Friday, 24 April 2009

Writing News...and fuck off Chris Moyles!


Two good things happened last week.

The first involves reports that the fat, unfunny, man Chris Moyles will be losing his job sometime soon – obviously this was instantly and furiously denied by everyone but there’s no smoke without fire I feel that everyone protesteth too much – don’t let the door smack you on your ample arse on the way out knobhead.

And secondly, Some of you may recall that I mentioned writing a play some time ago and I posted bits of it on here. You may also recall that I was sending it to the Live Theatre in Newcastle for critique and that I promised to tell you what happened – well, I’m finally in a position to let you see an abridged version of the feeback I received :-

This is a short play about childhood loves and adult ambitions. It is also about lost youth and betrayal. Four school friends, now grown up, realise that their childhood sweethearts are no longer what they need or want.

DAVEY and JO have been together since schooldays as have NICK and RONI. JO and NICK’s lives have moved on so that they no longer want to be associated with their old loves. By moving up the career ladder they assume their less successful friends are not good for them either personally or for their careers. The drama begins when JO finishes her relationship with DAVEY after a disastrous night out. NICK too decides that RONI is no good for him and ends their relationship. Rejected pair, DAVEY and RONI have much in common including low ambition and sense of humour. Flung together RONI and DAVEY inevitably become a couple but more unexpectedly RONI becomes pregnant with DAVEY’s child and they decide they will stay together and look forward to the birth of their child. With the tables turned, NICK and RONI find out that by rejecting their friends they have rejected what they most wanted in life, family and security. In this ensemble piece there are strong themes of: loyalty; betrayal; ambition and growing up. Ambition and status are the demons fuelling NICK and JO whilst DAVEY and RONI, accepting that they will never be good enough, are happy to settle for being underachievers, becoming the settled family unit that all four friends had hoped to have.

The four characters have known each other for a long time and this comes across in the dialogue. The strongest dialogue is in the monologues. Here the characters’ voices are very clear and we get a real sense of who they are.

The scenes are cleverly thought out to avoid a great deal of set changes. Each character delivering monologues to the audience allows for more character development as well as making the play more interesting to watch.

At the moment this reads as an ensemble piece but not every character is equally developed within the narrative. For example, JO begins the play wanting commitment and possibly children and realises she is unlikely to get that if she stays with DAVEY. At the end of the play when RONI discloses her pregnancy with DAVEY who turns out to be supportive and committed, JO congratulates them and leaves. Presumably, JO has very strong feelings about what she has just heard but we don’t get to hear her point of view.
The monologues work well and add another dimension to the characters.

In some of the dialogue there is a tendency to write directions for the actors e.g. pleadingly, sarcastically. It might be worth taking these directions out to check whether the dialogue reflects these directions. Using subtext would strengthen the dialogue. For example, while it is clear what NICK and JO have given up by leaving their respective partners it is not clear how RONI and DAVEY really feel about being flung together by circumstance. There must be some tension between them as we know they were attracted for many years to complete opposites. From her monologue, we know RONI knows that DAVEY went out with JO for a bet. It is possible that she has doubts about his commitment to her.

So, it took a while but I think it was worth it – I’ve got a couple of useful pointers with where to take it now and once I’ve developed it further I’m gonna wing it to the BBC so they can stick it in their ‘Northern’ box.

Toodle pip.


cousin tel said...

It's good to see that your work is getting read properly and that people are taking the time to give proper feedback.

As a Chris Moyles fan I don't normally react at your rantings as I know you only do it to wind me up.......however I would personally be happy to see him lose his job at radio 1 as it's a terrible radio station with terrible music, if he gets the push he will hopefully turn up somewhere else where he won't have to play music aimed at 12 year olds...........see you tommorrow big lad

Daz said...

I have to pull you up on that one Tel, Chris Moyles hasn't got a clue about music, the cunt likes Take That for fucks sake.
I can't believe you like the wanker, in the words of Keegan 'You really went down in my estimation when you said that!'

Yvonne Young said...

Story line sounds good, looking forward to the launch. Some positive comments from them. Keep Gannin`.

cousin tel said...

Daz, you're wrong