In the fifth of her new writing provocations, director and jury member Lyndsey Turner considers the visual.
Sometimes, a single image might spark an idea which turns into something more. I remember asking one writer why he’d written a particular play: he explained that he woke up one morning with an image of a man on all fours barking like a dog and wrote the play in order to find out why the character was doing that. Lucy Kirkwood’s play Chimerica is a riff on a single image: the man who stood in front of a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Perhaps the image captured her imagination and the play was an attempt to activate that image into story.
- What are the images you return to again and again, either real or imagined?
- Why not visit a gallery or look at a collection of images online to see if you encounter the beginnings of an idea?
- Is the image you keep seeing at the beginning of the play, at the end, or does it represent a turning point for one of its major characters (i.e. does your man bark like a dog in the opening moments, or is that where the story is leading)?