In the sixth of her writing provocation, director and 2017 jury member Lyndsey Turner asks the writer to consider the unconscious.
For all the different ways a writer might approach embarking upon a play, and for all the research and planning they might undertake in order to map out their world before they begin, there will always be writers who write from a more unconscious place, who write their plays in order to find out what happens in their plays. Harold Pinter saw a character walk down the stairs and ask another where he’d put the scissors, and then he kept on writing, with no idea who these people were, what their relationship was or what was going to happen next. The result was The Homecoming, a play which contained characters temporarily called A, B and C (until their names and personalities revealed themselves to him). One way to begin writing a play is simply to begin writing a play, and to see where that leads you.
- What’s stopping you starting?
- Can you create a circumstance for yourself whereby you’re able to throw yourself at a blank page and risk filling it with words?
- What if the task was to write a play, knowing that later down the line that task could shift to ‘write a good play’?