Panacea TMA 3 update.

I always used to think I was a bit loopy because I created characters in my head and-and acted them out. My family teased me and people must have thought I had multiple personality disorder (it was the 80s/90’s). My daughter does the exact same thing and I now realise that my mind creates stories and the best way to reveal those stories is by writing them down.

Here is the second draft for my TMA 3. I’ve finished the entire second draft this morning. YAY!

I’ve taken inspiration from the morality plays that were popular in medieval times. I hope that my tutor will see the relevance this play has in the message it sends out despite setting it nearly 90 years ago.

I think that all three characters have a bit of me inside them. I’m working on making the characters more well rounded. The next two scenes I’ve written shows a different side to the characters.

The play is set in the  mid-1920’s -after the World War one and the Russian revolutions.

I want to thank Clarissa @  POETURJA for helping me develop an intriguing plot with her grimoire and insight into her ancestry of being a descendant of the misunderstood Roma Gypsies.

There is still a lot to polish and make it submission and MA worthy

Let me know what you think.

CAST LIST: (so far)

EVE

VLADIMIR- always wears gloves 

PANACEA

THE CROWD- actors and the audience

AMERICAN MAN

AMERICAN WIFE

EUROPEAN WOMAN

LOCATION: Paris, 1925

SUGGESTED STAGE DIRECTIONS (my undeveloped vision) bare stage – (audience act as the crowd for further scenes) are seated in a circle. All action takes place in the centre of the audience. Characters sit amongst the audience or come from behind to enter the performing stage. All props are simulated by actor’s mannerisms and minimal props. A box can be at table, piano, bench.   To evoke sensory surroundings multimedia like audio-piano music/ screens/ lightening etc. used to set the scene example to create the illusion of shadows, or people, to set the mood of the scene.

EVE is already playing as the audience find a seat.

NOTE TO SELF: BE VISUAL include all people who will be in the each scene setting. Hot seat 20 question for characters

SCENE ONE

EVE sits playing the saddest most melancholic piece of music at an old piano, in the jardinière outside. She sits in the centre of the room.THE CROWD sit and stand around her forming a circle. EVE plays on as the audience find a place to sit. EVE is absorbed in playing her music. After some time EVE stops playing. Bangs on the keys of the piano and begins to cry. EVE cries and cries and cries. Nobody comes to her. EVE stops crying.

EVE: Who’s there?  I know someone there is there. Show yourself.

(EVE seems to gaze through the audience. A spotlight comes up and sweeps across the audience illuminating them. The room goes dark. EVE begins to play again –a wild angry, jazzy piece of music.EVE plays until she falls off her chair. From out of the audience PANACEA, plainly dressed in dark colours approaches EVE. PANACEA attempts to help her up)

EVE:      Who are you?

PANACEA:  Hush, I am but an old dear who admires your music.

EVE:      How did you get in here? This is private land. If you are Vladimir’s friend…

PANACEA:  Who? I was merely directed to your playing.

EVE:      I tell you what I told him. No. I won’t do it.

PANACEA;  Do what, dear?

EVE:      You don’t know?

PANACEA:  No. I found the gates open and was guided by your playing.

EVE:      Oh.

PANACEA:  You seem almost… disappointed.

EVE:      I made the right choice. It doesn’t matter.

PANACEA:  A problem halved and all that.

EVE:      Yet I feel so guilty

PANACEA:  You seem /quite

EVE:      I don’t even know who you are. I can’t even….

PANACEA:    As you can see I’m rather old, nothing special – just a mere human – an old lady –nondescript

EVE:      You blend in with the crowd.

PANACEA:  Almost like I don’t exist.

EVE:      But people can see you and you –you can see them?

PANACEA:  Yes. I do and I suppose seeing they do. It is not the same as looking

EVE:      All I want is to be see the people Vladimir says we help.

PANACEA:  You have such a gift. The world must hear this and your face is –

EVE:      He did send you! Times have changed. These new admirer’s talk so strange. So many people are poor. I wonder how we can maintain our standard of living just because I have a gift. How can they just ignore and approve?

PANACEA:  Approve?  I don’t see many who wouldn’t. We do have mirrors nowadays.

PANACEA:  They don’t do me any good.

EVE:      they aren’t much good to me either.

PANACEA:  Who is Vladimir?

EVE:      Someone. Someone who wants the best for me.

PANACEA:  You have had a disagreement?

EVE:      I can’t shift this feeling -Something doesn’t add up. How can one girl ease the suffering of a nation- a world trying to make sense of all the lives lost? All those men dead.

PANACEA:  Is he ONE of those sorts of men?

EVE:      What? A soldier, oh no.

PANACEA:  The Don Juan types.

EVE:      Don Juan? I can’t even visualise what that looks like

PANACEA:  You know- charming, good looking. A bit of a lothario. Gets the blood rushing to the ears.

EVE:      Oh no, nothing like that. (blushes) He’s more of a guardian- a brother of sorts.

PANACEA:  Well, has he hurt you, dear? Roughed you up?

EVE:      No, nothing like that. He cares for me. I owe him all this. I should be begging in the streets for my bread like the rest of them.

(Silence)

EVE:      Hello?   Are you still here?

PANACEA:  Yes dear. I will sit next to you then perhaps you can see better.

EVE:      That is part of the problem.

PANACEA:  Well, turn your face to me. I’m not exactly beautiful as yourself. I get that reaction all the time.

EVE:      I can’t see you.

PANACEA:  You are…

EVE:      Yes. I am –that is why I’m so flaming mad. How can he expect me to be on show? (takes on mock man’s voice) Entertainment is what the new World needs. The old world’s need. We are doing A service to our people, he says. I feel privileged -far too privileged.

PANACEA:  I wish I could feel the world the way you do. It’s unique.

EVE:      That’s the problem. Everyone always goes on about how unique I am. How lacking in sight makes me special. Everyone wants to take my picture with me or listen to my music, but then, soon, people seem to grow weary and they just disappear, and I’m left alone in the darkness again.

PANACEA:  Some people only come out when it’s dark, child.

EVE:      How would I know? My darkness is my light and I have nothing to compare it to.

PANACEA:  I blend in with the world. Just another face in the crowd

EVE:      You sound saddened by it?

PANACEA:  No, it’s just normal.

EVE:      That’s what I want. Normal. I feel everything.

PANACEA:  To see is not-to-not feel.

EVE:      Yes, but there are these things – filters. If I could see maybe, my other senses would be diluted. Not so overpowering. Not so smothering, I feel unbalanced.

PANACEA:  Yes, a woman at odds with her world. I’ve seen years of the world. Felt it too. I often wonder what it would be like if I lacked in sight and well……

EVE:      It’s frustrating. I feel the need to increase all my other senses to make up for what I lack. If I could only see with these eyes, what other people see-

PANACEA:  What will you do about Vladimir?

EVE:      I trust him but he doesn’t understand.  He believes if I could see this world that my beauty would be lost. That me not seeing what I look like and the world looks like is what makes me- this “unique” word. I hate it.

PANACEA:  So, he saved you….

EVE:      from a life living on the streets, from the orphanage. With his business acumen, we are still able to afford all after all the devastation.

PANACEA:  Doesn’t sound like such a bad fella.

EVE:      He’s not. He just doesn’t understand how much I long to see Miss, Mrs?

PANACEA:  Call me Panacea.

EVE:      …Like the word? How droll.

PANACEA:  Yes, I was born with a gift to help those at odds with themselves.

EVE:      You can give me the sight I crave?

PANACEA:  It’s not a simple process. It requires/

EVE:      I don’t care. Name it. I have money. Anything. What is your price?

PANACEA:  Money is useless. The elixir needed to seal this contract is what is known as trading your essence.

EVE:      Essence? my soul?

PANACEA:  Not quite. I’m not the devil. Think of essence as an ingredient. If you barter, your unique essence say- to me. What makes you taste different from the other cookies of the world is your flavour- your essence. You want vanilla. You inherit my essence, I yours

EVE:      I wouldn’t even know where to find my essence. What would I gain?

PANACEA:  you could gain your sight.

EVE:      And you would want to lose yours! why?

PANACEA:  I’m an old dear. I’ve seen enough of the world. You, however, have so much living to do. You have these unique gifts yet you are not happy with them because you can’t see them like the others.

EVE:      You make me sound ungrateful.

PANACEA:  Now that is what you said. Not I.

EVE:      Forgive me. DO you have all your senses?

PANACEA:  (laughs)I can hear you. Your music. I see your apparent beauty. I feel your soft skin, smooth – no wrinkles. Untouched by sunshine. (breaths in to smell EVE)

EVE:      Why are you smelling me?

PANACEA:  I long to use my other senses more…I’m not going to eat you, this is not a fairy-tale

EVE:      I’m sorry. I feel so stupid.

PANACEA:  Never mind, it shows you have a highly active imagination. Much sought after in the world where vision is so vital to be a part of this world.

EVE:      How could you possibly have had enough seeing?

PANACEA:  Maybe it is because I met you. You captivate me.

EVE:      I wish I could see what you mean.

PANACEA:  Maybe your male friend is right. It would ruin you to see the world. (begins to get up)

EVE:      Where are you going?

PANACEA:  Leaving you to work things out. All feelings pass (small pause) eventually.

EVE:      No, that is an untruth. Mine grow. Intensify. Mine never leave. They haunt me day and night. Please don’t leave me alone.

PANACEA:  (sits back down) Will you play again and let me consider your eyes.

EVE:      I can’t see you, though.

PANACEA:  (frustrated)I know a way to access your essence.

EVE:      Panacea you can give me sight?

PANACEA:  If you want it as much as you claim, then perhaps it may work in your favour.

EVE:      Why?

PANACEA:  You question far too much and believe in far too little.

EVE:      Okay, I will play. What do you/ want?

PANACEA:  Play me a song that reveals everything about you to me

(EVE begins to play, looks at PANACEA. PANACEA touches EVES face, her lips and leans into EVE as if to kiss her. EVE stops playing.?

EVE:      What are you doing? You ‘re not one of those Lesbians are you/?

PANACEA:  Does it matter? (laughs) More a Thespian.

EVE:      what does kissing me must do with giving me my sight? I may be blind but don’t mistake that for being a fool.

PANACEA:  Me? Mistake you for a fool. (long pause)

EVE:      I apologise. I /just want….

PANACEA:  Have faith that what we do on this day will give you what you say you desire.

EVE:      I’m scared.

PANACEA:  Scared didn’t win the war.

EVE:      I never thought of it like that. Could we try again?

PANACEA: One more chance. In hindsight, I may change my mind and decide to keep my sight at this rate.

EVE:      No! I mean, it’s yours of course, but I really want to see.

PANACEA:  Let me taste your tears. (leans in to lick EVES tears) Such melancholy. Such innocence…. Play on, child. I must know your name.

EVE:      I can tell you. My name/is…

PANACEA:  (shouts) Don’t speak it. I will find your name. That is how I will find your essence. Now play.

(EVE begins to play, looks in the eyes of PANACEA. While EVE plays, PANACEA licks the tears from her face and begins to suck on the air of EVES parted lips. EVE falls to the floor. PANACEA looks down at her, PANACEA sits at the piano, begins to play a neurotic piece of music. PANACEA finishes the piece, gets up, nudges EVE with her foot.)

PANACEA:  I dedicate this piece to you. The essence of Eve – foolish. foolish Eve. (gets up leaves pushing past the crowd)

(Lights down)

SCENE TWO

(Outside in the garden, EVE sits at the piano playing – she keeps making mistakes. Stops and starts. VLADIMIR paces up and down wears gloves)

VLADIMIR: No. That is not it? Where is the haunting draw, the sweet enchanting forest where we forget all pain? Start again.

EVE:      (hesitates) Can you just listen, please.

VLADIMIR: I am. This is not good enough. (realizes) How many times, Cherie?  You are already behind and the show starts in less than a fortnight.

(EVE begins to play. EVE stops and puts her hands to her forehead. VLADIMIR stops pacing and rushes to EVE)

VLADIMIR:     I know I push you. You know I want the best for you. You have another headache?

EVE:           yes.

VLADIMIR:     (takes a bottle from his jacket) Here take one as precited. This is all nerves. The mind plays horrible tricks on someone who is utterly gifted.

EVE:           But don’t you find it most peculiar? What an unusual woman. It felt so real. Are you sure you didn’t see/her?

VLADIMER:      Mon Cherie, no more with this talk of absurdness’ have a duty to provide for our community. (motions to ENTOURAGE to make EVE presentable) ah, here come the publicity people. (to EVE) Not now, Cherie. Performance face – smile –a little more- higher. Manifique (ENTOURAGE fix makeup and hair, take pictures. Flashes of light and voices commanding EVE what to do. EVE poses then frowns)

PHTOPGRAPHER:  Turn left. No left. Chin up – Aliyah fix her make up. Liberty her hair is not staying static. Eve, place your hands just so. More delicately. Girl, move her into position.

EVE frowns, VLADIMIR with a wave of his hands clears away the entourage. Everything is quiet again.)

VLADIMER:      Cherie, what do you want me to tell you? An untruth. I saw you were fatigued, I found you at the foot of your piano. I picked you up and called on Doctor soigneur immediately.

EVE:           Please, Vlad. I haven’t stopped having nightmares. I don’t feel myself. The boy…He is Everywhere.

VLADIMIR:      And that is precisely why you were to take the prescribed pills for your disorder. We’ve all been through a lot (more patient) I can’t collude with these fantasies.

EVE:          I feel lost. No – I misplaced. Since Panacea, all I see is this boy. I feel more sickness in my heart/than ever.

VLADIMER:      Ha! What a perfect name for someone to help you regain your sight. (laughs) I love your imagination. You cannot grasp how important this next performance is. People ae coming seeking for jubilee, peace, coming from afar, the Americas, England. Important writers, artistes. Don’t you see?

EVE:           No, Vlad, I don’t.

VLADIMIR:      Come repose with me on our favourite bench in the jardinière. We can play our favourite game. (helps EVE up and walks to the bench in the garden both sit down)

EVE:          I don’t want to guess what the colours look like. Everything has become so triste. I know you want the best for me.for our community I – can we stop for today/ I..

VLADIMER:      (Sits EVE down on the bench/VLADIMIRE sits down and admires the Garden) Feel the wind. Smell the fleurs. This always lifts your spirits.

(EVE puts her hands to her cover her face and screams out)

EVE:           Don’t touch me!  (lights flicker in multi colours- EVE stands up and stumbles backwards. VLADIMIR rushes to catch her) Eve, what is it? Control your senses.

(Sounds of houses exploding. Windows shatter, Gun shots. Screams of men, children and women.EVE points to a war zone. EVE starts to run towards the noise of screams)

EVE:           The war. It’s started again. Run. Vlad.

VLADIMIR:      looks around to where EVE is running. Looks confused)

VLADIMIR:      Cherie, calm yourself. There is nothing there. Let’s get you back to your room.

EVE:         It’s happening. I have sight. Can’t you see? Hear?  What is wrong with you? They are shooting innocent people (A woman’s voices cries out as she is being raped. EVE runs to towards the attack, VLADIMIR stops her. There is a struggle, the cry of people burning alive and dying. Silence and then a BOY starts to howl in pain. EVE cries) That boy, he’s in pain. He’s oh – Mon Dieu -is ablaze

VLADIMIR:      Enough! (picks up EVE and attempts to take EVE back inside)

EVE:           There is a boy. He’s on fire. You can’t leave a child. (to DISFIGURED BOY) What is your name child?

VLADIMIR:     (firmly)There is nothing there.

EVE:           Look! That poor boy. (to BOY) It’s okay, we’re getting help.

VLADIMIR:      (looks back and puts EVE down on the piano chair.) Take these. Now.  You need to stop this. You want people to talk. Say how you are a crazy fool.

EVE:           Talk? About what? People dying. Innocent people. We are at war, again. Why did you not summon the staff to help? We were the closest to -that boy.

VLADIMIR:     There is no one there. (shouts). Nothing. No boy on fire. No war, you are hallucinating. Shut up!

EVE:           That boy. (looks up and past VLADIMIR’S shoulder. Frightened she points) There he is, right behind you. His face. (walks towards the DISFIGURED BOY) How can you be alive, child?

VLADIMIR:     Enough! I’m trying to look after you.

EVE|:        (EVE touches VLADIMIR’S face) You know I wouldn’t ever lie to you. The boy is a mess. Disfigured for life. Who will look after him if we don’t? (to the DISFIGURED BOY,in  darkness) Don’t be afraid- We can help you.

VLADIMIR:    (slaps EVE across the face) How dare you! You vexed wrench

EVE:           I’m not crazy. I’ telling you the truth.

VLADIMIR:     Who have you been talking to? Tell me now.

EVE:           Nobody, Panacea. She gave me. I can see…

VLADIMIR:      She must be some spy. I get it now. Oh Merde, alors!

EVE:           A spy? Why would you have spies? That is irrational.

VLADIMIR:      What witchcraft is this? (Grabs EVE’s arms) close your eyes, wretched girl. You ungrateful wretched girl. Everything I’ve done. For you.

EVE:           Why can’t you see him. He’s right behind you.

VLADIMIR:      I forbid you to speak. Spies trying to plot my demise. You see nothing – only what you have ever felt. You see the real me. (places EVES hands on his face)

SCENE THREE Pain

(It is the day of the concerto. EVE is led by VLADIMIR to her piano in the centre of the courtyard. It is a bright day. EVE sits down to play. EVE starts and stops. Composes herself. A collective intake of breath from a crowd. Silence. EVE looks around and then begins to play a song so painful tears stream down her face. There is the wail of cries from THE CROWD. They are being drawn into EVE’S song. The song takes on a hauntingly melancholic tone. MAN cries out from the darkness of the crowd)

MAN:      I thought you were here to light our sorrows not waddle in them

(THE CROWD murmurs in agreement. EVE continues to play. The melody grows more and more melancholic. Then furious and choppy)

MAN:      (to VLADIMIR) What’s wrong with the ole girl, Scar?  I want my heart to forgot about all my woes, little dove. Play something else. Play something else.

CROWD:    (whispers and chants over and over) play something else.

(EVE carries on Tears streaming down her face. VLADIMIR comes into the arena and whispers in EVES ear. EVE changes the tune to a more upbeat piece –one with more cheer and spirit. The crowd cheers- shadows draw closer to her like a moth to a flame. EVE bangs hard on the piano. EVE stands up. She looks to the crowd – the audience and points out at the AMERICAN MAN)

EVE:      How can you delude yourself – when last night your honest and loyal wife questioned you about your whereabouts/ You beat her. That is why she has pain around her eye. (All lights focus on AMERICAN MAN and his WIFE.   WIFE takes a hand to her battered eye to hide it.)

MAN:      What would you know about my whereabouts when you can’t even see?

EVE:      Your wife knows the truth, you should leave her to get on without you.

MAN:      You leave my business to me and you concentrate on yourself on entertaining us. Don’t need some woman thinking.

EVE:      (to WIFE) You know he’s with another. Day and night. He beats you because he knows she will never leave her husband. You don’t have to live like this. You don’t have to live with this abuse.

MAN:      (shoves  WIFE behind him) how dare you speak such lies.  You are a witch.  A temptress. An evil mark shows itself on you. You may be fair but those exotic features.

EVE:      No. the evil mark likes on you.

MAN:           You are supposed to be blind. What a charade – looks at this trickster (to THE CROWD) How would she know I am in the crowd if she has no sight?

EVE:          I’ve been cursed with sight.

THE CROWD:     (CHANTS) Gypsy! Gyspy! Gypsy

EVE:           I’m not a Gypsy! France is my home. You flock to me to forget about your vices, your impulses, your humdrum existence. I am not your remedy. I play from my heart. My heart sees what it sees.

VLADIMIR:      Eve! Enough, Sit down and play for your welcoming audience. (softer) Now.

EVE:           In my heart, I see your old man and you (she points to EUROPEAN LADY in the crowd)

You! that sparkly watch that doesn’t fit your wrist is from a day haggling at the market. Ripping off fancy men. After this show, you will sell all you have – including your flesh to escape from the world you despise.

LADY:          Trollope- we’ve heard the rumours Gypsy girl .

VLADIMIR:      My esteemed friends. – this is but part o the show. An experimental piece, if you like. Our eve here is tired. the gifted do sometimes have a bit of those head malaises, non?

EVE:           You all pour your sorrows into me-I can only play what I see and feel and this is what you will hear tonight.

VLADIMIR:      sit down (THE CROWD jeer at EVE. VLADIMIR forces EVE down into her seat.) Play. Do your job.

(EVE sits still, the light is dim, so dim and when she begins to play again she pounds at the keys with anger, cholere. EVE cackles sneers – kicks at the piano in rage)

EVE:           Damn you  – all of you!   I’m not your plaster. I’m not your cure. I am a young woman who absorbs all your pain. I want to be free. free. Go all of you.

(Silence)

VLADIMIR:      apologies friends.  You heard of her fall. The accident? she has been unwell. (EVE doesn’t look at him or the crowd – she walks out of the circle of the crowd and into the dark. A moan comes out that doesn’t sound human.  An animal sound of a cow being slaughtered. EVE stands and looks past VLADIMIR’S shoulder)

EVE:           Panacea!   You. What did you do to me?

VLADIMIR:      (carries on trying to calm the crowd) Please, apologies. She is ill. She – I will make sure you all are reimbursed for this terrible, I mean uneventful experimental performance.

EVE:           Don’t just stand there. You lied to me. You lied. What is this curse you give me? Why?

(PANACEA comes out from the shadows and walks through the crowd and past VLADIMIR and EVE and sits down at the piano and begins to play that frenetic piece of music – ‘Eve’s Essence’. VLADIMIR freezes and goespale. The CROWD quieten.)

VLADIMIR:      How?

EVE:           My song. (runs towards PANACEA) Give me back my essence-evil woman.

VLADIMIR:      (catches hold of EVE by the arm) How can you know this song?

EVE:           Now? Now you can hear what I hear. Why not what I see, your stupid fool of a man. Look! I implore thee.

VLADIMIR:      (To EVE) Enough with these games. What is it you want from? Tell me. Who corrupted you?

EVE:           That is my song. My essence. She is playing my song.

VLADIMIR:      Your song. Ha!  Who told you? Don’t make me strike out at you again.

EVE:           You know this song?  I’ve tried to remember since Panacea stole it from me. Sight she promised. A gift. A trade off. I’ve been bamboozled.

VLADIMIR:      Don’t make me turn around and march over to that damn piano and chop it up then burn it. I gave you everything. After everything I did for you – for us. This. (THE CROWD is silent. Shadows of THE CROWD draw to PANACEA playing ‘Eve’s essence’.

EVE:           I’m not doing anything. Please, Vlad. I would never hurt you.

VLADIMIR:      Who found you at the orphanage? Took you in? promised to nurture you? Who promised to take care of my blued eyed Fair haired gypsy girl?  you betray me- like this.

EVE:           Gypsy girl?

VLADIMER:      I can never forgive you. This is not the girl I knew. You are ruined.

EVE:           Vlad, (looks over at PANACEA, eyes widen) Why is that boy there?  ( to DISFIGURED BOY) come here. Stay away from her.  (to VLADIMIR) Why is that boy close to her. He is beckoning you….

VLADIMIR:      (begins to cry) You can’t do this to me.

EVE:           Do what? See with your own eyes. Don’t do this to me! Make me out to be a mad vexed woman.

(PANACEA stops playing, abruptly.)

PANACEA:       Don’t be afraid boy. (VLADIMIR jumps in fright) You can’t escape who you are. Don’t worry I can assure you I can’t see. Not even your bloodied parents anymore.

EVE            What are you? What is she talking about?

PANACEA:        You were all I had… you deserted me. And I’m evil? I didn’t choose this gifted curse. I was born with it – Just like Eve except she saw nothing

VLADIMIR:      No, you are not real. I don’t believe it. (to EVE) Stop torturing me. You are playing with me.

PANACEA:       Boy. I don’t blame you for leaving the revolution but to leave a lady to those priggish animals and steal my money.

VLADIMIR:      Shut up You evil wrench. I left you for dead. It’s impossible. That was my family’s inheritance.

EVE:           Impossible? what’s impossible? How do you know this creature? Answer me. Who is she?

VLADIMIR:      No woman in your condition could have survived – in those conditions. I refuse to /believe this.

EVE:           You know her. (PANACEA laughs)

VLADIMIR:      These are… Eve, these are extraordinary circumstances I find myself in. Stop laughing your old cow. Stop it. (PANACEA begins to play ‘Eve’s essence’)

EVE:           These are certainly not circumstances I foresaw.  If you know something about this then spit it out or damn you both to hell.

VLADIMIR:      (quietly)We never spoke of –well, I demanded that when I took you as my own we would never talk about how I found myself in that orphanage.

EVE:          You are an honourable man. Are you not?

VLADIMIR:      You were born in Romaine. The orphanage-  was both of our home’s. Few places like that are kind and they were, especially during those times. Our country was in flames. Blood everywhere. Corpses. Vile acts. There you were- abandoned.

EVE:           No.

VLADIMIR:      We survived. You were a baby. I didn’t know you were impaired. I knew what our people would do to a fair-haired Roma like yourself. We escapNo-one-one would suspect us, they said. They promised freedom, n new life. All I must do was help smuggle in weapons.  You were the only one who wasn’t frightened of me. You only saw the good in me. Your lack of sight was my rebirth- our rebirth

EVE:           Lies. Obsession with fame and my looks and glory and… I thought I was helping people.

VLADIMIR:      You are. You were… The world with eyes is a hell of its own, I tell you. Your greatest gift was to give your heart to those who so desperately needed to forget – what they see- have seen.

PANACEA:       Boy. How long are you going to drag this out? Get on with it. We shall make a man out of you yet.

EVE:           (to PANACEA) Who are you?

VLADIMIR:      (softly)My grand mere – she was – is (turns around see’s PANACEA is horrified) is… but how?

Silence

PANACEA:       No, boy. I’m not a ghost, not a witch just cursed with unusual gift of seeing the past of every filthy boar piggish human. Yes, what are the odds? I should never have been discovered but life has its twists… and magic of sorts.

VLADIMIR:      I didn’t mean to leave you.

PANACEA:       I have been waiting for the right moment. Biding my time.  Waiting to sense what kind of man you become- and Eve was truly a find.

EVE:      you can’t see, Grandmere. Only the.

PANCEA:   Past- I struck a deal with mad Bolshevik. I got more than I bargained for. The senile old man missed his wife –wanted to live in the past and I would settle for the future – we merely wanted it so much –we got what we wished for.

EVE:      What have you inflicted me with?

PANACEA:  How he adores you, loves you. You see Eve. Vladimir for all his grandiose gestures is superficial. Not the benevolent man he pretends to be.

VLADIMIR: Grand’Mere stop. I’m sorry. I was a child…

PANACEA:  (ignores VLADIMIR) The only reason people accept him is because of you. Or what you had. Beauty, innocence, the gift to soothe all pain from others with your playing.

EVE:      No, he has been there for me.

PANCEA:   If you had eyes like I now do or indeed like the rest of this crowd you would see he is a monster. A disfigurement. You were his key to this fickle world accepting him.

EVE:      What is she talking about?

VLADIMIR: Grand’Mere I was haunted by your recantations of my dead family. You terrified me. I still don’t understand this curse.

PANACEA:  Maybe you understand it a little better now – it is your curse too. Life is all about lessons and there is as lesson to be learned here. Something about appearances etcetera etcetera… but what do I know? (starts to play – THE CROWD are lured by PANACEA’S playing, under a spell)

VLADIMIR: You must restore her. Grand’Mere –she is innocent. Please.

PANACEA:   We all are at some point.

EVE:      I wanted it so much. I wanted to see. How wrong was I?

VLADIMIR: give it back. Give Eve what is rightly hers. It’s me you seek to punish

PANACEA:  (stops playing) Stop trying to fight it. You know what you really want to do.

VLADIMIR: She is an innocent

PANACEA:   Used by the likes of you, boy.

VLADIMIR: I can take care of you. I have money, estate everything. Let me make it up to you.

PANACEA:  Doesn’t work like that. I’m not some conjurer. I was merely born into this world with my fate and somehow that fate changed. I haven’t the answers.

EVE:      But I don’t want this sight. I don’t want it.

PANACEA:  Those touched can’t ever be untouched again.

VLADIMIR: But you. You see.

PANACEA:   Keep up. I saw the future. Now I see nothing. Just like Eve. I feel and I play and I have what I want.

EVE:      But if you can see the future, how is it I can see the past?

PANACEA:  Obviously, I should have taken you for a fool. I think you are missing the point. I don’t decide how the universe decides. I saw an opportunity and I took it. I’m merely human after all. (starts playing again)

(EVE and VLADIMIR look at each other)

VLADIMIR: I’m sorry Eve. I was…

EVE:      I can’t bear to live like this.

VLADIMIR: Yes. Life is…. You didn’t have to see that.

EVE:      We can’t undo this? (unwillingly moves towards PANACEA.)

VLADIMIR: I’m sorry, mon Cherie but I can’t stop myself much longer. I must forget. I must forget if only for a while.

(VLADIMIR walks up to PANACEA and strokes her hair, kisses her, then listens to her play.

EVE:      You can’t leave me. I can’t do this. Panacea please! (starts walking closer and closer to soft music) I will never forgive you but alas, I can’t fight this pain any longer. Make it go it away. (slumps at the feet of PANACEA who plays on. lights down.)

IF YOU MADE IT TO THE END. I SALUTE YOU 🙂

 

(copyright Daisy Willows/ Natasha Bodley)

 

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Devising- bleeding the genres

3 down -5  more to go.

This has been the best week yet on zee Acting program.

We did a fantastic improvisation inspired by Laban’s 8 efforts and movement.

This technique was originally used in dance performance.

From my ahem “intellectual” reading on post-modern performance. Most contemporary artists prefer to think of the theory part of writing and performance as not prescriptive but fluid and as something to provoke the imagination.

The theories exist to be used to merge into something that is relevant to today.

This program is far away from what I’m learning on my MA and this is my struggle with what I’m doing in my MA because, we as an ensemble – group of amateur actors are working towards devising a performance not based on text.

Back to Laban – the whole purpose of the exercise was to move forward and start thinking more about character development. How many ways can an actor develop their character?

For me, it helped me focus more on my physical body and what I could do with it, to create a character with emotional depth.

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This is  the exercise we did:

THE TECHNIQUE

Laban categorized human movement into four component parts:

  • Direction

  • Weight

  • Speed

  • Flow

Each of those parts has two elements:

  • Direction is either direct or indirect.

  • Weight is either heavy or light.

  • Speed is either quick or sustained.

  • Flow is either bound or free.

Laban then combined these parts together to create The Eight Efforts:

  • Wring

  • Press

  • Flick

  • Dab

  • Glide

  • Float

  • Punch

  • Slash

For WRING

  •  The Direction is Indirect

  • The Weight is Heavy

  • The Speed is Sustained

  • The Flow is Bound

https://www.theatrefolk.com/blog/the-eight-efforts-laban-movement/

I loved how I explored character development using my voice, my body and employing Laban’s technique to create a character.

I chose the movement to ‘wring’  and what stemmed from that incongruent action was a character called -Prushka who ended up in an improvisation scene with another character (his chosen action  Punch) who became my workaholic husband with a temper.

We did a short improv scene in pairs of threes.

Us the couple were arguing about our relationship and where it was headed when the third character (developed from the movement of ‘flick ) interrupted us.

Her drugged up character was stumbling across the streets asking where she was. We ended the scene by my character telling my character’s husband we had grown apart and it was over.

I went to help the drugged up girl get on a bus and get home. Instead of dealing with the confrontation – a stake was thrust into the scene and as a Wring character, I made the decision guided by my body movements to leave the relationship and avoid the angry, punchy husband.

Sounds complicated.

I’m sure there is a much more simplified way to describe all this but I have never been one to simplify anything!

This acting program has got me thinking about finishing my MA somewhere else. Sad but true.

As a group,  we seem to be gelling more and getting to know each other.

It looks like we will be devising a piece to perform to a public at the end of March.

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Sat on the train, typing this post and I  can’t wait to get home.

Weird guy with bouffant hair sitting opposite me and staring at me like I’ve got an abscess growing on my nose. 😂😂.

I’m currently redrafting  TMA 3.  I’ve strayed into morality play /Faustian territory purely by accident.

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The piece is set after the 1918 Russian revolution ,in Paris.

RANDOM FACT-  my great grandparents fled the 1918 Russian revolution changed their surname and went to live in the slums of Paris. That is where my Grandad was born. 

 I have three characters who have some of my character traits and a mish mash of other lovely people’s traits I have come across in my life.

Panacea wants to be accepted by family and society: Vladimir by society.  The other character, Eve -has the love and adoration of the society she lives in because of her talent to play captivating pieces of music on the piano.

She has it all except she lacks conventional sight.

With a wee bit of determination and vengeance, Panacea takes Eves essence (talent) and Vladimir’s only access to power and being accepted by his peers is now in the hands of Panacea.

Eve is left with a second sight not normal sight.

I don’t know how magic works!

She can only see the past.

 Things start getting tense when she starts seeing things:

Horrific things.

She starts seeing people’s past actions. Not the good but all the skeletons that people hide away or try to forget by drugging themselves- insert vice of choice here.

Vladimir- her guardian is clearly hiding something.

How are Eve’s past visions connected to him?

Why won’t he tell Eve?

The climax and resolution of the final scene, see the loose ends of the plot coming together and finally, we see how all three characters fit together.

I’m not saying any more than that.

Both Eve and Vladimir ( who seem like the victims of a salacious act by Panacea)  lose everything they wanted and indeed had.

The music threaded throughout the piece (which initially draws the crowd to adore  Eve and propels her to ‘stardom’ )seems to serve as a metaphor for the vices which society still use today to forget and self-medicate.

The somewhat pantomime-like, sarcastic Panacea, in scene one, is a character, I hope my tutor can sympathize with at the end of the piece- with her revelation.

Her motives are utterly selfish and human.

But finally, she is accepted and her nephew is forced to love and adore her because she has the essence and power to help not only society. but also Vladimir forget who he actually is.

Ha ha!  What a raucous.

 Well, it’s all a been a bit of fun trying out new writing styles. Writing should be fun and not some Herculean labor (which it does seem to be at times)

 As long as I pass I will be happy.

 Daisy- ‘the entrepreneur in progress’ is moving forwards in my business.

 That’s a bit of an update from me. My stop has arrived. I’m tired cold and I want to see my family.

I have blogging awards to accept and nominations to do and look forward to catching up on blogs over the week.

I may barricade myself in my bedroom over the weekend and devour every post/blog  I come across.

Have a great week! 

Be careful what you wish for.

Another deadline has passed. I should get my marks back after the 12 th February. I haven’t had a chance to pause and I’m already drafting my 3rd TMA (due 30th March).

I haven’t been on here much as I’m fighting with Wix online website creator to get my business up and running. I guess when you work with your Mother -you never get to be boss 😦

She’s a slave driver!    slightly kidding.

For those interested in the conclusion to my dalliance in the supernatural genre, it starts where it is underlined.

BEHOLD!  This hopefully makes up for any let downs anyone reading this may have after reading the story. Thank you, Scott @ The Order of the Dog/ Horace, and Winston Churchill, for inspiring the title of this story.

 THE ORDER OF THE BLACK DOG

My family. Here we all are, sitting around the circular dining room table- flecked with bits of gold. Ma sits under a hanging portrait of this Christmas just gone. Three weeks ago. We are all smiling in it including Poppy. Poppy sits playing with her Annabelle doll, on my husband’s lap. Sat opposite from Ma, closest to the electric fire hearth is Gran. I find myself sitting across from Gran. An iciness breathes mist over us. It separates me from them, cloaks me in a fog. I try to swallow. The air is so thick it chokes me, I’m forced to put my hands to my throat. Nobody notices me.  Nobody notices me the way they used to. I tune in to the conversation-taking place.

‘Of course I’m not suggesting this is your fault.  I should have known. Done more…’ Nan bursts into tears. A cry out for:

 I need attention I’m suffering the most.

My skin bristles. Nan pulls her scarf tighter around her neck, and then throws out a familiar comment about it being draughty.

‘You know I could catch pneumonia with my Asthma.’ She coughs. Ma gets up to put on the electric fire.

‘I didn’t take her seriously. You know what Angie was like?’  Ma’s eyes are red as the rosary beads she is thumbing; she looks over to an unusually quiet Poppy.

‘Did she just do it to spite me?’ How could she just leave her own…?’

 My husband throws a warning look at Ma,

‘Marie, for Poppies sake.  Our Angie suffered more than she let on.’ Ma sits back down. ‘Let’s put on a cartoon, luv?’  Poppy shakes her head.

 She doesn’t look at us.  I look straight at her, willing her to leave this table. Leave this conversation. She lifts her head and looks me dead on in the eyes. I instinctively smile. Eddie and me always stood together when it came to Poppy. Her face is pale, her eyes sunken, her skin is drawn in so tight I can see cheek bones protrude. Beneath her eyes-, veiled shadows betray her youthful face. She clings onto Annabelle, still looking me dead on in the eyes.

‘When’s Mummy coming home?’

 Silence. Her words enmesh with the silence. Her question disarms me. Marks me. The arrow leaves its bow splintering my heart. I open my mouth to scream out as many words as I can. Condensation steams the air distilling me into silence. I reach my hand across the table to grab hers. She doesn’t see me. I glare at my family sitting at the round table. They say nothing. Smothering themselves in sorrow, they witheringly curl inwards. I urge to shake them, uproot them from winters glaze.

-Answer her! Answer my daughter.

Instead, Gran succumbs to a puddle of wrinkled tears, mechanically Ma gets off her chair, attempts to console Gran and naturally it’s  up to Eddie to mediate.  My calm, rational Eddie. His eyes read as vacant –his beard is wild and unkempt.  It’s impossible to read his face. He clears his throat,

‘We’re gonna see Mummy when we give her… say a proper goodbye.’

Gran flounders in her anglers net of remorse.  Great splotchy splashes of grief escape. She wails,

‘She’s with the angels –looking down at you, darling!’

 I roll my eyes. Of course I love her!  Lately, she grates my skin more frequently with her, melodramatics.

– Confess how you truly feel. Relieved!

I’m so fixated on evoking a response from Gran; unnoticed, a light flickers with an intensity to match my own.  Eddie carries Poppy over to the sofa, sits her down to watch a cartoon. He covers her with a blanket then kisses her forehead.

‘We’ll see mummy soon? To say goodbye?’

 Eddie nods his head, his voice cracks.

‘Aye, love.’

‘When will mummy come back from saying goodbye? In spring? My teacher says it’s winter – everything goes to sleep like her?’ Poppy points to ‘Sleeping Beauty’ on the television.

 Eddie focuses on the image. The Prince is just about to kiss Aurora on the lips. He turns his head away from the television before he can see Aurora wake up to her true loves kiss. He grinds down on his teeth. Poppy’s eyes remain transfixed on the television. Eddie gets up, crosses the dining room table; I’m compelled to follow him, I have to stop him. Tell him I’m still here. I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve so much to tell him.

 -There is no God! We were right all along. Religion is for people who can’t think for themselves.  We were right to take the piss.  

Eddie flinches, puts his hands in his jean pockets. I follow him down Ma’s hallway and into the bathroom. He closes the door on me. It doesn’t ever close fully. I slip through the crack of the door that is always ajar.

 Head down. Still. He sits on the toilet seat.  I kneel down before him; go to lay my head on his knee. He flinches again. Hits himself in the head. Bangs his fist on the wall screams out:

‘Why? We could’ve figured it out, you fucking stubborn mare’ I bring out the best and worst in Eddie. Till death do us part. What are the chances?

He still refuses to let me go. Stubborn.

My symptoms intensify in the days leading up to the funeral. Everything‘s heightened especially emotions that seemingly walk precariously on stilts.  I can’t walk through walls or levitate. Nothing like any of the horrors Eddie and me used to watch together, on the sofa. 

Unheard, I bellow continuously,

-Just let me go!

 Every time I hear my name called reflections of nostalgia flash and beam over and around me. Prompted, I gravitate towards the source. Someone needs me.  These past three weeks, I’ve been teleported from one conversation to another. I find myself in a room; familiar or not familiar, with people I know and people I don’t know.

Today I’m summoned to the usual bickering between Ma and Gran. The familiar sound of Gran’s kettle boils in the background.

‘I want that picture of her on her graduation day and flowers- blown up .With azaleas. And roses – she loved roses- pink.’  

‘She hates that picture! And she loves- loved yellow roses…’ Ma’s wobbly voice mirrors her jelly struck legs propping her up in her work shoes. She staggers backwards. Like the black dog with a bone, Gran won’t give in,

‘No, she’s my eldest grand daughter and I know her – it is… was pink!’

 Ma sits down, doesn’t speak. I go over to her to put my arms around her then she dissolves into tears. Gran bulldozes her way over to us. Intimidated, I move out of her way. Gran holds Ma and Ma lets Gran hug her. Ma calms down, mentions something about pink and yellow roses

Vexed, I shriek

 – don’t back down Ma, I love yellow. Yellow roses. The kettle whistles for attention. My voice is lost to an object.

‘I’ll go make that cup of tea’ Nan retreats to her kitchen.

Another opportunity to get close to Ma again.   I need to hug her, give her some of my energy. As if on cue, Mum’s tear-stained face crumples just like my heart. A poking hot iron burns a hole right through it. Gran re-enters the room I scarper.

‘Here you go, love. Lost three of my own …, as you know, mind, they never got to Angie’s age. Yellow’s more of a quirky colour like our Angie… was.’     They smile at each other. I move back, the distance seems to illuminate their smiles.

Tonight, I beg for there to be a heaven. This has to be hell. The familiar, incongruous, gravitational pull lures me out of my cavernous abyss. I blink my eyes several times to focus: orientate myself. Hung up around the wall are vintage Disney posters. My eyes settle on Poppies bed. Eddie bends over Poppy and kisses her goodnight,

‘Mummy loves you just as much as I do.’ He tucks her in.

He switches off the light before walking out. I stand and watch my worn out daughter in her bed. She sings herself to sleep just as she does every night. She sings our song:  twinkle twinkle little star. With each inflection of her sweet singing voice, the words serve as a needle. Each word stipulates smelting hot ink into my flesh. My neck is ablaze.  Before closing her eyes, she whispers,

 ‘I love you mummy.’

When I reply, scorching chains wrap and lasso me around my neck. My skin swells up in blisters. The familiar sound of her breathing evaporates the pain.  I need to be close to her, I need to smell her, kiss her. Carelessly, I run over to her bed to touch her sleeping head. Startled I lunge backward as Poppy instantly wakes up screaming.

– I’m powerless

. Eddie barges into the room, throws on the light and takes Poppy into his arms. I watch her body stiffen; then relax. I watch him settle my daughter back to sleep. My hands ball into tight fists.

-She must know I’m here.

Before I can touch her face, she wakes up screaming like – like she has seen a- ghost.

-I’m that Ghost! I put my hands to my mouth in horror.

 Envy bubbles inside me as I witness Eddie consoling Poppy again. I’m half hoping he won’t succeed.

What kind of a mother am I?

I’ve been telling everyone to let me go.

Where will I go?

I can’t drive, no one can see me. There are no other lost souls wondering about telling me to join the dead community!

I won’t give up on my daughter. She needs me. I have to be here.

 The stroke of our clock announces its time; a primitive realisation slithers down my very core. Nausea spirals up into my throat. I run into our bathroom, heave over the toilet, nothing comes out. I catch sight of my reflection in the mirror; I see vicious V-shaped welts where the noose of the rope has cut into my neck. This is what Eddie came home to.

The cloying black dog of depression haunted me. Its delivered dose of pain was exquisite- nothing took it away. Not drinking, overdosing, drugging myself, talking-nothing. Eventually, I told it to sit down.  I told Eddie repeatedly,

– I just want to disappear.

– How can I help you?  His eyes pleaded for an answer.  I would always lash out,

-Unless you help me disappear, you can’t!

 I remained imprisoned in our bed and he would go back to work and look after Poppy and the house. He could walk away from me. I couldn’t. I resent him for that. I can see myself now, googling the various ways people commit suicide. One article struck my eye ‘Men are more successful at committing suicide’.

  -They don’t mess about with poisoning themselves –they resort to more violent means.

That is the moment I reached out to the wrong Alpha.

The black dog and I began sleeping together. It became my obsession. Up-close, I could analyse it, experiment with it. As a couple, it didn’t take much to find that Alpha rage. One phone call from Ma,

-Just snap out of it. If you’re going to do it, get on with it.

-Fine, I will!  I hung up on her before she could hang up on me.

My impulsiveness finds me trapped within this mirror. It’s cold. Everything I read is back to front. Everything I do is back to front.  It doesn’t reflect my true intentions. When I reach out, in fact, the more I reach out the more pain I inflict. I back away from the mirror until I’m pressed up, with my back against the bathroom wall.

 What have I done? 

 What right do I have trying to tell my family how to deal with their loss?

Eddie will never know that I was messing about; I didn’t know if I could actually go through with it. From a great height in a corner of the bathroom my body feels cut loose from itself. I can see it happen in front of my eyes. Like a rerun episode, I can’t pause. The noose around my neck, in the shower. Steam shrouds the mirror, with slippery feet, I accidently knock myself off that chair and in that moment I realise,

– I don’t want to die.

I can’t scream and tell anyone. I made the decision when I decided to sleep with my enemy. I’ve interrupted the natural course of life. A lost soul in life: a lost soul in death. There are no bright lights to come with this epiphany. I exit the bathroom, stumble down the staircase, out the front door, and walk aimlessly down the street. I sense a familiar pair of eyes examining me; I look up and see the black dog in its true form. It waits for me to catch up.  We walk side by side. I don’t look back.  I am the one preventing people from moving on. I have to let go.

I won’t go into the commentary in this post. I think my reference and citations pages came up to about 15 pages!  Which is nuts!

My next TMA  is about a highly gifted and beautiful girl who plays the classical piano. She is also being groomed by her manager/lover to be a super model. She is adored by her fans around the world. Her biggest wish is to beable to have sight.

The scene begins with Eve playing a melancholic piece of music and a seemingly lovely old lady offers to exchange her sight for Eve’s essence.  The whole script ends in tragedy. Eve soon finds out why people are attracted to her. She can now see the world with eyes and she loses touch with her other senses. People hate that she can see them. They feel exposed, judged.

What makes Eve so special and endearing to people is her lack of sight. She is unable to see the world the way people with sight do.  It is a horrible world we live in, isn’t it?  Oddly enough, I’m inspired by Shakespeare – the play has a somewhat midsummer nights /fantastical dream-like feel to it – the main theme focuses on human conditions and relationships. Something Shakespeare flaunted well.

Guess who becomes the new darling of the music world?  The rest is still being written in my head. It only has to be 18 minutes and then it’s back to the homeless piece.

 It is a horrible world we live in, isn’t it?

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Oddly enough, I’m inspired by Shakespeare – the play has a somewhat midsummer’s night /fantastical dream-like feel to it – the main theme focuses on the human condition and relationships. Something Shakespeare flaunted well.

I’m catching up on blogs. I am missing you all so much.

DAISY XOXO

I will leave you with the words of the inimitable Charles Bukowski. He wasn’t a misogynist! 

 

 

I still have my head

Deadline for TMA 2 :  02 February 2017 –  7 days from now.

Code:

  • TMA (tutor marked assignment )

  • EMA ( end of module assignment) 

  • WRAP ( Wellness Recovery Action Plan) 

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I’m kind of organized. I’ve finally got my tutor speaking to me by email. I think the sun just came out.

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I put on my big girl trousers and waved the white flag. I need some of her input on my final EMA project proposal.

She has kindly passed it on to a script writing colleague to look at. I am waiting for a reply.

It would be great to get a reply ……………….. NOW!  😀

Just so I can plan my life and round up the first year of this MA. Nothing Major.

 

I’m thinking of doing a parody/satire piece (18-minute stage script) based on a society who are afraid of people who don’t believe in superstitions and who don’t take the necessary precautions to make sure that superstitions don’t manifest in their life.

My current draft (being written in my head) focuses on the Main Character as being a bit of a rebel.

Maybe she mocks someone for walking around a ladder and gets cursed?

Then she starts to get extreme symptoms of superstitions she has ignored most of her life.

This has a massive impact on her life, mind state and how people react to her and treat her because of course, society hates dealing with things that we can’t understand ( mental health issues alert).

So, maybe she gets locked away for her own protection and for the protection of others in an asylum for the superstitious dissidents.

Where is this script going?    Ah, we need a climax and resoltion?

In the asylum, they drug them so that can’t enact their superstitions  and cause bedlam (even if they want to or don’t want to)

There is Drug therapy/ECT/CBT  therapy –  sound familiar?

Maybe an awesome volunteer arrives at Main Characters asylum and introduces the Main character to a way to help herself help herself-

I can use the the core values of WRAP  for inspiration.

  • Hope

  • Self responsibility

  • Self-advocacy

  • Education

  • Support

I can make it surreal and the dialogue will be purposeful and amazing and drive the plot and be the action.

It’s going to be fun to do. I have to try and be funny. Something I don’t really do in my writing.

Any thoughts?

My EMA will (hopefully) still be Act two to my TMA 1 piece – about the homeless couple.

The ending is bittersweet. It needs to be told. I’ve had orders from my characters and they will not shut up.

Okay, so I started TMA 2 with a crime genre then I delved into a drama/love affair betray genre

I’ve strayed into a supernatural genre – without the cliche ghost things I’ve read. I’ve focused on a simple setting and the Main Characters’ character and dialogue of how others describe her as exposition.

The time scale within the piece is set within a 3 week period. My narration/or is in the First point of view.

Plot?  I have an unexppected  anti climax reversal . This came about by committing to telling  (and show)  this characters back story towards the climax resolution of the piece.

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At this point, with  my MA and with all the other things I’ve got going on in my life, I am going with what feels right for me.

If my tutor hates it- oh well!

 

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COMPLETE

MELTDOWN

FOR SHIZZLE

 

Don’t you think it’s just a  bit bizarre that for this first year our marks don’t count towards the overall degree?

All we need is a PASS!   what?

That doesn’t mean I don’t work like a  scared elf on his last strike at work, who got doped up the night before christmas. I do worry and I do care but I also have a life to live.

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I’ve written my commentary explaining why I took the decisions I have done to do write this piece.

Things I’ve focused on

  • Eplaining backstory

  • not starting in media res etc…

I’m participating and doing well in the forums. I’m backing up my decisions with a an awesome free Harvard ref app. I’m in love with it.

Finally,  here is the first part to my TMA 2  (  still needs more proof reading and polishing up)

 

My family. Here we all are, sitting around the circular dining room table- flecked with bits of gold. Ma sits under a hanging portrait of this Christmas just gone. Three weeks ago. We are all smiling in it including Poppy. Poppy sits playing with her Annabelle doll, on my husband’s lap. Sat opposite from Ma, closest to the electric fire hearth is Gran. I find myself sitting across from Gran. An icy breathe exhales mist over us. It separates me from them, cloaks me in a fog. I try to swallow. Air so thick it chokes me, I’m forced to put my hands to my throat. Nobody notices me.  Nobody notices me the way they used to. I tune in to the conversation-taking place.

‘Of course I’m not suggesting this is your fault.  I should have known. Done more…’ Nan bursts into tears- an ostentatious display of emotion.

The firework that packs the most dynamite. The one that wills itself to make the crowd notice it. A cry out for: I need attention I’m suffering the most. My skin bristles. Nan pulls her scarf tighter around her neck, then throws out a familiar comment about it being draughty.

‘You know I could catch pneumonia with my Asthma.’ She coughs. Ma gets up to put on the electric fire.

‘I didn’t take her seriously. You know what Angie was like?’  Ma’s eyes are red as the rosary beads she is thumbing; she looks over to an unusually quiet Poppy.

‘Did she just do it to spite me?’ How could she just leave her own…?’

 My husband throws a warning look at Ma,

‘Marie, for Poppies sake.  Our Angie suffered more than she let on.’ Ma sits back down. ‘Let’s put on a cartoon, luv?’  Poppy shakes her head.

 She doesn’t look at us.  I look straight at her, willing her to leave this table. Leave this conversation. She lifts her head and looks me dead on in the eyes. I instinctively smile. Eddie and me always stood together when it came to Poppy. Her face is pale, her eyes sunken, her skin is drawn in so tight I can see cheek bones protrude. Beneath her eyes- veiled shadows betray her youthful face. She clings onto Annabelle, still looking me dead on in the eyes.

‘When’s Mummy coming home?’

  Silence. Her words enmesh with the silence. Her question disarms me. Marks me. The arrow leaves its bow splintering my heart.

I open my mouth to scream out as many words as I can. Condensation steams the air distilling me into silence. I reach my hand across the table to grab hers. She doesn’t see me. I glare at my family sitting at the round table. They say nothing. Smothering themselves in sorrow, they witheringly curl inwards. I urge to shake them, uproot them from winters glaze.

-Answer her! Answer my daughter.

Instead, Gran succumbs to a puddle of wrinkled tears, mechanically Ma gets off her chair, attempts to console Gran and naturally it’s  up to Eddie to mediate.  My calm, rational Eddie. His eyes read as vacant –his beard is wild and unkempt.  It’s impossible to read his face. He clears his throat,

‘We’re gonna see Mummy when we give her… say a proper goodbye.’

Gran flounders in her anglers net of remorse.  Great splotchy splashes of grief escape. She wails,

‘She’s with the angels –looking down at you, darling!’

 I roll my eyes. Of course I love her!  Lately, she grates my skin more frequently with her, melodramatics.

– Confess how you truly feel. Relieved!

I’m so fixated on evoking a response from Gran; unnoticed, a light flickers with an intensity to match my own.  Eddie carries Poppy over to the sofa, sits her down to watch a cartoon. He covers her with a blanket then kisses her forehead.

‘We’ll see mummy soon? To say goodbye?’  Eddie nods his head, his voice cracks.

‘Aye, love.’

‘When will mummy come back from saying goodbye? In spring? My teacher says it’s winter – everything goes to sleep like her?’ Poppy points to Sleeping Beauty on the television.

 Eddie focuses on the image. The Prince is just about to kiss Aurora on the lips. He turns his head away from the television before he can see Aurora wake up to her true loves kiss. He grinds down on his teeth. Poppy’s eyes remain transfixed on the television. Eddie gets up, crosses the dining room table; I’m compelled to follow him, I have to stop him. Tell him I’m still here. I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve so much to tell him.

 -There is no God! We were right all along. Religion is for people who can’t think for themselves.  We were right to take the piss.  

Eddie flinches, puts his hands in his jean pockets. I follow him down Ma’s hallway and into the bathroom. He closes the door on me. It doesn’t ever close fully. I slip through the crack of the door that is always ajar.

 Head down. Still. He sits on the toilet seat.  I kneel down before him; go to lay my head on his knee. He flinches again. Hits himself in the head. Bangs his fist on the wall screams out:

‘Why? We could’ve figured it out, you fucking stubborn mare’ I bring out the best and worst in Eddie. Till death do us part. What are the chances?

He still refuses to let me go. Stubborn.

My symptoms intensify the days leading up to the funeral. Emotions walk precariously on stilts. Everything‘s heightened.  I can’t walk through walls or levitate. Nothing like any of the horror- movies Eddie and me used to watch together on the sofa. 

Unheard, I bellow continuously,-Just let me go, already.   

 Every time I hear my name called- reflections of nostalgia flash and beam over and around me. Prompted, I gravitate towards the source. Someone needs me.  These past three weeks, I’ve been teleported from one conversation to another. I find myself in a room; familiar or not familiar, with people I know and people I don’t know.

Today I’m summoned to the usual bickering between Ma and Gran. The familiar sound of Gran’s kettle boils in the background.

‘I want that picture of her on graduation day and flowers- blown up .With azaleas. And roses – she loved roses- pink.’  

‘She hates that picture! And she loves- loved yellow roses…’ Ma’s wobbly voice mirrors her jelly struck legs propping her up in her work shoes. She staggers backwards. Like the black dog with a bone, Gran won’t give in,

‘No, she’s my eldest grand daughter and I know her – it is… was pink!’

 Ma sits down, doesn’t speak. I go over to her to put my arms around her then she dissolves into tears. Gran bulldozes her way over to us. Intimidated, I move out of her way. Gran holds Ma and Ma lets Gran hug her. Ma calms down, mentions something about pink and yellow roses

Vexed, I shriek – don’t back down Ma, I love yellow. Yellow roses. The kettle whistles for attention. My voice is lost to an object.

‘I’ll go make that cup of tea’ Nan retreats to her kitchen. Another opportunity to get close to Ma again.   I need to hug her, give her some of my energy. As if on cue, Mum begins to shiver and tremble. Her tear-stained face crumples just like my heart. A poking hot iron burns a hole right through it. Gran re-enters the room; I scarper.

‘Here you go, love. Lost three of my own …, as you know, mind, they never got to Angie’s age. Yellow’s more of a quirky colour like our Angie… was.’     They smile at each other. I move back, the distance seems to illuminate their smiles.

HAPPY MONDAY or a bluesy one just make it your own.

I’m off!

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Indebted student :D

Yes, I am still plowing my way through year one of my Masters.

Woop! Running around like a yam shouting May day May day!

That is the month, Year one will be over and done with.

Aren’t you enjoying yourself, Daisy?

I enjoy myself when I see results! Deadlines keep my pressure up and my heart racing.

My next deadline is 2nd of Feb!

I started off with what could potentially turn into a novella with a heavily dense, plotted story about a woman with DID  and an Alter ego that wants revenge on a past attack.

All super fab and exciting to research and write but I only have 2000 words I’m allowed to write give or take 10%

I was then  inspired by this quote:

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JUST KIDDING!     IT WAS ACTUALLY THIS ONE.

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I spent 12 hours drafting a whole new story about a woman trying to come to turns with an affair/ obsession/fantasy she has (in a group therapy setting). Plenty of surrealness.

Then Christmas happened – Alan Kaprow -‘ it’s a happening baby!’

Not my kind of happening, however, I will admit I enjoyed spending time with my family and friends.

There is a lot in the media – specifically social media about suicide prevention and keeping us humans safe, with telephone numbers to sign post us to organizations who may help if we are having a shitty time.

I think this is fantastic!

 It also prompted me to put story two on the back burner and delve into my current draft which is some kind of supernatural -esque piece. I feel I can plot (without unwittingly out plotting myself or my character/s)

There is a lot of internal conflicts which contrasts with the Main characters environment/ the other characters in the piece.

It’s ahem.. fucking depressing to write.

Today, I had to stop twice for a break, it was that emotionally draining to finish the second draft.

It ends in death and a resolution that is reflective, real and tragic.

This is all just my opinion, of course – ha ha!

I’m currently taking advice off of my own Mummy -dearest!

 inject the piece with humor, darling.  Be witty. You’re a hoot in real life.

 People laugh at me not with me. The people who know me really well and see the real me- sometimes do laugh me with me. 

I have got a twisted, dark sense of humor and well, let’s hope I can convey it so it translates to the reader marking it. Must work on being funnier. I can do funny in real life

 Yes, I’m still going for my first TMA to be reassessed.

OH MY WORDY  HAT!

Then, I have the constant worry of my third TMA – another 18-minute play.

I’m exploring doing a piece on a couple who decide to have a baby or try to and maybe the mother can’t make up her mind whether she wants the child or not.

Does she lose the baby?

Does she have an issue with boys?

Does she only want a girl?

What does this bloody woman want?

I’m good at putting in obstacles in the way and creating tension – I put my characters through hell.

Oh, and then we have the final piece due at the end of May.

DareI state, I’m continuing with the second part (or act if you like) of my homelessness couple piece, I started in TMA 1.

I’m swotting up on Brecht, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Grotowski, Artaud etc…

Here’s a question:  All these (and more) playwrights of the 19/20th century inspired and evolved theater into what we have today.

Immersive theater/street theater/ forum theatre=- the list goes on and on.

These playwrights wrote about and performed plays that reflected the historical time that they lived in.

Why if I say in my commentary that I’m inspired by certain Brechtian techniques?  does that automatically translate that  I am doing a complete copy cat Brechtian play?

Don’t many successful modern/contemporary playwrights of our time take a bit from different (even contrasting theories about theater)  at times, to make something that is relevant to what they want to see performed?

SMALL rant-  😉

Can’t I be inspired by say; Brecht and his ‘estrangement’ techniques and ‘Gestus’  (without using it to the extremes he employed his techniques in his era?

He essentially hated the overly dramatic  French and the German style  theatre in his time. He lived in one of the most insane times- the communist era, wars, exile etc..

Of course ( because I know what he was thinking -sarcasm alert), he wanted the audience or just one audience member to go home and think a bit more about what they went to watch.

Perhaps, Brecht wanted witnesses 😀  to  get the cogwheels turning with questions like

Does it have to end like this?

Did it have to end like this? (in a historical context) 

What can I do as a person who has just gone to see a play themed around social issues?

Maybe an audience member/s could come to a conclusion  (or not)  that maybe their previous ideas (if any) about social change issues comes from within.

Not a government, not other people but from me, you?

Politics are heavy going so a play/ production does need to be entertaining – it’s a tricky pair up to get right.

Sometimes, a member of the audience may (or may not)  think:

‘What I am seeing here can’t be a representation of a real person or what goes on in real life   -or can it? 

That is cool – they are in a theater watching something made up essentially, no?

I don’t know anymore. I’m up to my ears in theories and being creative and trying to stay true to myself and my reasons for writing.

I do have enough sense to think about doing a full on Brecht/Grotowski/insert playwrights name here to show I can do it.

I may struggle- it might not be amazing or great but I can bloody well do it.

My stubbornness does serve me well at times.

Right, rant over.

Tomorrow, I get a small break from thinking about fictional characters. I’m off bright and early to talk about if/how I can help my community with the skills I already have. I don’t need to be a BA graduate or a business owner or a  mother or someone studying their Masters.

I merely have to be me! Full of flaws!

I feel so passionate about this project. I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it. I can’t talk about it- It would have to go in my volunteering page- Ha ha!

Please send me your positive vibes, mantras, empowering thoughts – all of that positivity shit. I fucking love it!

I need it – it helps me – it keeps me on the right path.

So, to end this ranty and rather a profane post

I will end in my mantra ( Second year of using it and it hasn’t let me down yet)

” I am successful at whatever I do”   

I put the hard graft in too.

Thanks for reading my ranty post.

Peace, love, light and a bit of attitude embellished with hearts ❤ and fleurs.

DAISY XOXO

 

 

 

wittingly written

Tick Tock!  Still awaiting the results of my  first TMA.

No time to rest and already onto the next one. I am the kind of writer who gets an idea and then I just start writing – I like to get the story out before going over it and picking it to pieces, re-plotting it , the dreaded cutting stages.

I’m so frustrated – My next assignment is to  write a 2000 word stand-alone  piece of fiction. Not so hard right?

Well, unless you have my brain.

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Got to get this out.

In my head, I have come up with a story ( shit or bad) – I don’t  know but it wants to write itself and indeed it already has.

The problem being I’ve written over 1000 words already- just  putting together the bare bones of the story and I still have yet to get into the internal /external conflict of the characters. Plot it just right etc.

I know if I carry on with this narrative – it could end up  with maybe 3500 words!

My brain hurts. Why don’t I just abandon a complicated, plotted story and find another to write about?

That would mean giving up and letting go.

I do not let go or give up  easily- be it my work, my passion, people.

Yes, I am stubborn.

Does anyone else who writes fiction have this problem?  I (bear in my mind I am learning to write for novels ) and   in this assignment and  I have to write a stand alone piece  of 2ooo words)

I know. I know.

There is more than just me (the only student) studying and needing my “precious” story to be marked.

I DON’T CARE!

I do. Just not right now. 🙂

I also have my other bigger script  to worry about and my brain is flipping from one to the other. Deadlines!

Focus.

So why am I so wanting to tell this particular story?

I want to challenge myself – create a more complex plot.

Go way out of my comfort zone.  So far, successfully achieving this to my detriment.

Then, I have to share on a forum , with other writers and comment on their work and wait for them to comment on mine. Lovely.

I am a generous person. The first person to offer to read someone’s work but not  everyone is the same.

It would make for a boring world, I agree.

Nevertheless, it is still frustrating.

So, here is the premise in a small nutshell

 Betty is  married to a kind and loving husband who has supported her  her throughout their relationship/marriage,she   has DID ( Dissociative identity disorder)and has  so far responded well to a new radical  form of therapy to treat her disorder. Or has she?

It would appear that she has come to some kind of inner peace with her alternates through engaging with said  therapy. She bumps into the past, an ex from college or uni- something doesn’t feel right but she is drawn to him.

 Her symptoms start coming back an, example, losing track of time.

One   remainging, undiscovered alternates has managed to dupe her. Back in college her old flame -lets call him -Steve-  fell in love with one of her alternatives- the  seductive, provocative – Lola -everything Betty  isn’t.

It didn’t end well. Lola couldn’t compete with Betty and all the other emotions/alternates that were playing out in her mind and her life at that time and Steve left her.

Betty  doesn’t know about this other alternate or their true history together.  Steve and Lola  come up with a cunning ,deadly  plan  to be together. Lola is determined to be the dominate personality (she won’t compromise her wants) and she will do everything in her power to be able to be with her past lover – even if it means making Betty believe that her husband, Roger  is the one cheating on her!  Expect a bloody ending but whose blood?

Okay. Sounds really simple 😉 but there is so much information I have in my head. Ideas of how Betty gets manipulated by her ex-lover and Lola.

Do I start in Media res?  -bearing in mind,this the first time I have written it down and  it does need polishing.  Excuse the cliches.

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BANG! –the sound  synchronized with their clock chiming, a ghastly wedding present, and the longest announcement to confirm it was 6 pm. A   demonized scream left Betty’s mouth – as blood splatters stained her face to complement the abstract disarray of Betty’s current surroundings.  The remnants of a wistful, discarded soul arrested Betty’s own eyes for what seemed a lifetime, before the body crumpled to heap on the bedroom living carpet–   someone so strange yet at the same time familiar. A   glint of metal. Another thud. This defined how far Betty had veered this time.

“Betty, Betty come to me”, a calm familiar voice reached the ear hairs of Betty- clearly orienting her to look behind her. Every bone in her body seized up.

Do I start with a more startling- more fact-based opening:  like this:

They say that we should always leave our past well alone. If only I had done so. If only I could have foreseen the danger, it would bring me. How could I? I am merely human- subject to my environment, emotions and experiences.

Winter 2016

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It’s all there in my head and some of it on my word doc.  but it will be more that 2000 words.

I need help.

 In my commentary (which is something I have to do for all my assignments is  to reflect on many factors – one being my thoughts and challenges writing in the Script genre  versus the fiction genre. There is a lot more I can reflect about.

 Plot? – I am going to have loads to say about overcoming that challenge. haha .   I’ve lost it. 😀

  • Dialogue

  • POV

  • Characters

  • Opens /endings – middles

The list goes on and on.

I’m feeling that pressure of a challenge coming on.

I could just write some uncomplicated story to attempt to tick boxes but how will I ever develop as a writer if I play it safe?

Or am I being too ambitious?

Do I carry on with this story? using what I learn in the MA study guide materials and my own independent research ,to aid me, to tell this story to the  s.t.i.p.u.l.a.t.e.d.length ?

Or, am I  setting myself up for failure?

Am I being too cocky?

Too assertive?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am an amazing writer .

I do believe in having the right in  being able to express myself creatively and writing is one way I get to do that. I read a cool article this morning- link here

That’s just my personal take, but more generally I feel like the arts are such an important part of how we understand ourselves, how we laugh at ourselves, how we make sense of reality. ‘Listening to a record that you love, reading a novel that you love – it connects you more forcibly into life. For your mental health, it’s extremely important that people are accessing that part of themselves, tuning into other people’s creative expression, expressing themselves.’

Comments appreciated. Thanks for reading.

MINI LIFE UPDATE

I’m slowly moving our company  online. Here is  a link to my online shop -eek!

Don’t worry I don’t expect you to buy anything. But feel free to follow me on instagram and Facebook – (slightly cheeky but sadly writing doesn ‘t pay the bills 😦 )

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LOOK AT MY SHAMAZING GRAPHIC DESIGN SKILLS 😀 HA HA -sarcasm alert!

 I haven’t even finished 3/4 of  the whole online shenanigans yet.

Tomorrow will be spent all day working on developing  our business.

My daughter is doing so well – check out all her certificates that she has received -all in one semester/ term.  So proud.

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Will be catching up with all my fave blogs in between  of all of this. I love all you all!

Daisy

xoxo

The story so far…

I feel like all I do these days is write, read books about writing- and as much as I love to write and learn how to write better, I need another hobby.

I used to blog daily -sometimes twice a day.

Nope – not anymore.

I don’t get to read as many of your blogs as I want. 😦

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Since I’ve started my Masters- all I do is write and read.  oh, and then there is the rest of my life to deal with.

I don’t mind, but I am one of these generally over anxious type of people who will freak out about everything until I’ve submitted my work, and then I will find something else to worry about.

Am I the only person who feels this way?

Where am I up to in my Masters?

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25 days away from submitting my first TMA (tutor marked assignment) to the Open university.

It’s part of an ongoing piece of work I intend to do when I do my EMA (end-of-module assessment)

What am I doing?

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I’m passionate about people, life, my community.

I’ve been doing loads of research on homelessness- particularly teenagers who are homeless in the U.K.

Mind blowing, the local authorities make life a nightmare for these children to get into ‘normal society living’.

The premise of my script is ultimately a good old fashioned love story with plenty of obstacles – the end hasn’t been written yet but there is where I am up to:

Desire is a 14/16 -year-old runaway, she was a full-time, undeclared carer for her parents – her Mum who   has Dyspraxia and her Dad who has Dementia. She struggles with the guilt of leaving her ill parents to look after themselves yet she wants to find her own path in life and be successful – have  a career, relationships, family- all normal milestones. 

She falls in love with the charismatic,  highly talented and artistic, drug addicted – Leo. They are polar opposites. She is not into the whole drug scene and engages with hostels and programs to try and get off the streets. Leo loves Desire because she is everything he is not. He wants the best for her but he is not really a planner. Lives day to day. His mother  had Cancer,and she took an overdose, Leo found her and he has been on the streets for many years. To get by he sometimes is able to get  commissioned work for his  artwork . The drugs get in the way of him being able to maintain a job.

He enjoys the Freedom of living on the streets and he sees it as his home. He knows the system well, he knows how to play it so he doesn’t fall into it. 

Vee, a hostel coordinator at Steps hostel and day care center for homeless teens, sees the potential in Desire and tries to pull as many strings to help Desire get off the streets. Her biggest obstacle seems to be her  need to care for Leo and her love for him.

Desire has a chance to get into a new program, funded by an organisation, to  help 25 young teenage women get their life sorted but she ends up falling pregnant with Leo’s baby at the same time   she finds out her Mom dies of a stroke and her Dad-  unable to keep up with the rent payments on the house, is taking into a state care home. 

Her  mental health starts to unravel quickly. She disappears for a couple of months and then goes back to find Leo  to confront Leo with the news of her parents and to tell him she is pregnant. Leo already suspects Desire is pregnant. Desire finds Leo’s in his  favorite place to get high and chill – he loves reading- the library.

Desire’s dreams of being with Leo start to fall apart when he has to convince her to go into a hostel -full time and to focus on her and the baby. 

Desire is reluctant- as there are so many ways her being pregnant could play out. She could get transferred to a single teenagers hostel. 

In my research, I have found out that unlike teenage hostels- where the rules are rather flexible a lot of young single Moms are cut off from their partners (who often happen to be homeless or on drugs ) and living a chaotic lifestyle.

There is also the worry of social services getting involved. 

What will happen?

I’m yet to write that bit. ha ha! I have an idea – a rough idea. I know the ending already although this may change when it comes to drafting the next part of this script.

The main obstacles Desire will come up against is being able to adapt to living in a more structured environment, in a place where she knows no one,lives with many different girls in various different mind states and in different places contrasting to Desire.

Can Desire forget Leo?

How does Leo deal with not being able to support Desire, in a way, a father -to -wants to?

How does the system support young ,homeless parent- or parents to be ?

How does this story end  for Desire and Leo?

Many people think homeless people choose to live on the streets without knowing the red tape nightmare , internal conflict,external life issues and stress that these people have to deal with on a day to day basis.

I didn’t want this to be an agitprop / political piece.  I have always written stories and scripts about themes that do  come up in politics.

My main obstacle was to create awareness of the complications and obstacles homeless people face but I needed to do this in a way that an audience would engage with , relate to and come from a place of empathy.

Who hasn’t been in love?

Who hasn’t had to make tough choices?

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Life is not black and white. There are many gray shades and people are complicated. We are not a piece of paper with a checklist of criteria who fit into a neat box.

Approaching the current homelessness crisis from this angle is not working!

I’m currently tweaking the visual narrative, dialogue everything!

 I’m still undecided whether it should be environmental theater,  site-specific location or  low-level audience participation interaction in the style of promenade theater. I do know that I envision the play to be staged to the bare minimum.  I agree  with Moliere and many other playwrights ‘less is more’  when it comes to scene setting. Audiences left with their own imagination can come up with a far better setting or set than I can.

deadline submission date: 25 November.

I still  need to write a commentary to discuss the creation-evolution process and any obstacles I came across and how I worked it all out.  😀