“The Bouquet residence, the lady of the house speaking …”

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I’ll keep this brief. I shouldn’t be writing it at all really, but you know what it’s like – the minute you have to do something, you decide to do anything but. I’ll be alphabetising my CD’s next … I’ve already tidied my sock drawer (no, really).

So, Old Vic New Voices. Or, more specifically, TimeWarner Ignite (a nod to the sponsors there). In a nutshell, it’s a bespoke programme for alumni of The 24 Hour Plays … inspired by The Old Vic’s main house production (in this case, Design for Living) four writers are commissioned to write a short play each.

The workshop weekend was on Saturday; we met, the actors scampered about in loose rehearsal slacks playing trust games, the writers were paired with their directors and taken under the wing of a producer. We cast our plays from the actors selected (poor loves had to audition in front of a panel of twenty), were given a theme (mine, Keeping up Appearances which just keeps leading me to Hyacinth Bucket) and were casually told we had to write something not set in this era. Whaaaa?!

Oh, and the deadline is in a fortnight.

I had a nervous breakdown, ate copious amounts of the free buffet provided and tried desperately to avoid being filmed.

The black and white headshots of my five actors are currently blu-tacked to the wall above my desk. It is a little disconcerting. As attractive as they are, it does look like some sort of crime-scene-board you’d find in an ITV1 detective drama. And the more time I spend not writing their play, the more accusing their stares become. To be fair though, it’s only been four days and I have thought of a title and sketched an outline, so in your face the pictures-of-actors-glaring-down-at-me.

I should go now, maybe lie down in a darkened room …

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