Time, Like The Sea
Georgia Bruce

“Why do we need an ending? Why are you letting it end?”

Perched on a cliff edge on the coast of England, Linda’s home was once a thriving hub for women rebelling against the norm and establishing the tenets of radical lesbian separatism. But when her estranged grandchild Ky turns up at her door with their girlfriend Scarlet, Linda finds herself behind the times and confronted with a queerness that she fails to understand. Each, in their own way, is forced to confront the question: does progress have an endpoint? 

Georgia Bruce is a writer and actor from London. As an actor, their theatre credits include Wuthering Heights (Wise Children), Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical (ROYO) and Malory Towers (Wise Children); TV credits include It’s A Sin (Channel 4).

Time, Like the Sea is their first play, which explores lesbianism and queerness through different generations; and was shortlisted for the Papatango Prize and the Women’s Prize for Playwriting.

Introducing playwright Georgia Bruce

What inspired you to write this play?

Initially, the impulse to write the play came from wanting to see more lesbians, more trans mascs and more non-binary people on stage. I was keen to try to convey how bleedin’ gorgeous that community of people is, how knotty and nuanced and strong. In my own activism, I was noticing that the priorities of different queer generations were at points diverging from each other and wanted to figure out why. There seemed to be a gulf emerging between the politics of my own community and those of some members of an older generation of lesbians, my queer elders. I found that to be both a shame and dramatically interesting.

The narrative and emotional drive, though, came from thinking about getting older and about how it might feel for a person to have a someone like me refer to them as a ‘queer elder’. It was an opportunity to write about the experience of ageing in a world that changes at breakneck pace, and to ask whether it’s possible to remain open, vulnerable and willing to learn right up until the end.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey as a playwright?

I started out as a comedian, writing and performing shows about my infatuation with Dolly Parton, and moved into acting from there. I’ve spent the past few years acting in TV and theatre and learning how plays work by doing them. Luckily, when the pandemic hit, theatre died! I had plenty of time on my hands, so I started to read and read and read until I’d read so many plays that I felt obligated to give it a go.

What or who inspires you as a writer and why do you want to write for the stage?

I’m inspired constantly by my friends and by my community, who all know a thousand times more about the world and about theatre than I ever will, and who are kind enough to let me hang out with them. I write for them, mainly.

What do you think about the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and, more specifically, the anonymity at the heart of the Prize?

It’s truly lush. Impossible to express how affirming it feels to have had so many pairs of eyes on my first script, and for it to have been given the thumbs up based only on the words.

How do you feel about being shortlisted?

Completely ‘effing amazing !!!!