“I have this feeling. I have always had this feeling. And yes, stuff makes me happy and stuff makes me sad like everybody else but this, this is something more.”
When Charlotte travels to visit her father Rhyse, a washed-up reality television host, she unintentially triggers an unorthodox family reunion spanning the two great cities of Amsterdam and Hull. Leave the Morning to the Morning is a story of heartbreak, speaking the truth and the right to live and die on your own terms.
Leave the Morning to the Morning is a story of heartbreak, speaking the truth and the right to live and die on your own terms.
Patrick Hughes is a playwright, dramaturg and script reader based in Liverpool, who seeks to support and develop new writers in the North-West of England. Patrick’s writing attempts to capture those moments in life where light and darkness meet. His major passion is supporting and developing new writers in the North-West of England. He is very overwhelmed by all of this (in an amazing way).
Introducing playwright Patrick Hughes
What inspired you to write this play?
I always start with an image, idea or story to kickstart the journey. For this script I read an article about a woman travelling to Europe to legally end her life due to her severe mental health problems. This is where I stopped reading as I didn’t want to write the play about a specific person but rather an idea / feeling / provocation. The reason this subject interests me is that I’ve experienced a series of mental health difficulties over the years and understand that the feelings one has when deeply depressed are never black and white.
With Leave the Morning to the Morning, I wanted to ask the question ‘Is there ever a situation when a person suffering with MH should be given the assistance to end their life’. The play does not attempt to answer the question but rather just presents it through the lense of Charlotte, a young girl who has made a very difficult and controversial decision.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey as a playwright?
I did the Young Everyman Playwrights scheme some years ago and I was completely blown away and inspired. We were the last year before the reopening and it felt like we were really involved in that process of renewal. I was blown away by the support given for young writers for free- and from then on it was what I wanted to do. I also owe a lot to Box of Tricks Theatre who, a few years after YEP, gave me a year of attachment – instilling the belief and encouragement I needed to keep on going as a writer. I have also been inspired by my drama teacher Mr Casey, who passed away a few years ago. He taught us about the fundamentals of story and drama in a way that will always be a part of me and the way I think dramatically. Big shout out to him.
It’s always helped to have the Bruntwood Prize as a marker to submit a draft too. I’ve entered a number of times over the years with different plays and it’s been so useful to have an external deadline to work to. Thanks Bruntwood for giving me that kick up the arse every two years.
What or who inspires you as a writer and why do you want to write for the stage?
I’m inspired by North-West writers and I always will be. I believe in North West voices and the stories we have to tell. Theatre is London centric (I’ve experienced this) BUT there’s so much work up here that’s form pushing and truly diverse. If you are a writer living up here I can’t recommend enough – meeting other writers for coffee, sharing drafts and best practice. The creatives here will help you thrive.
What do you think about the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and, more specifically, the anonymity at the heart of the Prize?
I think it’s amazing that Europe’s biggest prize is here in Manchester, in the Royal Exchange Theatre. The Exchange has always been one of the most important new playwriting theatres for me and I’ve always been proud about it creating exciting new work. A lot of my favourite plays have come through the Bruntwood Prize process, Katherine Soper’s ‘WISH LIST’ is a powerfully understated political call to arms and Alan Harris’ HOW MY LIGHT IS SPENT made me want to keep pushing the boundaries of storytelling. It’s such a testament to the talent that’s out there and the way the Prize gets a consistent high level of entrants and it’s wonderful to be a small part of that.
How do you feel about being shortlisted?
Over the moon- all the superlatives! It’s been something I’ve set my deadlines to for the last 8 years so it’s an honour to get this far- especially considering the number of people who apply and the high level of those scripts. I am bad at expressing myself when it comes to this kinda thing so all I am going to say is EEEEEKKKKKK!