

I’m quite lucky really as I can think on my feet and the idea just came to me the minute I sat down at the computer. It was the drafting, then redrafting which took the time and I wanted to give the actors something to get their teeth into while making the lines short and sharp given the short time span they had to learn them.

Have you worked with any of the actors, crew or director again since last year? Did you develop the ‘Mr Loverman’ scratch further or re-visit the theme?

I contacted both actors a month or so after Mr Loverman as I had written a play about a female who had been the victim of a serious sexual assault. I thought both actors would be perfect for two of the roles. Unfortunately they were both performing in other plays. I see the director regularly as she is the artistic director of Lantern Writers of which I’m a member. I haven’t done anything further with Mr Loverman as I’ve been involved in a number of other projects. You have now however inspired me to revisit it and perhaps perform it again.

Great, now there are to be some changes this year, the newspaper article as a start point is to be abandoned and the actors have been asked to bring props. How do you envisage this alter the play writing process and what was the first prop which you imagined being brought into the Old Police Station?

When Sam (Lead Co-ordinator, Liverpool Fringe Festival) mentioned this year’s change, I imagined a wooden prop of some kind, I don’t know why, perhaps a yard brush with a wooden handle? I don’t think adding a prop to the script will prove problematic as the play doesn’t have to be written around it, it just has to appear in it at some point.

Wood, fantastic, I was thinking elephant, but that’s irrelevant. Have you any idea’s about an outline or theme for the performance or is it simply a matter of waiting for performers, props and likely pandemonium before you can make any decisions?

Hopefully nobody will bring an elephant! Sam said there is no theme, I suppose that’s good as we’ll have to start from scratch like last year. It all depends on which actors you’re given and whether your brain is in gear to come up with something worth performing. That’s what makes it both challenging and fun.

The 24 hour play will be performed:

Saturday 13th April 2019

Lark Lane Community Centre

Tickets £7 (Concessions £5)

To Book

More about Liverpool Fringe Festival

Not to be missed!

Fluctulation

Fluctulation Image copy

Fluctulation is a poetic form written for National Poetry Day, 2018 around the subject of change.

Fluctuation

When I am up I am alive
Answer every question, phone call, email
Positive moves forward I strive
Bounce and jump, free I sail

When I am down I hide away
Into bed, into covers, I crawl
Unpeel my skin in disarray
In the darkness, hide, two feet tall

On a high, I paint and draw
Forwards I roll
Content reading, write some more
Ten feet tall

Falling lower, bottom of the glass
Nicotine on hand
Clutter surrounds on mass
Swollen gland’

To the sky, I want to fly
In love with life, I seek romance
Absorb, with joy I cry
Excitement, sing and dance

Fading, grab another beer
Regretting every faceless man I screwed
My confusion, these men sneer
Recalling their attention, lewd

Rising up I demand success
More desired, fight to get there
Onslaught of thoughts, less
Mind ignores the growling bear

Drawing down I pour to the rim
Regretting every joint I ever rolled
Ecstasy pills that made me grin
Narcotics that made me bold

Well again, head is clear
Visions of beautiful sights
Falling down again I fear
Try to control my minds flights

Up, I am positively ruthless
Down, visions of myself toothless

I will push to control my mind
Not to fall, put positives on downwind

Alison Little

Fluctulation: Early plans for Installation

Re-coil

Ro-coil image

Re-coil ia a flash fiction works written by Alison Little, the events and people are not based on real life.

Tired and exhausted I sit beside a woman munching crisps loudly as she crumples the cheap multi-pack packet, it has been a really long day and it is only just after one in the afternoon. Awaiting a local train after paying a ridiculous fair, strike action being declared through the screen projections. Surrounded, everyone else seems to be inhaling nicotine, the friends of the Station flower planter devoid of sprays of colour or foliage, omitted of community attention. Quite simply a large soil filled communal ashtray, the only real benefit being after a downpour the soil retails the water and distinguishes the cigarettes quickly. A gruelling wait, the tin block modular train jerks its way along the platform, the others and I enter choosing between the front and back carriage. I select a seat convenient to the door to save walking further, away it pulls then crawls snail’s pace towards its destined city. As my rear end settles into the lump filled, once public sector owned upholstery, I gaze out at the former mill and mining towns.

Night previous spent sleeplessly tossing from edge to edge, flipping over and returning while checking the timer on my phone to repeatedly determine that only a further half an hour had passed. Mind anxious as it worked its way through lists of debts, teeth grinding back and forth as I tried to decline from vomiting over the bedroom floor a stain still present from an earlier regurgitation. Eventually, I managed twenty minutes of shut-eye only to be awoken sharply by my alarm as ‘Hello Moto’ consumes to the deadly silence of the pre-day brake.

No time to lye in, or catch up on sleep missed, a day filled to the brim from start to finish. Backpack loaded, breakfast wrapped, onto the bike, to the Central station. On time, thank you, no hold ups.

To follow a morning of adjoining crammed local journeys, short distances taking long periods of time. At last at the meeting and only ten minutes late, appearing to be on time. Only marginally behind over the three and a half hours the distance of under one hundred miles had taken with local trains.

My thoughts gallop stringently toward the thought that I simply don’t want to do anything today, but then I know I will be back on form in a few days, I will push off this tiredness, this drench on my enthusiasm.

The train screeches into a midway town, jerking in full motion against the platform. I look around the station, a girl on the other platform tries to calm her boyfriend as he angary pull his shirt from his torso repeatedly. As the journey progresses my eyes glance around the passengers in my carriage. Bleach blond but too old, bald head but too young, child loving but downtrodden by bad behaviour. An assortment of motleys joining my journey as my thoughts contradict the artistry of my heart.

I visualise my intentions from the meeting, piece and my interventions. I will want to function again, contact and respond, direct and decipher, moderate and deliver, but not till tomorrow.

Simply re-coil home.