I woke up last Thursday morning feeling like a child with a hundred wrapped presents at her feet. Because Wednesday’s rehearsed reading of the quantum physics play, BOX, was an utter joy. The marvellous audience let me record the Q&A, so I can use their feedback as I work to complete the script. Here are some of the useful, and kind, things they said:
“It’s a playground full of swings!”
“I liked the playfulness, how you played with the two varieties of the characters and embodied the quantum physics in them”
“You really engaged us with the science”
” I like that it wrong-foots you!”
“It made me think of Caryl Churchill”
“It really reminds me of Carl Djerassi’s work”
“Much more playful than Stoppard; you empowered the audience”
“It was a challenge but it was entertaining!”
They even laughed – a lot – and made jokes about entangled, vanishing booze. If any of you are reading this: thank you again.
This play’s been bubbling in the cauldron for five years. In 2014, it had very generous support from crowdfunding friends and colleagues and then professional development with a dramaturg (David Lane) and a team (director Julia MacShane, actors Clare Latham & Chris Hughes). It’s won Old Vic New Voices Lab development support and done nicely in a few competitions. And this year, generous feedback from (I’ll save their blushes) a visiting summer actor at Theatre Royal Bath, and now from Brighton. Next paragraph, new chapter…
Yep, Brighton. Which came about in a way that was very much in the spirit of the play. The play’s about parallel universes, about the day-to-day, ever-widening consequences of our choices:
A year or so ago, my very talented director friend Hannah Drake shared a Facebook post, as an actor friend of hers, Mary Chater, wanted to make new playwright connections. Mary and I spoke and really clicked, but we didn’t work together this time.
A year later, Mary is waiting for an estate agent. She gets chatting with a lady. Eventually, about theatre. They meet again. The lady works at Brighton University; they talk about making rehearsed readings part of a new course. Mary emails me – would I be interested? When Brighton’s Dr Kate Aughterson says yes to this script, I ask my Facebook chums again who they know in Brighton (as there’s no money in this!) and who do we get as director? That Hannah Drake again (superb at catching wannabe-vanishing trains, I have to say) who had no idea that Mary was involved. She was joined by Mary, playing Ali, and Matt Lloyd Davies as Mike. They were all absolutely superb. I could not have been more proud of this team and grateful for their generosity.
So now, a mulling, and time to plan next steps. I have a feeling this script is dusting off her dress and is almost ready for the dance….
P.S. – if you want to know what the “magic gun” is in the title of this post, get in touch. You just have to see the play, you see…. 😉