Recently I spent time with five actors and a script. My script.
It was a harrowing experience as is always the case when your work is shared for the first time. Their talent, however, enabled the play to bear fruit and they made great sense of the lines.
We gathered at 10 am on a quiet Sunday in June, surrounded by coffee and food and introduced ourselves carefully and politely as we made the usual connections: “Oh you know so and so” or “Yes I saw you in……..”
And then when everyone had settled in, we began the launch of my newest project. So to hear it for the first time is like diving into a pool and being too afraid to come up for air . But I didn’t drown and they – the actors – were kind. And they read it terrifically, even the lumpy bits which will be deleted at once.
And this one is about Art. The significance of it; the cost of it; the investment of it and the what’s it all about aspect. It engendered some great conversation and discussion and some highly imaginative ideas about the ending and the character relationships.
The creative process when shared is always exhilerating. Actors find things that the writer never realised. Then in discussion, ideas about relationships and back story and the Why and the How all come into play and anything seems possible. Except that the question “Will the audience believe this?” was always there at the back of my mind and led to a wide ranging discussion. Did the story seem too silly, too bizarre and outside everyone’s experience?
The story? Bodelia wants to repaint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. In one night. In secret. In the dark. On a trapeze. Not silly. Just crazy.
Mr A is Michaelangelo who doesn’t appear and Mr K is Henrique who does. Their names are changed by Eve, aged fourteen, as it’s quicker and not so “posh”.
There is much to do to it; cutting is the first task and clarity is the second and then that ending. I know what I want to say and I know the two characters who can say it but will the audience want their money back afterwards?
Watch this space but stay away from the trapeze.