Have you ever been baffled by failure to get the funding you’ve been counting on? That grant you applied for and got the dreaded ‘unsuccessful submission’ email, that wickedly compelling artistic rationale, that water-tight budget, that impressive CV that bizarrely didn’t rate? You didn’t make the cut. What happened? What did you do wrong?!?? The disappointment of not getting the grant you really needed can be absolutely crushing and can desiccate your enthusiasm for a script idea you once loved like a wee-wickle baby. The truth is, most regrettably, that arts funding is crazy competitive. There’s only so much money, and only so many projectsRead More →

Recently I’ve been watching a sci-fi series Fall Out, a TV series adaptation of a video game. I’d never heard of this game but my 20-year old son says it’s an old school corker of a role-play game. General premise of the TV series: Set in a retro-futuristic world following a nuclear war, there exists a small pocket of humanity flourishing in a 1950’s moral bubble inside a bunker-like underground vault. Outside the world has gone to hell, a fact quickly realised by our hero, Lucy, a doe-eyed, goody-two-shoeing American sweetheart, when she must leave the vault to rescue her kidnapped father. She navigates theRead More →

Ever been to a writer’s retreat? It’s a noble idea, but do they actually allow you to get ahead with your work? That depends entirely on….so many things. I’ve hosted and facilitated mini playwright retreats for JUTE’s Write Sparks playwrights and JUTE Writers-in-residence way back in the day, like just weekend ones. I want to investigate more by going to another source for inspiration. I’m way far from being a professional writer’s retreat guru, but I still have some ideas about what it means to retreat. We live in an age of retreats. We’re fond of retreating for all sorts of reasons: health, meditation, yoga,Read More →

A weird but inescapable fact— making theatre is to cause a huge group of artists with a huge variety of skills and creative drives to come together to produce a single, comprehensive, cohesive piece of art.  It’s a miracle that not more blood is spilt over it.Read More →

A friend of mine is leaving town. She’s going to live at the other end of the country. I’ve known her, and worked with her on and off, since 1994. She is still reasonably young, and she’s off for a fresh start. Tonight some of her nearest and dearest friends organised a huge farewell theatrical event in which all kinds of people could go up on the stage and make an impact statement—big, small or ludicrous— about how this artist had changed their lives. The resulting bonanza made it clear; artists can and do leave very big footprints within their community.Read More →

“Where do you get all your ideas?” some people ask of writers as if there is some secret trick of the trade. That’s like saying to an actor, “I don’t know how you remember all those lines!” There is no trick. It’s just what happens. Writers get ideas. But that’s not to say anything after the getting of an idea is easy.Read More →

So much of our life and language is tied up in our understanding of time. Work deadlines, milestones, catching planes, gym timetables, shop opening hours, making time, wasting time, time on our hands, killing time. We glance at our smartphone or our fitbit or the clock on the wall to check the time because we know time means something. Hey, but do we really know what time it is?  Apparently not.Read More →