Friday, January 23, 2009

Where do you get your ideas? Damn good question

Sue Guiney writes about writer's block, and that perennial question: does it really exist? All I know is that I have sat at my desk for the last two or three days buzzing with an idea that won't go away but dissipates every time I try to commit it to paper, and stops seeming like a proper idea after all. Yesterday I gave up and went in the shower - maybe the running water would get those alpha waves going? No, nothing... so I got dressed and went off into town to the Library Theatre to an afternon performance of Cathy Crabbe's play Beautiful House, running as part of the theatre's Re-Play season of performances picked up from the year's fringe in the city. A truly entertaining play (always guaranteed from Cathy Crabbe) and great performances including those from Jimmy Foster, 24:Theatre Festival's David Slack, and Cathy herself whom I'd never seen acting before but who turned out to be quite brilliant. And a really good-sized audience for a weekday afternoon performance.

Well, as soon as I arrived I spotted another friend, director Helen Parry, who said she and her friend, playwright Terry Hughes, were waiting for the bar to open. What, drinking in the middle of the afternoon? No way, especially when I'm not drinking anyway because I'm keeping my head clear for writing. But wait, maybe a drink will relax me, get those ideas coming in sideways... Well, yes it does: we get chatting, and suddenly we see that what we're talking about would make a great play, or even two plays, a double bill which all three of us could work on together...

And the story idea? No chance. Another day today at my desk and it still hasn't gelled...

There are two more performances of Beautiful House, tonight and tomorrow. I recommend it.

2 comments:

Sally Lawton said...

I'm hoping to catch it tomorrow night.

Ooh, isn't it great when ideas hit you from nowhere! x

Elizabeth Baines said...

Sure is!