As part of our BLACKFRIARS STORIES project, we’re working with a hot team of emerging playwrights who will be writing the short plays that will form our Autumn production ANOTHER DAY. We’re keen to introduce the playwrights to you, so we’re kicking off with the delightful Lucy Beacon.
So, Lucy, how did you end up becoming a part of ANOTHER DAY?
I wrote a short play called ‘Rostov’ which was chosen for last year’s Theatre Breaks festival in Camden, and AFOAF was involved in that festival too. I’m interested in the use of pre-recorded spoken word in theatre, and Ice Cream (by Mark Abbey) used some in a particularly inventive way. I got chatting backstage to the director, Patrick, about the audio and how he’d used it to get round a difficult staging issue. He introduced me to the rest of AFOAF, and they were all so lovely that when an opportunity arose for me to work with them, I jumped at the chance!
What have you been up to since then?
Since the Theatre Breaks festival I’ve had a couple of short plays produced. The first was for Lost Theatre’s ‘Five Minute Festival’ in which I had a comedy called ‘The Pudding Club’. It was set in a maternity clinic and featured one man, two women and a whole lot of trouble! I was delighted when it won the judges’ vote for best piece of the evening. I also had a play, ‘Trap Doors’, on at the Bush Theatre’s ‘Ambush’ evening earlier this year. It was a real honour to have my play performed on that stage as it’s the theatre that inspired me to start writing drama.
You’re a busy bee! What is it that inspired you to write in the first place?
I always wanted to write but it took hitting 40 and a mini midlife-crisis to actually get me to sit down and do it. I love theatre and so writing drama was the natural choice for me. I’ve worked in the music industry most of my life and so that’s a passion for me too. Perhaps I could put both of those elements together and write a musical one day!
So what’s your process when you’re working on a new play?
As I’m quite busy, I find it useful to ‘write’ in my head before I put it down on paper. It’s a good way to work as I usually know at least sections of the play before I start. I try to write both the beginning and end of the play before I sit down to type – the middle sections usually happen at the computer. My favourite place to write is on the bus. I love listening to snippets of conversations as people step on and off public transport. There’s something about getting only part of a story that fires the imagination much more than hearing it all.
As you know, ANOTHER DAY is all about life in Blackfriars. We’d love to hear some of your own experiences….
Although I’m not a Southwark resident, I worked in the area briefly and my sister is still based here. I’ve spent a good deal of time in Southwark over the last twenty years and it has always felt like a creative area. As well as going to the more established creative hubs of theatres and galleries, I’ve stumbled across impromptu drama on the streets, and been to innovative music venues. It’s a great place.
I’ve always loved it down by the river in this part of London. The view both upstream and downstream is stunning – especially at night. I love people watchingand the riverside is a perfect place to take a seat and watch the world go by. I’ve really enjoyed researching the historical details of the area as part of Another Day – both the recent history and that of previous centuries.
Lucy has written ‘Ribbons’ as part of ANOTHER DAY.
You can follow Lucy on Twitter: @lucybeacon