Much of Spring this year has been spent on the Age Queer script. I could not have chanced on a lovelier group of people while attached to Theatre West’s Zooming Ahead Scheme. theatre-west.co.uk Dramaturg Bea Roberts, Artistic Directors Ann Stiddard and Alison Comely and Alan Coveney, Noni Lewis and Gareth Kennerley the actors delivering the final reading on June 14th by webinar. Here are some of the comments posted afterwards:-
‘ Loved this script! Very moving, and very authentic. Congratulations and good luck!’
‘Such a wonderful script! Love how you've structured the scenes to play with the passing of time.’
‘That was wonderfully moving, funny and inspiring (from the P.O.V. of someone 70ish!!) I enjoyed all the performances; it is beautifully written, original and ingenious in many ways and I cannot think of any ways in which I think it could be improved. I'll look out for a future performance. Thank you!’
‘Very much enjoyed the detailed history of the early 80s for the characters; all felt very true. Established very strongly the history, activism, and engagement that gets negated when older (in others' eyes). Decline of Norma at the end was strongly written and acted. Thanks.’
….and I was grateful for critique to help me develop the script further:-
‘I liked the way you structured the piece a lot, though I think there might be more room for thematic continuity from one section to another? I’m not sure I totally understood the gesture - But I did really enjoy it.’
‘I enjoyed the play and think it has a great relevance. I just think it lost its way slightly in the middle. I would like to have known more about the characters in middle life. Nicely done though.’
Currently, the script runs for approx. 1 hour 15 minutes as read and sticking to the brief (as originally set by Theatre West). Whether I have a production opportunity or not, I need to develop some of the scenes, refine the dialogue and so forth. I’ve been mulling over how Norma’s and Alan’s middle years could best be illuminated.
Thankfully the reading was recorded. This has helped me develop an article/essay explaining more detailed thinking behind Age Queer which I hope will be published online or at least on this blog. This is intended as a starting point for discussion, workshops and the like.