Monday, October 04, 2010

Like Alex Broun, playwright Tim Crouch is a generous and charismatic workshop leader. Unlike Alex, he speaks not of structure but of space. He quotes Duchamp, who believed the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. “If you write the play without allowing for spacial flow, then there’s nothing for an audience to do," Tim says. Space allows for the unintentional to be expressed. “Restrictions impose outcome. Post-rationalisation is a fantastic thing, rather than pre-rationalisation, that’s anti-creative.” Obediently taking Tim's constraints as freedom not pressure, we drew each other in five seconds without looking down, described our journey using only the vowel O, and wrote a story in 26 alphabetical words, before moving on to the dramatic form: creating a totally alliterative monologue and a duologue from three-word interjections. It was inspirational, freeing and fun. (Thanks to my partner Tom too – that’s him in the 5-second picture…)
And as an intriguing postscript to my comments on The Author in the previous post, Tim told us of an episode at the previous night's performance which was bizarrely close to the theme of his play- a bruising encounter with an audience member disturbed by the content. "The idea of the play is that we share an experience. I felt flayed alive, because she took it literally instead of just trusting it." A fascinating insight into not just the mind and heart of this outstanding writer but theatre itself and why, when it works, it's life-affirming and life-altering.

Dressing Up again... another Stage Write workshop and more delightful monologues, from tales of a preposterous fascinator to a father who wore his trilby everywhere except in the bath. Evaluations all positive, with the word 'fun' healthily featured.

And finally: ever been asked 'What sort of stuff do you write?" No longer need you grope around self-effacingly for some point of reference, for help is at hand at an impressively authoritative site called I write like... which will tell you from instant analysis which major author your style resembles. My blog, apparently, is Stephen King but my voice for fiction is more Last of the Mohicans...

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