Recent filmed monologues and more.
An interesting opportunity came up recently on Facebook, Make It Write Productions had the idea for a project they called 'Jukebox Challenge' this involved a number of writers being given two actors to work with and a song. The challenge was to come up with a short play, inspired by the song, that lasted as long as the song itself. Then, working with the two actors, via zoom, (this all began during lockdown) rehearse the piece and finally film it. I was given the song, 'How To Disappear Completely' by Radiohead.
It was so long since I had been in a rehearsal room (due to Covid) I decided to treat this like a devised show, only over zoom! We had several devising sessions where we listened to the piece of music and talked about ideas it threw up for us.
The country was going through a difficult time, the lockdown was beginning to crack and be challenged by people fed up of staying indoors. The murder of Sarah Everard had shaken the nation. In Liverpool, where my two actors live, police had been busting illegal raves and private parties. All these things were on our minds as we worked, it was impossible not to be influenced by them. Our piece combined these challenging subjects and mixed with the themes of the song. Out of this grew a script. When restrictions finally lifted we were able to meet in Liverpool for one evening when we shot this short film below.
M6 Theatre Company chose my short play, 'Not The End' for part of its 'Love In The Time Of Corona' series of filmed monologues, aimed at young audiences, inspired by experiences of lockdown. I decided to write a piece where the central character is a young carer, creating a 'video diary' for a school project. Samuel looks after his father, a war veteran with severe physical injuries.
The finished script was rehearsed over zoom and filmed by Tom, the actor himself on his phone, in isolation.
During the covid 19 crisis there have been many opportunities for writers and performers to produce monologues which then get uploaded on social media. 'Mayfly' was first written for the first round of monologues in the 'Rapid Reel' project on Facebook. The idea was simple, a new monologue would be written, rehearsed and recorded within 24 hours. I had 3 hours to write a two minute monologue. I decided to turn to a character I had created years ago and bring him up to date. Weeks later another project was cooked up by theatre company 'Original Man', my monologue was chosen, then out of a hat a director and a performer were chosen. When a female actor was chosen I decided to re-write the piece, spoken by a woman. Things progressed. Here is the resulting film, performed by Alex Hannant, directed by Sarah Sharpe...
A little while later 'Make It Write' productions announced a competition to produce a new monologue, the prompt was 'hit the ground running' I decided to take the May Fly story and focus on the moment of flight. I had become more interested in the idea of this character going through two kinds of lock down. There were worrying news reports at the time about the increase in domestic violence during the Covid lock down and I thought how awful it must be to find yourself in a controlling or abusive relationship during lock down. This story was my response to this situation. I don't offer solutions and this is not based on anyone specific, it is more a wish for escape from harm for too many people.
Again, I was lucky enough for my monologue to be chosen, it was given to talented performer and director Mandy Lalley and cameraman Ian Langton who worked wonders to produce the film below.