So, today begins our series of posts introducing the writers we will be working with for this year’s StageWrite. It was a difficult choice as we had some fantastic entries this year.
First up, I am very excited about the fact that we have Andrew Maddock with us again this year. This will be the 3rd year that Andrew has submitted to StageWrite and he has been a huge champion of ours ever since we started – Thanks, Andy.
This year Andy brings with him the next instalment of The Me Plays, Cyprus Sunsets (don’t know anything about The Me Plays? Shame on you… find out more here!) which we are thrilled about because we went to see the first instalment and we were seriously impressed!
I asked Andy a few questions. Here’s what he said…
So… Andy, it’s your third year with StageWrite and what do we really know about you. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Andrew Maddock, I live in London and I try and do a bit of everything. Acting, Writing, Directing and working with young people at risk as a drama facilitator. I also write Copy for a large firm in London to actually make a living. It’s a good life.
Excellent. And that’s handy because this year we also have the privilege of working with you as an actor and director on some of the other pieces too. How long have you been writing plays and what started you off writing?
I started writing 4 years ago after a drama teacher at the time stumbled across some ramblings I’d left in a notebook and encouraged me to pursue it, not knowing if this was because I wasn’t very good at acting I carried on anyway and wrote a ten minute piece which was subsequently chosen to be performed under an old Railway Arch in Waterloo. Sitting and watching other actors speak words you only heard in your head was a real rush. It took a further 3 years for me to get the courage to start writing work that I could perform.
What prompted you to start writing The Me Plays?
The Me Plays are the continuing Saga of the character of ‘Me’. I call them Semi-Autobiographical as every piece draws a piece of the real me out and places them into a character I connect to and feel safe portraying. I always want these pieces to mean something and be relatable in some way to all of us. I’ve always been interested in verse and poetry but have always felt that ‘Me’s’ voice has never been represented in that genre so love being able to present ‘The Me Plays’ in that form. ‘Cyprus Sunsets’ will be the third Full Length ‘Me Play’ and I’m very excited to be given the opportunity to perform it at ‘StageWrite’ and introduce my work to a whole new audience, I’ve been part of two StageWrites now, each with plays I’ve written for others and completely different from the style of ‘The Me Plays’ so it will be interesting to face the audience afterwards and hear their thoughts! (or not!).
Tell us a little bit about your process of writing?
I honestly don’t feel I have one. I can be void of all inspiration for ages and then I’ll hear a phrase, or read a newspaper story or a piece of music and inspiration will come, then I’m like a Greyhound after the traps been opened! Once it’s in the brain space I’m away. I don’t plan or plot or fret, I just write and make decisions as I go. Once I’ve got that first draft out of the way I can start to do all those things. I find working with decent Actors who can read with energy and hearing the words out loud to be the key part of knowing if you’re onto something. There can be no ego, there’s always improvements to be made, but until it’s out of your head and into the mouths of other people you can’t begin to do that.
Thanks, Andy. Cyprus Sunsets will be performed on Saturday 14th March. We look forward to seeing you again in March. And don’t forget, you can get tickets for StageWrite online at www.theplacebedford.org.uk and at the Central Box Office by calling 01234 718112.