‘My play is no different to any other play: it’s a time bomb that starts to tick from the moment the first action is initiated, from the moment that desires are heightened, characters cross and explode as they flounder to make sense of their world where only one can survive. It’s a look at how we become who we are, what forces win us over and how we get what we want.’ (From my notes from rehearsal)
I spent my morning in rehearsals today for the world premiere of my play Godless Monsters, attending the first ever read through of this new draft of the script and then watching an initial staging of the beginning of the play. It wasn’t until I heard it read aloud in its newest incarnation that I realised that this play, like all plays I guess, is a ticking bomb. I love theatre that moves quickly, holding the audience in its spell until it spits them out the other side, depositing them limp, exhausted and with a fresh view of how the world could be. This play however takes place mainly in Africa, we’ve had the amazing Mikey Brett make us a puppet goat and I left rehearsals just as they were going to learn some songs, so maybe it is different from any other play.
‘…Characters move like chess pieces through a world that looks like ours but isn’t. They’re people caught in a ring of deep desire unable to think of any other way to fulfil themselves than the actions that spring to mind after tensions hit a fever pitch.
Godless Monsters is my attempt at looking at how you find your voice and room for yourself in a world where your voice has no assumed authority, where you have to make your dreams happen or else they’ll be swallowed up in someone else’s dreams or worse, just forgotten, ignored. Where the people who are in charge can’t be trusted to look after you. It’s dog eat dog out there, didn’t you know?’ (More from my notes from rehearsal)
Chatting to the brilliant cast and director today it reminded me how much of a private world the play feels when you’re working on it in your writing room and what a public form of art theatre actually is. I’ve been working on this piece for about 3 years and when talking about it, it still surprises me how many different influences I’ve brought together to make this work.
We need stories that challenge who we think we are, how we think the world works and I feel that as much now as I did on that weekend in June a few years ago when I just had to write what has become this play. I hope it adds something to the conversation of how we see ourselves, of how we become who we are. I mean how far would you go to protect your spiritual calling? What would you do to protect the one thing you’d found that finally gave your life purpose and made you make sense?
Come see for yourself and be a part of this conversation.