First Stage is a regular feature of the WRiTEON calendar, showcasing new writing for the stage with plays performed fully staged, but with script-in-hand. It is a chance for writers to see their work performed as well as receive audience feedback in a moderated session and in writing at the end of each performance.
I have written, acted and directed for it for many years. It's a great experience - engaging and useful for writers and performers alike.
In Winter 2017, I was co-artistic director of the season with my colleague Izzy Rees, showcasing 13 short plays across 3 nights.
Adapting for lockdown
Whilst we've been under lockdown, the amazing Richard McNally and Julia Bolden have been keeping the theatrical fires burning through producing a series of new monologues and duologues over Zoom. I've been extremely lucky to have been involved in some of them both as a writer and an actor.
You know Carol...Ciaran's mum
Starring Leigh Chambers and Michael Southgate. Carol tries to reconnect with her son ahead of his father's funeral. A gently comic piece about family, miscommunication and distance.
A first exploration of the ideas of class, sexuality and belonging later expanded into Remy for the Queer Fringe. Starring Matt McLaren
Monologue. Janet knows her online company is a fantasy, but will she accept the honesty when the illusion is broken? Starring Tracy James.
He think's it's all over...
Imagine if the eternal torments of Hades had match commentary - here I played Charon as he discusses the ins and outs of Sisyphus's boulder push with Dave (played by Damian Smith).
by Carla Keen
By Richard Latham
A young man records a message for his father who has just passed away, trying to understand the distance he had always felt between them, whilst his father's friend illuminates more of his past. With Colin Simpson.
Monologue. Adam believes he has created something beautiful. And it is all his.
Writing for First Stage
Below is a selection of my work that has been staged through First Stage.
All pieces here are between 10-30 minutes long.
Another glass of Shiraz
Monologue. Karen's had a long week and feels like she's got a lot to say. A glass of Shiraz and a chat with her friends will sort it out, won't it?
Sea of bottle green
Mike has had a strange run in with a girl at the supermarket which keeps playing on his mind. Sam has moved into his house and his bed and he doesn't quite know why. Can they still be friends?
Glynn and Zak have a post-Christmas tradition - Chinese, bottle of wine and silly banter. But something is different this year as Glynn finally opens up to Zak about his mental health.
Monologue. All Stephen's got today is a steak supper. Maybe that's enough. An exploration of a man at his lowest ebb.
Monologue. Barbara has just lost her husband. But a trip to the hospital to visit his best friend leads to her losing so much more.
Citrus and Suede
Freddie's lover has walked out on him and he can't quite seem to let him go. Everywhere he goes is the scent of citrus and suede.
Bobby has taken to silently just watching Abby, so she seeks solace at Mike's place to see if there's any way to salvage her relationship.
The first time I ever heard my writing performed! Apart from me catching the writing bug from this, this is a gentle wee tale of folk being in love with the wrong people. Bea loves Kit, Kit loves Alfie and Alfie loves...well who knows?