“I proper thought I was gonna be a hybrid, edgy, sexy kind of brum town Basquiat with a garnish of Banksy and national treasure potential of David Hockney”
Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz follows Nathaniel; a young man approaching what appears to be his quarter life crisis. Join Nathaniel on his journey of self-discovery as he explores Black masculinity through Beyonce lyrics, techno raves and the deeply intimate relationship a man has with his barber.
Nathan Queeley-Dennis is an actor born and raised in Erdington, Birmingham. His acting credits include Black Love (Kiln Theatre) written by Chinonyerem Odimba, Really Big and Really Loud (Paines Plough) written by Phoebe Eclair-Powell and A TASTE OF HONEY (National Theatre). Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz is NQD’s first play.
Introducing playwright Nathan Queeley-Dennis
What inspired you to write this play?
It’s a funny one really, there’s so many different aspects that brought me to write this play; from trying to push myself creatively, the feeling of disappointment within myself, and my own frustrations with our industry. But, thinking about, it at the heart of it all it was really about sharing a voice and showing a story to the country and world that I think is very rarely shown, but is so prominent in making me and the people I grew up with who we are.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey as a playwright?
My journey has literally just begun! Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz is my first play that I’ve written and the first play I’ve shared out of the confines of my close friends. However, it’s a journey I’m super excited to start, I’ve had a lot of ideas over the years and a lack of confidence has stopped me from following through but being shortlisted for the Bruntwood has kind of told me that it’s time to get some stuff off my chest haha.
What or who inspires you as a writer and why do you want to write for the stage?
I’m inspired by so many different things; it depends what way the wind is blowing to be honest. I’m inspired my peers, colleagues and friends, I love to see talented people be talented and surround myself with that, kind of like an iron sharpens iron situation. As an actor, I’ve been very lucky to work closely with some amazing writers such as Chinonyerem Odimba and 2019 Bruntwood Prize Winner Phoebe Eclair-Powell, and just observing the way they carry themselves, share and discuss their work and treat others is an honour. I’m also inspired by people that just make me feel and the smallest details of the world around me and social situations you regularly find yourself in.
What do you think about the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and, more specifically, the anonymity at the heart of the Prize?
I think what the Bruntwood Prize does in its thorough reading process and anonymity is really special, it offers an actual genuine opportunity to any writer at any point in their career as there are no other intangible factors that can sway decisions, all that is out there is the work that is created and that’s the most important thing.
How do you feel about being shortlisted?
To quote Oleksandr Usyk: I’m feel, I’m very feel. Genuinely though I’m just incredibly honoured, lowkey/highkey it just feels like a fever dream. I look at the writers that have been shortlisted over the last nearly 20 years of the prize and it’s a blessing to be in the same company as so many of these amazing writers. I’m very grateful for the moment and the opportunity and like I mentioned earlier this is just the beginning so I can’t wait to share more stories and see what the future holds.