Are you writing a new kid’s play now? Can you give us clues on what it is about?
Hi Arts Rocketers – thanks for coming to the show and for sending me these questions. To answer number one, I am indeed writing three shows for kids at the moment:
‘Shadow Dreams’ is about two kids who wake one morning to find they’ve accidentally swapped dreams. ‘The Boy at the Edge of Everything’ is about one boy on Earth, and another out in Space who head for each other’s houses, and on the way go Universe-adventuring. And ‘Zachary Briddling Who Was Awfully Middling’ is about a wonderful grump who hates how normal he is. So he goes off adventuring, to lands filled with ogres and hairy things and flying things, places where he’ll be the strangest thing ever.
Then I’m also writing some plays for teenagers, and some more for adults – my head is feeling very full!
Where do you get your ideas for your plays from?
I think that my brain (just like anyone else’s) is full of hundreds and hundreds of ideas, and that if I sit long enough at a computer, eventually one shows up. It’s like how you draw a picture maybe – you start with a blank piece of paper, but you always end up with something unexpected. Writing’s a bit the same.
When you were a kid, did you want to be a writer? When did you start writing?
Yes – it’s something I’ve always enjoyed. And that’s partly because I’ve always enjoyed reading as well. Words are probably my second favourite thing (behind a few humans who I love very much) – and the way that you can play with them, and create worlds with them, and inspire laughter with them, and make people cry with them, is a very real magic which I am still trying to understand.
Favourite play when you were a kid? And your favourite play you have written?
My favourite play when I was nine was ‘The Postman’ by Theatre Velo. A man has to deliver the mail, but instead he rips open all the parcels… and whole worlds come out! I’m not sure if it’s only my favourite play as a kid, or my favourite play still to this day.
My favourite play of mine is always the one that I’m inventing at the moment, because even more than seeing a play performed, I love writing it. So Dream-sharing, Universe-adventuring and Zachary-Briddling-ing are my favourite things right now.
Are you scared of getting a bad haircut?
It’s a horror that I’ve experienced so many times, I don’t even really mind it anymore! Although nowadays my hairdresser is Renee, and she does a really good job.
In August, my eldest son and I will be heading along to see Finnegan's play Man Covets Bird.
Image from Man Covets Bird - Slingsby Theatre Company