Wednesday, 13 June 2007

A Paines in the Plough

Paines Plough is "an award-winning nationally and internationally renowned touring theatre company, specialising exclusively in the commissioning and development of contemporary playwrights and the production of their work on stage".

Paines Plough's Pippa's Literary Alliteration

Last night, new writers from Birmingham were invited to go along and meet Pippa, their Literary Manager, at The Rep. In a rehearsal room set out like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting (I, uh, imagine), about a dozen new writers (and me) sat in circle on wonky chairs and introduced ourselves and our work to her and the rest of the group.

I was one of the first to speak and felt a a bit cocky with H&M coming up so gave them the now-familiar sales pitch. But as everybody else then detailed their own celebrated experiences, I shuffled back into my seat and realised I'm just a novice.

Awards, attachments to writing schemes, professional commissions, the backing of Joanna Lumley - everyone else seemed to have brought plenty of plaudits along with them. And they all seemed to know each other too and most were already on the various schemes that The Rep runs.

However, I was the only one who'd bought a copy of my script (which surprised me - I thought this would be a no-brainer) so I made sure the delightfully alliterative Pippa from Paines Plough didn't leave without it tucked firmly under her arm.

I guess one looks to the likes of Paines Plough to help realise dreams of writing professionally and/or having plays staged. But the reality is that they will see hundreds, if not thousands, of scripts (and they've actually seen the first draft of H&M before, about a year ago) and chances of anything actually happening are minute - especially if you're over 30, which is what I am (...let's face it).

Sure, there's no harm in sending a few jiffy bags off once in a while and asking 'what if?', but rather than waiting for a reply that may never come, I'm again reminded of how cool it is to be having my play performed for real.

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