This post relates to my debut play, Blue Lines, which has won the Hive Award 2019 and will be presented as part of Manchester Fringe. Have a look here if you want to find out more about it:
World Book Day. International Women’s Day. I got my mooncup in on first go.
It was a week of major wins.
It was also the week of the read through of my play, Blue Lines. The first time that I would hear it outside of my own head, read by other people. In front of an audience of even more other people.
No wonder I’m still in my pyjamas today.
My play is super personal. It’s based on my experiences of infertility – of being the woman who ‘is maybe leaving it a little bit late’. People rarely see the feet pedalling frantically below the surface, do they? I got sick of saying ‘we’re still trying’, which it would appear was the only acceptable response to enquiries about my lack of baby. I digress – the play, yes the play – is an encounter between a teacher and student and the relationship that develops between them. That’s all I’m saying.
Bearing in mind that it’s personal and it’s the first play that I’ve ever written, it’s a lot. Oddly enough, I had no issue sending the piece off to my mentor, Tim Firth, to read and give me feedback. He was reading it. Somewhere else. not loud enough for me to hear him.
Fate smiled on me though – the actors I worked with were intuitive and sensitive and despite having only a quick read through online the night before, did a great job of capturing the essence of both characters. I obviously had to sit on my mouth (not a thing I know) to stop myself from interjecting, to ask them to try things out again, and over the course of the hour I produced the kind of fine, clinging sweat that I associate with wearing too many fine layers under an anorak.
But the feedback was what I wanted – it was positive but also constructively helpful, pointing me towards areas of plot and some dialogue that need clarifying, tightening, cutting or enhancing.
I just have to do it now.