Tag Archives: Traverse Theatre

The Traverse Fifty – The Journey Continues

In the six weeks since my last Traverse Fifty post, many exciting things have been going on in Travworld!

Firstly, the London chapter of writers (plus the sole representative from the Midlands) met in the main RADA building, in a boardroom so plush it seemed Alan Sugar was about to burst in and give one of us the boot! We had a great discussion and some of us shared work-in-progress, and I was delighted to get such honest and constructive suggestions on my piece, Smash & Grab.

Next we all decamped to Edinburgh for a weekend of workshops at the Traverse. Friday 8th was International Women’s Day and it was so exciting to be in a room full of so many talented and creative writers and to have so many of them be women of all ages. This is not to put down my male peers in the slightest, but with only 17% of plays on UK stages currently being written by women, the egalitarian and positive ethos at the Traverse makes me feel confident that many in the room will be part of improving representation of female playwrights. The workshop itself was an excellent session about structure and rescuing a play that has gone stuck and was delivered by Olivier-nominated playwright Tim Price. Tim was extremely likeable, approachable and supportive and the day was a lot of fun, as well as being invaluable to me as a writer. I took away a lot of tools that will help progress a number of ideas I have had but am struggling to develop, and I am very excited about the rest of the attachment throughout the year.

Saturday’s workshop was led by Zinnie Harris, a prolific playwright and associate artist at the Traverse. The session had some more practical work and we were sent out into the inclement Edinburgh weather in search of interesting people and conversations to inspire some short dualogues which we then worked on back at the theatre. The workshop was about imagery in plays and was very useful as it gave me a different perspective on playwriting being that my pieces are generally very dialogue driven. Zinnie gave some direct feedback on work people shared, including myself, and I definitely learned a lot from her and the other writers in the group.

Before I left Edinburgh to return to London I was lucky enough to be able to make it to a work-in-progress night arranged by one of the Edinbugh-based writers, J.A Sutherland. It showcased work by seven of the Traverse Fifty writers, and was a superb evening and full of exciting new plays. It really made me feel like part of a creative community, and I felt very lucky to be working with so many talented people, many who are teaching me more about the sort of playwright I want to be.

Lastly, the Traverse have just announced the eight writers who have had work selected for the next event – ‘Scratch the Fifty‘ on 13th April. Unfortunately I was not one of those selected, but I am delighted to be able to go and support those who were and can’t wait to see their plays!

Until then, I will be continuing to work on my plays, applying all of the techniques and knowledge I have gathered so far. The rest of the year is looking very exciting indeed!

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The Traverse Fifty

In celebration of their 50th anniversary in 2013, the Traverse Theatre launched a competition in September to find 50 writers from Scotland and beyond for a year-long attachment.  The Traverse Fifty application was a 500-word play submission with the theme “Plays for Edinburgh”, and being both a writer and an Edinburgh native I thought this was a brief I could get my teeth into.

I promptly set about writing The Boundary, my uber-short about the Edinburgh/Leith divide, and was delighted to be notified in December that I had been selected as one of the Traverse Fifty! This certainly meant my 2013 started with a bang, and the year ahead is looking very exciting indeed, albeit extremely busy…

Since I no longer live in Scotland the main issue is physically getting to the monthly events at the Traverse.  I have begun the intricate juggling act that is finding regular travel between London and Edinburgh that does not require a remortgage, and so far have managed to book up until April without too much difficulty. The theatre are kindly assisting with costs which is a huge help, particularly as this month we have two events that I certainly would not be willing to miss.

This Monday, 14th Jan, is the Traverse Fifty official launch day so I have already landed in Edinburgh and am eagerly awaiting my first opportunity to meet the Traverse team and the other fourty-nine and to hear about the plans for the year ahead.

1 city, 50 writers, 50 plays, 25,000 words

On the 26th Jan the Traverse is staging the plays of all those selected in an evening entitled “50 Plays for Edinburgh“. The showcase is directed by Orla O’Loughlin and Hamish Pirie, and tickets are a very reasonable £6 (£4 conc). I will be there with very excited bells on!