A call from Plymouth

I took a lunchtime phonecall from the artistic associate of Plymouth Theatre Royal .... a cheery one. He was calling to say how very much he had enjoyed my play Beach Boy Blues, passed on to him by one of the theatre's readers. The hope of course is that such enthusiasm heralds a production - the Drum Theatre, part of the theatre complex, is the perfect 200 seater venue for the play, a play wich is set like Plymouth itself on the English Channel.

Down boy, down - people do like this play but I've learned that it takes more than someone's enthusiasm. A much earlier draft won a theatre company's playwriting competition in Glasgow - then the company lost its production funding. The literary manager at LA's Odyssey Theatre loved it - the artistic director presumably didn't as the good news faltered. And Plymouth's artistic associate reckoned the play would prove too gentle for the artistic director. Even so half an hour of praise and discussion of my work was excellent - wondering at so strong a structure in a first play, why I had bothered to try out plays on the back of novelwriting success, and how I had managed to write a fine play which was normally outside of a novelist's scope. More such talk, please.

I've been writing versions of the play for around fifteen years - I don't give up easily, so many projects seem to stretch through decades. I see little point in writing aything else for the theatre until I have seen this play put on - you can ultimately only learn from a production and an audience. Maybe some day I'll sell film rights to a novel and use the funds to stage my own production, find a dangerous cast for the play, and see it that way. That's one good part of being a writer after all - fantasies and dreams are part of the job!

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