A couple of years ago I was asked by Firehorse Productions to write a new anti-bullying play for them to tour around primary schools across the country. Yesterday, I finally got to see it performed when its current tour brought it to the West Midlands.
I will admit I was more than a little apprehensive to see the performance, but then I reminded myself the show has been touring for over a year and has been well received, if the feedback given by head teachers is anything to go by. The actors, I am told, were a little nervous to have the writer in. I joked that I expected them to be word perfect – when, in truth, it’s been so long since I wrote the thing and so many words have passed from my brain through my fingertips and onto the screen since then, I could only dimly remember the play at best.
Until it began.
As it got going, I sat enjoying my characters coming to life and I thought “If I was writing this now, I’d put this joke or this line in it next” and lo and behold, that joke or that line came out! That’s when you know it’s right.
It worked! My baby works! The laughter, the moments of drama, and the message all came across. I congratulated and thanked the cast afterwards. Without them, the play is just words on a page. A play needs people to perform it and to see it. From what I saw yesterday, my play The B Word is alive and well.
I allowed myself a moment of smugness and self-satisfaction. Now I need to think of ideas for a sequel…