The Dragons website is live! Check it out for updates & to buy tickets!
The reason I created a tumblr page was to allow myself more room to philosophise pretentiously about what I choose to call my “work”. Therefore I feel I can discuss Dragons, which I am choosing to refer to as “my current project”.
My friend Kirsty Hemming, a producer at the BBC in Bristol as well as an amateur dramatist, came to me with the suggestion that I write for her group - the St. Paul’s Players - an adaptation of a Shakespearean work, that they may enter it into the RSC Open Stages competition/scheme/thingamabob. More specifically, she asked if I already had anything that she could use; I did not, having spent the better part of the last decade (seriously) writing what I hope to one day call “the first feature script I ever sold”. However, the idea of adapting Shakespeare intrigued me, and as I’d never received a writing commission in the past (paid or whatever), I threw some ideas her way and she picked her favourite.
In her infinite wisdom, she picked the most awkward, difficult, and ambitious idea of the lot.
Therefore I set about deconstructing King Lear, isolating what I felt were its key attributes - pride, love, betrayal, arrogance, etc - and giving them a coat of paint that best resembled my chosen theme. I may talk at length in the future about how I came to this wacky idea, and how I attempted to give the play a sturdy literary backbone, but I don’t want to sound pretentious or self-aggrandising, especially without an audience (I assume the people who read this blog will number in the single digits); regardless, I did some research, and began to bend the Bard to fit my own addled thoughts.
If I had to sum up this whole process in one word it would be “hubris”. I am assuming I am skilled enough to attempt a Shakespearean adaptation, and interesting enough to take that adaptation into areas that could potentially attract ridicule, scorn, or (worse!) boredom. So I’m counting on being good, frankly.
At the moment I am very happy with my progress - and right now it’s still a work in, far (in my eyes at least) from finished. But I know I’m not at the end of the tunnel anyway, and there’s plenty of time left to sand off the rough edges and give it all a coat of varnish. I promise the metaphors in the script are better than the ones on this blog, too.
The least of my ambitions at this stage is to produce a work that is not embarrassing to myself, or Kirsty, who’s really championed me through this project; to produce, in fact, a work that is worthy of the men and women who will have to stand on a stage in front of a paying crowd and speak my words with their mouths and not look like a gaggle of idiots. That is a truly great undertaking, and if that was all I achieved, I could take some comfort. However, it’s my intention to be far better than that; it’s my intention for this script to be genuinely great, and for the performances it helps generate (for let’s not forget, the script is not the same thing as the play) to be likewise great; and ultimately for this play to be performed in Stratford as well as Bristol. And hopefully other places too.
It’s not hubris, really. Because I know it’s bloody hard work. But it’s also bloody good fun.