In Development

Paradise Now

Currently being developed as a major project with Drama Centre on the MA Dramatic Writing:

Some people will give up their lives so others can have theirs.

Log Line: Out of the jaws of the past, all the way to The Kingdom

Paradise Now follows the story of four youths trying to turn their lives around through prayer and faith. When they discover their sister is on the streets soliciting, their faith in God, themselves, and each other is severely tested. As they desperately fight for a future the darkness of the past crashes into their lives – will He hear their prayers? Or do they have to do it for themselves and each other?

Usually, once I have the themes – or I have isolated a cast iron premise, I move on to characters. They can emerge out of dialogue – sometimes quickly and in surprising ways. The troika of boys and the young woman who drive this play have had a while to emerge – and in many ways I am sure of them. I know what I need to know and no doubt there will be some surprises along the way. I’ve got them linked to a premise, and I have an idea of how they react under pressure. I know what they are striving for, and how much it means to them to get it or not. I have the rocks on which they break. They are all reacting to the premise – and I think I have a sound idea about how they test my idea, and ultimately confirm it. The outcomes are bitter sweet for them, and I think they make a really interesting journey.

This time I am working across a 5 act structure as the scaffold – for that reason I am planning this play. I may give myself a series of scene breakdowns – in which the action is described with the dramatic tools necessary to create scenes – alongside some moments that are already scripted (I’ll probably write the opening, pre interval, post interval, and final scenes first).One thing I want to do is have a strong sense of the unity of opposites. I need a really strong reason to have faith – an absolute watertight reason why it is of the utmost importance. Equally I need to have a counterweight. I’m almost at the end of the first act, and it feels honest and fiery. These people have facets, and a purity, balancing all that love on a matchstick. It’s a miracle. Will it last?

So then, moving on into the later stages its time to reflect on what I want to prove with the piece. It’s still early days – I may well write more than I need. I do feel faith is something that never ends – and experience has taught me that it is different for different people. My own experience contrasted with that of people I have spoken to has given me cause to think and reflect. In this time of reflection I have to think about what I’m proving with the play, and accept the narrowness of that proof within the wide ranging subject matter I have chosen. There is no end to faith, and a great deal of it is ineffable – in the best possible way. What are the outcomes for the characters, and is there a macro to go along with this micro? Will I find something that resonates? Is there a bigger picture here? And do I find it by focusing in on what these people really want and need, and where they end up? How have they changed from the start to the finish, what have they learned, and do they get the love they feel they deserve but have never been shown?

Faith is finding its way more surely into the piece as a directing force. If we say that sorrow and joy instruct the spirit in its development – how do their spirits develop? Faith is a transforming experience and this is what is changing the characters – is it possible they all develop? Is it possible they all change? Where does this experience leave them in terms of themselves and each other? In this world, not the next?

Devotion
Short Film (currently in Post Production)

If You Cry We Will Kill You
Play

Clean
Play

A Life Worth Dying For
Film

The Sex Life of Insects
Play

Love Under Ice
Play

Tempered
Play

A Lesser Cut of Meat
Play

Blood Leaves
Currently in development under the guidance of Nina Steiger. a series of lessons on life and art provide the means for a woman to die with dignity.

Spec Screenplay
Under the guidance of John Yorke.

These pieces will be developed on the MA Dramatic Writing at Drama Centre between now and July 2015.