A bad writer…

Before you leap in, protesting, writing letters to the Queen, setting up Change.org petitions, I’ll say I don’t mean I’m a bad writer….just an appalling blog writer. Phew. The country heaved a sigh and put down its quills.

On the 1001 excuses list, the top one is I’ve been writing. Loads. All of it (fanfare) unpaid! I mean, obviously, it’s an investment in my future, for when someone does pay for this stuff. (Don’t breathe, cough or in any way prick my bubble here). But in the last two months- aside from the brilliant two development days (‘A Bit of a Song & Dance’ and ‘QM’ at the Tobacco Factory and Tricycle respectively- huge thanks to both for the resources), I’ve been writing, pitching and rewriting.

  • A TV drama which I am v in love with
  • a feature film, with a producer, v Britflick in a post-Curtis age
  • a comedy TV serial
  • a sci-fi/ dystopic /satirical feature with a co-writer/director which should tickle many fancies
  • a new play, written in a whole new way for me, in which I will probably end up using myself as some kind of experiment (feeling a bit LaBute there, a la The Shape of Things…)

And all the while, the fab Allie Butler at tidy carnage continue their Passion adventure, taking the show to Aberdeen Dance Live in October (local? Here’s the spiel!)

So, work goes on. And if you have funds for a writer who definitely hasn’t (ever) stopped, you know where to find me! (Through the Who page!)

A Bit of a Song and Dance


Ever feel you’ve got the weight of the universe on your shoulders?

You need Dan Dare – or does he need you?

One man’s “Potteresque” escape hatch, live on stage and for one night only…

A script in hand show – come and see theatre get made!

Monday 14 July, 7:30pm, Tobacco Factory Theatres (Brewery) – just £3

0117 902 0344 or click the poster…

Stage Manager sought

A quick ad from our sponsors.

Tobacco Factory Writers’ Forum (Bristol) are seeking a stage manager for 1-night script in hand with lots of “business”, to join a 100% unpaid team. If it still sounds interesting, read on.

You’ll need to source lots of props and some costume between now and the show on 14 July, and be part of the creative team throughout that day. And be a cheery soul as well as an able one!

The director is Mandy Horlock, writer Gill Kirk. Contact gill.kirk@yahoo.co.uk for more details.

You can read more about the show here: http://www.tobaccofactorytheatres.com/plus/events/script_session_7_a_bit_of_a_song_and_dance_by_gill_kirk/


The heartbeat of an onion

The play I’m working on has turned out to be an onion of a piece. Except that the layers seem, at first glance, to have very little to do with each other.

It started with some Keith Johnston-inspired automatic writing (long story).

Under that layer, something ridiculously epic, galactically so.

Get through that one, and find a man called Bob and his dilemma (a really good one).

Under Bob lay his alter egos.

And under them, I think, is the real play.

I was writing through the filter of some hard-core personal bumpf, hence this accidental process. It’s only called any kind of “process” because I didn’t throw the first thing in the bin, but kept going. Again and again.

But I think it’s proving to be a good way forwards. Using my dissatisfaction as part of the process instead of despairing or telling myself I’m rubbish has been really productive and let me play with some unusual ways of working (and unusual ideas, too). I’m loving it.

I’ve also been using a method I fell into with the 4Screenwriting rewrite: detach the scenes from one another. At this early draft 1 stage, where you just need to get the block of stone out there (for chiselling later), it means that no scene owes anything to any other. Get a collection of meaningful scenes, or shit ones, and then review.  Keep going, see what comes out – resist the urge to get it right.

It does mean now that – with a decent number of pages – I’ve got to do a jigsaw puzzle and think about some craft. I’m putting bits to one side, making interesting connections, rubbing out others. I’m finding that it isn’t what I’d thought it would be – but I can hear its independent heartbeat.  It’s turning out to be – at this stage – a play that looks at my lifelong obsessions; it’s got me all over it, without me planning it that way.

Now, please, Muse, help me turn this into the Exciting Thing it looks like it could be….


Get creative on yo’ ass

The other day, I remembered that 2012 is going to be an exciting year. And then realised we’re 7/12s of the way through.

Apart from making me feel like my brain is falling has fallen through a hole in my saggy toddler-mum trews and lies spat on, in a wet puddle alongside the rotted tendrils of my once-feted perspicacity*, my “WTF” double-take at the calendar brought me up short.

First, I reacted like a self-loathing drunk (swap “what did I DO last night?” for “where have I been the last 7 months?”); and second, I felt like a working-from-home parent who sees that it’s two-thirty in the afternoon (“Oh, shit.”) This is not diminished by often being that W@H parent.

“Yes, Kirk,” I muttered to no-one at all, “it’s time to get creative on yo’ass.”

Five months before 2013 gets here. It’s not a number I especially warm to.

So here’s the 2012 To-Do List (in the order in which they’re salvaged from that wet puddle of fallen brain):

  • Find two wonderful theatre producers. One for a big society drama that makes you weep, one for a physical, druggy, political, post-Afghanistan one-man show. I know you’re out there, Auntie/Uncle Magic
  • Complete my spec TV serial script (from that fantastic Channel 4Screenwriting thing that might have a wee connection with the first six months of my 2012) with the magic dust I pilfered off the shoulders of giants
  • Get a decent draft together of a new political show, inspired by a bloke in the South West. I say no more…
  • Pin down those two pitchable ideas that are haunting my head – oh, yeah: and PITCH THEM!
  • And if – in the middle of all that – I find a wonderful agent (another Auntie/Uncle Magic), I’ll be happy.

No pressure. Advertising it all on the web to make me accountable, no hassle. Ha ha ha bonk.

* I assume you know no different

Absurd journeys

Black Barn at LOST is now over. This dysfunctional circus family, scary siblings, pyromania and (understandable) reclusivity is – for now – a thing of the past. Theatre company tidy carnage did a great job with a sterling cast: Cameron Crighton, Helen Cuinn, Eilidh McCormick and Scott Reid, directed by Alice Butler with a superbly creepy set from Bethany Morris.

Here’s a glimmer or two from the audience’s eyes:

Very Dark. Seriously loved it.

Brilliantly bonkers!

tidy carnage pull one out the hat!

Thoroughly enjoyed the sinister surrealism of Gill Kirk’s Black Barn. Thought-provoking stuff. Loved it.”

Black Barn 15-17 June

Black Barn – it’s getting closer….15, 16, 17 June, LOST theatre, London

You think it’s just you. That footstep. That scrabble. That…breath? You shouldn’t be scared. You’re all grown-up now. Come on, come with us. Let’s go inside. Look: the door’s open.”

As you might have read below, I’m v excited about this project with tidy carnage. They’re a new, Glasgow-based company, working with new writing, movement and dance to find “engaging and intriguing” performances.  Believe me, this one is intriguing on all levels…(in a GOOD WAY!)

Date:  15th, 16th, 17th June 2012
Time: 8pm
Ticket prices: £10 full / £ 7 concessions
Box Office: 0844 847 1680 or click here

And if you want to advertise your enthusiasm and perhaps infect your friends with the urge, please do that thing you do on our facebook page.