Category: 5. Blackfriars Stories (Oct 2014)


Introducing: playwright Lucy Beacon

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 Lucy Beacon playwright headshotyear’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

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#whatsyourstory: Jess

Jess intern As part of our #whatsyourstory campaign towards the BLACKFRIARS STORIES events programme with Southwark Council in 2014, our intern, Jess, shares a memory of Blackfriars.

Living in Kent, the noise, hustle and bustle of London wasn’t something I experienced on a regular basis. I would go to London to see a show, attend a dance class or go to a museum; I was essentially a tourist visiting my own city – which I live a mere twenty minutes away from. It wasn’t until I started studying a BA in ‘Arts and Festival Management’ at London South Bank University that I began to see the ‘real’ London. I now go to places where people live, rather than simply visit, which has given me a new experience of this amazing city.

Before starting university, I had never visited Elephant and Castle. It wasn’t until the university’s Open Day that I ventured into the unknown. Getting terribly lost, relying heavily on the technology on my phone, I was taken down a subway (something I had never seen in London before) which led me to the place I would be studying for 3 years. The different cultures, sights and noises would definitely take time in getting used to!

I have always known that I had to study in London as I share the same desire, like so many others do, to be in the Arts. I had to be in London.

With only being in the area since September of last year, there’s always something new to see, understand and do, which has allowed me to produce many memories. One of my first memories was the first time I visited Elephant and Castles Shopping Mall. I had never been to a place like it! The various market stalls selling everything and anything, the strong smell of popcorn when you enter the centre itself, it felt like I had stepped into a time machine and travelled back thirty years! Bus SE Blackfriars London Jess

As time goes on I am becoming more familiar with SE1. Even in the short time commuting in the area, I have noticed constant changes going on, mostly building work. My first and lasting impression is therefore still in the exciting phase, because everything is relatively new and different; I can see this area becoming a place to come to.

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‘Another Day’ Announcement

After a lengthy process of workshops with playwrights, reading their proposals, and deliberating over how they would fit in to the overall production, we are now pleased to announce the playwrights who will be writing bespoke pieces for Another Day:

Isley Lynn

Ben Norton Davies

James Robert-Moore

Lucy Beacon

John Hamilton May

This fabulous fivesome will be working with all of the stories and recollections that we have gathered throughout our #whatsyourstory campaign and will be writing the new short plays that will form Another Day. There will be more about them in the coming weeks, so look out for an insight of just what makes them tick.

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#whatsyourstory: Patrick

PatrickAs part of our #whatsyourstory campaign towards the BLACKFRIARS STORIES events programme with Southwark Council in 2014, our Associate Artistic Director, Patrick Maubert, shares a memory of Blackfriars.

My tale from the Blackfriars Mile comes from a fairly awkward first date.
I had recently tried my hand at the silliness that is Tindr… I felt I needed a stupid distraction from my typical routine.
I met a cute chap…4 years my junior, and hoped to have a nice dinner, quick drink and perhaps a rerouting to my bedroom. It was to be all very easy, breezy and casual. Aren’t most first dates these days? Apparently not:

Midway through our enchiladas at Blackfriars’ own Picante, it became quite clear he and I had as much in common as chalk and cheesy nachos. Not only that, it was evident this lovely young chap was going to be a gentleman and not agree to that wistful rendezvous without some serious strings.

As I am a man of honour and integrity, I told him I didn’t see a future with us (per se) but would he like to come back to mine to finish the night in more physical terms?
Miraculously, he agreed! But first a nightcap at the Blackfriars Wine Bar. Success!

The walk over the bridge must have allowed the cold, hard facts to be absorbed and it was apparent the energy and mood had turned sour as we settled into a cozy booth. In a cruel twist of fate, we found ourselves starring at another couple.
Their mood had most certainly NOT soured as they were entangled within each other’s passion in a sloppy, frantic make-out sesh. Their eyes Blackfriars bridgeunashamedly met ours as they boasted they were on a fabulous first date. My Mr. Tindr chirped in that we were as well. He then thought it was high time he unmasked my unsavory intentions to our first-date comrades.

She, our neighbour in the broadest Brisbane brogue:
“What?! So he thinks he can wine, dine and ROOT ya?” she queried
“Apparently so. I was so hopeful this time around,” he cried with disappointment

At this point, the lesbians in the corner piped in with similar disgusted daggers being shot through eyes and words.

I became the most unpopular dick-head in Blackfriars, and quite possibly London proving that you simply cannot have your cake and eat it too…

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Press: Better Bankside

Our 2014 Season #whatsyourstory has been featured in Better Bankside‘s April newsletter! Read the full article [here]


better bankside Blackfriars Stories press

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