Well, adapting a book into a play is an interesting and bemusing process. Script writing is not something I'm unfamiliar with. Scripts are part of my heritage. I have worked with and written scripts. But and adaptation is something completely different.
Firstly, when you take a novel which moves through time, you have to find a way to signify time passing without resorting to characters saying things like, 'What a difficult two years we've had. I'm glad this is a better harvest'. How naff! (Amusingly, while writing this, I remembered a line that is not too dissimilar. Must go back and look again!) We could go for a Monty Pythonesque massive clock, but not sure it would fit.
Secondly, the novel was written in a way that firmly puts the characters in the landscape. However, on stage, landscape needs to be suggested in conversation and the way a character engages with the space, rather than a character pointing things out. This too has been a challenge.
Thirdly, we are hoping to stage an open air production, but the question then is, how do we make the most of intimate scenes without lighting. Or if we do use lighting, we would need to change our timeline and produce the play later in the year when we have enough darkeness to warrant it. And technically, it takes us into a whole new realm.
These are just a few of the challenges. But, as always, I like a challenge, as do our wonderful team, who I will be introducing properly in my next post.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
We are having our first Research and Development day next week, when we will mark out the play so far and see if it works and consider more what direction we will take it in. We'd like to do an opening performance here in Thorpe or Beaumont, right in the heart of where Kitty lived and then take it on a small East Anglian tour. Hopdully the R&D will help us make some decision.
Out aim is to have a company of professionals who will hold the core of the story, but who will work alongside the community in which it is to be performed. Together we will create to an exciting and uplifting event. So many people love theatre and taking part. In a time of such uncertainty on the world stage, it does us good to come back to the heart of our own communities as we work together in creative endeavour.
Thanks for taking this journey with me. Next time I will introduce you to our team and maybe even include a short video... maybe. Until then, enjoy the beautiful long evenings.