Not only that but we have some exciting news –we’re having a baby at the end of April. This came as somewhat of a (happy) surprise. Pregnancy in itself has been quite surprising. I expected morning sickness (which I didn’t actually get). But I didn’t expect the fatigue and a feeling of complete and utter stupidity. My brain just refused to work. This slowed me down with both my reading list and writing ambitions. Pregnancy also meant that I sat through my graduation ceremony worrying that I might be sick on the Dean or even worse the legend that is Miriam Margolyes but I made it! Incidentally, her speech was one of the most inspirational I have ever heard. I haven't been able to find a link to it though which is a pity.
Thankfully, I’ve finally started to feel like myself again. But it took a dramatic A&E dash which resulted in me giving up my shelf-stacking job, to finally shift the exhaustion. I had a frightening ten minutes where I couldn’t speak properly. It came all out as gobbledygook. Initially the doctor worried I was suffering from high blood pressure, then a possible stroke and they finally decided I’d had my first aura-migraine brought on by over work, low blood sugar and generally not enough rest. It was a shame giving up work as (like everyone) we could have done with the money. The manual work was too much and the baby had to come first. We can’t wait to meet him or her and have already started thinking about the books we'd like to share with them.
So what have I been doing? Well I’ve mainly been working with Splendid Fred on some exciting new plays. The first of which, 'The Play’s the Thing,' has already been performed under the umbrella name Curtain Call. The brief was to write a play set in the dressing room of Theatre Royal Winchester. Meanwhile, three other plays by other writers were being performed in other locations. Then the audience travelled through the theatre to watch the plays in different locations (bar, office, meeting room). I was really happy with how my play was performed. Especially as it was a first direction by Clare Holman- Hobbs, a director to watch I think!
I’m also working on three(!) new Splendid Fred projects. The first is an interesting one. To promote the latest productions of The Lover and The Stranger we are updating a bite sized play to twitter every day until 20th March which is when the performances are to take place. Follow us @Splendid_Fred to view the bite sized plays. Also, why not come along to Theatre Royal Winchester to see The Lover and The Stranger?
The second project is the one I’m most fixated on at the moment. To commemorate 100 years since World War 1 I've been asked to write a play about a soldier from the Southampton area as it's to be performed in the Vaults there. After doing some initial research, I discovered that my Gran’s Grandfather actually died at Netley and we still had a letter he had written to her father from the trenches. The story was so poignant that I felt it had to be shared. I won’t go into too much detail now but I will tell you when it's due to be performed so you can come along. I will reveal though that for the first time I will be writing using Scottish dialect.
Lastly, I have been invited to contribute to a group writing project focusing on the lives of four friends. The play has been outlined and seven writers will be undertaking different sections.The difference between writing styles will hopefully illustrate the changes the friends have undertaken over the years.