Saturday, 10 July 2010
Tears, laughter and a great deal of talent
I went to see 'An evening of One Act Plays' last night, held by Horsehay Amateur Dramatic society. What a fantastic evening! I was captivated throughout the whole evening with such a variety of talent.
The first play 'Chain' reduced me to tears. It was a moving story set in Horsehay and Cradely Heath in the 1800's. It touched on life down the coal pits of Dawley and surrounding areas and then linked to the tragic lives of the women of Cradely Heath who worked as chain makers.
The second play 'Business is Business' was written by Mike White, fellow member of Wrekin Writers and directed by Susan White his wife. I have to use this post to congratulate them both.
It must be an amazing thing as a writer to see your own work brought to life with real people acting out every word you have created.
The whole act was set in a hotel garden at lunchtime. It didn't need any more scenes as it moved with such a wonderful pace that kept the interest of the audience.
The actors were superb and made the characters come to life, but of course those characters were created by Mike in the first place. It was he who made them believable.
He achieved within minutes what I guess was the desired effect for his two first characters Valerie and George.
As the audience enjoyed the opening scene, they recognised instantly what Mike was wanting to show in their characters and chuckles rippled throughout the village hall like a Mexican wave.
The third and final play was a wonderful farce and had everyone laughing once again as the 'Last Tango in Little Dawley' was acted out by yet another brilliant cast.
Good dialogue is so important. It really is the key to the 'show don't tell' motto and Mike along with the other writers certainly achieved this last night, along with the excellent actors who played their parts so wonderfully.
It's really made me think about the characters in my novel Red Kite. I now want to re-visit some of the scenes to make sure if the dialogue shows what I am trying to get across to the reader.
It's great to experience other things like this. I could never hope to achieve what Mike has done, but this was a wonderful experience and one that will hopefully bring a new way of looking at my own writing.