This little play – a one-act rom com called ‘Spirited’ – started out as a short film. In fact, although I only just remembered this, it got through to the second round of the Kaos shorts competition in 2010. Whereupon it languished for a bit, wondering what to do next.
Then I got some feedback from a producer on one of my other shorts, saying that it read more like a theatre sketch than a film, and that got me thinking about ‘Spirited’.
It’s set in a restaurant – easy to do in a theatre. Like a lot of shorts, it had a small cast (four), also good for theatre. It has no special effects, no action sequences. It’s all about the words and the characters who say them. Hmm, theatre…
What finally clinched it was me idly browsing competitions for one-act plays and coming across one (Supernova VI by the Bench Theatre) that had an upcoming deadline. I love a deadline; shakes me out of my writer’s torpor. So I spent a morning re-writing it from a film to a one-act play, sent it off and forgot about it.
Then after a few weeks I received an email from the theatre company. It started off “I’m sorry to be so brief…” I almost didn’t read on. I’ve had lots of emails that start like that. But it then went on to say that the script had received very positive acclaim, and that the reading panel were very keen to include it.
I’ve been to see them rehearsing it. It’s always interesting to see your words performed by other people; the intonation is sometimes different than when you read it aloud yourself, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They did a really good job and I’m looking forward to seeing the real thing on February 12 and 14 as one of five one-act plays on the night. I’m nervous, of course, and I have friends coming with me who I’m hoping won’t have to be forcedly polite about how funny it was afterwards…
Update: It was performed twice, so I went both times (in case it never happens again). Friends came with us the second time and they said they enjoyed it. I could hear them laughing next to me – at the right times – so I believe them. See photo below of two of the main characters, Stephen and Helen.
Bench Theatre is asking for submissions for next year’s Supernova, so I’m having a ponder on what to submit for that.