Friday, 7 June 2013

Keys to Paradise and Other Locks.

Go to any museum and you'll find rusty and rotted keys from thousands of years ago, ornate and elegant keys that hung from the waists of Victorian or French housekeepers. In the drawers and cupboards of all our houses there are likely to be keys, put there for safekeeping, that belong to locks that no longer exist.

Keys take on a different form in the twenty first century. Safe combinations, swipe cards, iris and fingerprint recognition and keys smothered with bling and patterns to make them stand out.

However you look at it, everyone from the Roman Soldier to the Modern Art Teacher had or has something they want to lock up. Salt, saffron, sugar, secrets. Love letters, evidence, diamonds, people.

Make a list of everything you have locked up. Do you see the beginnings of a poem in that list? Or a story?

Look at the photo of keys above. Select one. Imagine you keep it somewhere safe. Write about the lock it opens. Tell a story about what's locked away and why. 

Write an intriguing sentence that includes the word key.

Have you any interesting stories that involve keys?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Stones in his Pockets. A play by Marie Jones

I'm re-reading Stones in his Pockets by Marie Jones. It's a play with a large cast that has traditionally been played by two actors. Set in Ireland, it looks at the effect a visiting American film crew has on a close knit community.

The dialogue is very effective. All characters come to life on the page and not a word is wasted. I'll be using this play in September when I will be running a play reading course.

It's inspiring to see what can be done with two actors, a fantastic script and no props. Somehow the essence of how powerful theatre can be is embodied in this layered and thought provoking piece. The tone is humourous but the play doesn't shy away from large and small politics.

Reading it reminds me of something I wrote. It's a play with two characters who are both played by one actor. I must get it out, blow the dust off it and see if it's any good.

Has anyone seen a production of Stones in his Pockets?

What did you think of it?