Saturday, January 26, 2008

Workshop update

Promised a report from last weekend's workshop at the Royal Court. Famous for being one of the places for new writing, they run groups for young writers, but also a 26+ group which until recently has been a ten week evening course (so, obviously, impossible to attend for those who don't live in London). This year, the 26+ workshop has been converted into a weekend workshop, and thanks to Lianne and a cheeky email, I got a last minute cancellation slot. (As it turned out, there were 15 places available but only 9 of us turned up, so if you fancy it, it might be worth a cheeky email re the February and March weekends).

The weekend began with pre-play drinks and introductions on the Friday evening followed by a play (we saw Vertical Hour, as reported earlier). On Saturday, we began at 9:30 with more detailed introductions (why are you here, what do you write, etc) and then lots of group discussions about what playwrights do, what plays are for, the qualities writers need - oh, the workshop was run by Jane Bodie, who was very funny, insightful and inspirational, a really good workshop leader; after a really nice lunch in the Royal Court bar we had a session with associate director Lindsey Turner which was really useful in terms of insights into how directors work with writers and actors in order to turn the writer's vision into something the actors can perform on stage - she's a really good session leader. In the afternoon, lots of working on scenes, writing and reading with the other workshop participants. We finished around 7, and headed to the bar to carry on talking. Oh, we also had homework. Sunday, began at 9:30, ran til at least 7:15 which is when I had to leave to get my train - in between, lots more working on scenes, workshopping ideas about the stuff that had come up from our homework (which was to read a play and find some stuff from newspapers), and a career Q+A to round things off.

It was a completely brilliant and inspirational weekend, which did exactly what I had hoped it would do - ie, give me a kick up the backside as far as writing for theatre is concerned; and although it might seem expensive, I got a play, three play texts, drinks, coffees, lunches, about 18 hours of workshop time, and some great networking and chat time. Which, when you break it down, is pretty good VFM. The other people in the group were great, a good mix of actors, writers, and people working in theatre, and hopefully we'll be meeting up to go and see some plays together in the future.


Blogger potdoll said...

sounds great! do you have a link? i can't seem to find it on the royal court website.

5:51 pm  
Blogger Sal said...

Scroll right down to the bottom of the page, and there's a paragraph about it. Best thing to do is email and ask to be put on the mailing list - I heard today that the March course is full but there's a waiting list.

7:09 pm  

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