Thursday, April 19, 2007

24:7 Theatre Festival 2007

News this morning that the play I wrote in January, The Processing Room, has been accepted for this year's Manchester 24:7 Theatre Festival.

Now this is no doubt not very professional or grown-up but I am very excited! 24:7 is a really exciting project to be involved with. Begun in 2004 by enterprising actors David Slack and Amanda Hennessy, it's gone from strength to strength and in the last year or so has become a significant event in the Manchester Arts calender, with the best plays going on to a run at the Bolton Octagon and participants winning prestigious Manchester Evening News Awards. Writer-participants in 24:7 act as executive producers of their plays and are responsible for getting together a production company - it's hard work, but how I love it: the cameraderie and collaboration after all that isolation at one's desk, and the chance to do those things like designing flyers and generally flexing one's publicity muscles, and contributing to the production itself. (Not to mention of course the fact that from the age of eight I've been in love with the theatre...)

I've been involved with 24:7 as a playwright twice before, the very first year with O'Leary's Daughters and the second year with a satirical monologue Drinks with Natalie which was adapted from one of my radio plays, and which I performed myself. Like O'Leary, The Processing Room is a play about identity, but like Natalie it's a comedy: three women, separately lost in a hospital, end up in a strange, indeed unearthly room and receive shocking news about themselves...

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