Wednesday, 27 August 2008


I’m back from a thoroughly boring if somewhat relaxing time in France. HM’s family seems unable to actually do anything when on holiday and in some ways I can’t blame ‘em. It just seems like a waste to go to another country and sit around a table reading books for a week. I could do that at home. Just make sure I cover myself in honey so midges and flies bite me.

We stayed in a trailer tent so there was little privacy and even more spiders. I was unamused. However I seem to have a fantastic tan. French toilets are pretty disgusting. A phenomenon I had not encountered before. I’m fine with squatters. You get them in Singapore, it’s just the smell.

Anyway. The play. It’s not happening. I’m far too lazy. You’d think that I’d spend that lethargic time sat about a table in Narbonne constructively and methodically writing my script, developing characters and working with conflict and inner conflict. Have I fuck! I spent most of the time with my nose stuck in Irvine Welsh’s Glue. Well worth a read even if you don’t like his one-trick-pony style. It’s very similar to Trainspotting just more structured and less morbid. It’s possibly the book he would have wanted to write with hindsight.

Currently I've been forcing myself to create some OTT scenarios to write a few bits of dialogue from. I’m far too lazy to actually stick to doing them, however and keep wandering into the kitchen to look at food or lie on the bed slowly drifting off to sleep. Snorlax.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Nothing Vs Something Hapening

I have developed a strange liking for 90’s beat-em-up computer games that appeared on the Playstation when I was about sixteen and far too old to like these things. I think it may have something to do with the little boy growing inside of me and I’m sure that feminists would hate me to admit that blatant gender stereotyping.

My bursary cheque still hasn’t come yet (boo hoo!) but I spoke to a friend of mine and she said that the theatre would not pay out until 30 days after the invoice was received.

I’m off to France in a few days. I’m not too sure if I am looking forward to this or not seeing as the company we will be keeping. However I am hoping to get some writing done there.

I know the thing I could be doing right now is going over all of the questions with each character but there is something about this play that does not get me exited at the moment and I think it’s a lack of plot. Does anyone know some exercises on plot? Its always been my weak point and I’ve always glossed over it but I think I’ve got to the point where I cant cruise by anymore and pretend that plot does not matter.

Seeing as my Theatrical Aesthetic is to create plays that are entertaining (at least at the moment) I really need to gain some insight into how to make stuff happen to keep the entertainment factor alive. However my biggest influence on this particular piece is The Royle Family where (essentially) nothing happens it’s a bit of a paradox.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

some groundwork

Seeing as this play is pretty much in its infancy at the moment these subjects are license to change!

Who - a brief run down of characters

I have seven characters in this play. They represent elements in this primitive form, but these things may change. At least one character is liable to not be physically represented in the world of the play but as it is, I’ll describe all of them. They also do not have names at the moment.

  • Main female protagonist – a pregnant female. First pregnancy. She represents naivety and the future. She is all the hopes and aspirations. She has an explorational personality that results in life lessons. She represents Singaporean-Chinese and English and the inability to assimilate herself in with either culture.
  • Main male protagonist – represents the middle class, leftie Englishness. He is the product of this culture and sees to live his future life with his girlfriend and unborn child as such. However he fails to recognize that she does not see this type of culture as the best for her and child’s future.
  • The Singaporean mother – represents Singapore and Singaporean culture. Sees things in a very offensive / categorized way. Fails to have any empathy with the leftie, m/c English culture. Is the only character that speaks her mind fully? Has no hint of flexibility or hypocrisy. Is seen on one level as the “baddie” due to her un-fluid nature.
  • The Working Class Father – in the British class system (the UK is the place that has such a recognized, acknowledged and blatantly endorsed class system which is outwardly criticized while simultaneously endorsed.) He resides on the same level as the Singaporean mother due to his prejudices and the freedom he uses to speak his mind. On one level he is the secondary baddie, on the other level he is the compassionate character. I’d like to see him be a bit like Jim Royal but with less flatulence and more racism
  • The Leftie Middle Class Mother – is the outwardly untrashy, loving, earthly, motherly, goddess type. She frequently idealizes the sixties and seventies (ironically a time when she did not have children); she is well off, lib dem voting, knitting, relaxed type who likes yoga and vegetarianism. However she is very hypocritical. She manipulates her son, hates the fact that he has a girlfriend, hates her family, spoils her son, hates all types of things that arise outside her Guardian reading world and is threatened by them.
  • The Best Friend – to the female protagonist. She outwardly shows a life of singleness and success, works in the city as a lawyer or some other such profession. Is idealized by the Singaporean mother, dislikes the male protagonist, provides a mirror onto what life could have been like. However is a sympathetic character as it turns she is just a product of her surrounding s and is not really happy.

What’s the theme?

Summing it up: “is it better to be hypocritical about your prejudices or speak your mind?”

why do you think it’s important to write this?

It’s important to me to write this because I want to show a few things.

1. The Chinese are often invisible. There is a huge Chinese population In Britain that has intermingled and interbreed with the English but they are invisible in modern culture and art. I want to capture some of the, at least Chinese-Singaporean ethos and how it does not fit into modern Britain.

2. I want to see where I’m heading. The leftie mother and the Singaporean mother are both things that I could be (to some extent). I want to explore them to see where they lead me.

3. I really want to know if it is better to speak your mind or not.

Where is the world of your play?

Sticking to the conventions of kitchen sink would be better for this one and setting in real life situations to question “who are we now?” I mean, I do have constraints! How better to answer that question than to show somewhere relatable.

When - how is time significant in your work?

Time relating to the pregnancy is significant. There is a time constraint of nine months for the plot to be geared in. I don’t want the plot to be about the pregnancy though. I would actually like it to be about buying a house or something mundane with the pregnancy in the background. There also is an eluded time of “the past” (the idealized sixties, idealized Singapore, the parents past) and “the future” (future aspirations, hopes and fears for baby) with “the present” being a mundane, if somewhat necessary.