It’s only 4 weeks until StageWrite week!!! So now that I’ve picked myself up off the floor following my panic attack, I figured I’d better kick off with introducing our amazingly talented writers! We’re kicking off the first interview with the very talented Mark Hibbett whose play, Captain Wonderful will be performed on Saturday 12th March.
So, Mark, why don’t you kick off by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I’m originally from Peterborough but spent many years living in Leicester, where I went to Polytechnic (for those too young to remember, Polytechnics were like Universities except much cooler? And dead sexy?). I live in London now, in the former Olympic Village, which is very very exciting indeed.
Ha – I went to a polytechnic before it became a University, and I don’t remember it being very sexy… but then Luton isn’t particularly renowned for being very sexy either! So tell us how long have you been writing plays for and what started you off writing?
I wrote several plays as a teenager but stopped when I left home and started playing in bands – there’s a lot more opportunities to drink beer and talk to girls in bands, so I spent the next twenty years doing that instead. In 2009 I wrote a one-man show to take to the Edinburgh Fringe and enjoyed it so much that I wrote several more shows and eventually enrolled in the MA Creative Writing at City University to find out how to do it properly.
What prompted you to write the play that you submitted?
I did a gig with a very famous comics writer who faced a similar situation with a fan as Martin does in the play. The real-life writer was absolutely lovely about it, and the fan was much more well-adjusted, but it made me think about what would have happened if their characters were slightly different.
Brilliant. We always like to ask our writers a little bit about their process, so tell us a little bit about your own process of writing?
I like to do a lot of planning. With most things I write I spend as much time working out the characters and the plot as I do actually sitting down at the keyboard. It makes it all a lot more fun, as you can concentrate on the dialogue and, in my case, putting some jokes in, without worrying about what’s going to happen next.
Interesting, I’ve started to think more about spending more time doing that side of things recently. Anything else that you think our delightful readers will find interesting?
My usual choice of “interesting fact” about myself is that I wrote the song “Hey Hey 16K”, which became one of the world’s first ever viral videos back in 2005. It was seen by millions of people all around the world – if you don’t know it yourself, someone in your IT department probably does!
Ha – love it… and it would seem remiss of me not to post the original video here for people to see… so here it is!! Thanks Mark, and don’t forget, you can catch Mark’s play Captain Wonderful at StageWrite 2016 on Saturday 12th March 2016. Tickets on sale now at http://www.theplacebedford.org.uk/cgi-bin/basket_displayshowpage.pl?show=680