´IS IT FUNNY?´

by Jez Bond

Friday, 22 November, 2013

As the sun set on the Cartmel campsite, three words were shared by two men in a static caravan: "Is it funny?" It was September and the final writing session before a workshop of our script with professional actors. Over the past year my writing partner, Mark Cameron, and I had grabbed a week here, a weekend there and the odd evening (usually very odd) in order to complete the script for Park Theatre's first ever pantomime. We set the bar high, maintaining some of the traditional elements of panto whilst hugely challenging ourselves in other areas. We set ru…

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ENDINGS

by Park Theatre

Monday, 19 November, 2012

How do you bring a play to an end? At Park we’re always talking about beginnings, what is evolving and how it will grow. But within this growth, this building and organisation, performances and shows will be housed and they need endings. And, the way a show ends is so crucial to how the audience can feel about the piece. I’m sure most people reading this blog have seen a show that you really hope will end, think will never end, think it has ended and begin to clap – oh, the awkwardness (and usually pain) when it continues for another half …

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WHAT TO CHOOSE?

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 13 November, 2012

So many choices! What to choose? Children Shows, Happy plays - stories that make you escape Horror Shows, Scary Plays - stories of murder and rape Pieces from days of old to stories that help you never grow old All in a days work at the Park We'll have them all from light to dark

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THE NIGHT SHIFT

by Park Theatre

Friday, 12 October, 2012

If you write, what time of day do you write?  For many of us, there's not much choice.  Due to those pesky non-writing commitments, we're lucky if there's a moment here or there that we can grab to pull out our notebook or gadget of choice and scribble or tap out a few words. When I wrote the first draft of my first play, What You Do To People, my kids were still toddlers.  So I wrote in half-hour chunks, mostly longhand, sitting on the edge of my bed every night after the children were asleep.  I never had time to read over what I'…

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MINDFULNESS

by Park Theatre

Friday, 5 October, 2012

Yesterday I started a course in Mindfulness: the practice of 'paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgementally.' It's the opposite of acting on automatic pilot, and the opposite of multitasking - both of which are habits of mine.  It's also definitely the opposite of worry and mind-chatter. Yesterday was the first session of eight, so it's early days - but on exiting the class I did feel a new sense of vividness and sensitivity as I walked along the street, like the colour and brightness of everyth…

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The Philosophy, History and Sociology of Flying in the 21st Century (abridged)

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 27 September, 2012

As I sit here on the balcony of a beautiful penthouse in the Algarve, from where Mark Cameron and I are penning Park Theatre's first ever Christmas show, I feel incredibly privileged. The work is hard, but the warm weather and comfortable surroundings make for an incredibly pleasant change of scenery - and the occasional game of tennis and trip to the spa certainly doesn't hinder matters. Best of all I am being treated to both flights and…

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HEARING VOICES

by Park Theatre

Friday, 21 September, 2012

The other day, a well-known actress said to me that the last time she attempted to write a script, she felt like the characters were about two inches high, standing there on the page, looking up at her pleadingly and making desperate hand gestures at their mouths as if to say, 'Give us something to say!  Let us speak!'. She was powerless to help them. With me, lately, it's been a somewhat different problem.  At least my friend's characters popped up in 3D; one of mine has been refusing to even stir himself that far.  All I could do was…

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WRITING IS REWRITING

by Park Theatre

Friday, 7 September, 2012

All summer I've been working on the rewrite for my (temporarily title-less) Park play, sometimes in my head, sometimes on paper or on the screen.  But now that the new term is under way I've got my head down, tapping away at the new draft in earnest. I tend to approach rewrites in one of two ways, depending on what stage I'm at.  Towards the end of the process, I'll just open up the previous draft and, with notes from myself and others by my side, go through scene by scene, cutting an…

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QUESTIONNING

by Park Theatre

Monday, 3 September, 2012

I went to see a play tonight. I’d heard that it was amazing. Everyone had already been or wanted to go. Other than that I didn’t know much about it except it was about a community dealing with something; a sensitive subject. I was liking it, getting into it, but half way through the first act I start getting a niggling feeling. I started to question. Question whether I thought it was funny - should I laugh? Why were some of the audience laughing? Question if this was trivialising or undermining an actual occurrence and the real people involved with it? Was that rig…

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GUM BALLS

by Park Theatre

Friday, 17 August, 2012

Back in June, I wrote about the subconscious and what a hard worker it is, whirring away on its own and coming up with solutions and inspiration - under one condition: that you feed it by writing on a daily basis.  Doesn't matter whether it's for 10 minutes or eight hours; just write, I said.  Every day. Well, as I also wrote recently, there are exceptions to every rule.  I'm just back from two weeks in Andaluc…

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ON BREAKING MY OWN RULES

by Park Theatre

Friday, 13 July, 2012

This week I played a game of literary Consequences with nine other writers for the salon:collective's Echo Experiment #1 as part of the gloriously-named CockSquat.  There are many variations of Consequences (known by the Surrealists as 'Exquisite Corpse'), including the picture version as played by my daughters in the slightly disturbing drawing below.  In the game I played this week, each writer was invited to 'beg, borrow and steal…

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BUILDING UP

by Park Theatre

Friday, 6 July, 2012

Q: What does it take to give a playwright a kick up the backside when she's about to launch herself back into work on a play for a new theatre? A: Take her to the building site for that theatre and show her how it's thrillingly, inexorably coming together.  Let her see the sheer bloody labour that is going into the manipulation of steel, glass and concrete into a sophisticated and complex home for inspiration and magic.  Bring her close to shedding a little tear when she thinks of how far this place has come since she first walked through the door of…

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TRIPPING

by Park Theatre

Friday, 22 June, 2012

This week I've been very slowly beginning to research a new play.  Slowly not because I'm dawdling along in a nonchalant manner, but because the subject I've chosen is not the easiest to delve into.  After I was flown to Turkey this time last year to research my Park play, Closer Than The Jugular, many wags suggested that my next play should definitely be set in the Bahamas.  This seemed an eminently sensible suggestion to me, but for some reason I haven't taken it up.  Instead, I've chosen something murky and decidedly uncomfortable, with…

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ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS

by Park Theatre

Friday, 15 June, 2012

This week I've been rewriting the very very end of my first play.  As the reality of a production edges into view, suddenly the ending acquires added significance, as if it 'says' something very general about the subject of the play.  With very few significant exceptions, I'm not a great fan of literature with an overt message to push.  The best stories examine the truth, ask questions, provoke thought and debate; they don't ne…

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