Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Fun Workshop - 23rd May 2016

At our Story Scavenger evening on 23 May, our Vice-Chair, best-selling author, Kate O'Hearn, led a fun workshop, which challenged both our brains and our writing skills. She gave a very clear scenario: a complete short story featuring at least four characters taking part in a couples' weekend at “The Royal Muskoka Hotel” on a Northern Scottish island in late October with the opening line: “The weather turned as the small ferry arrived at the island dock.” We also had to incorporate a list of objects into the action: a long, leather whip, a green goblet, a plastic pumpkin lantern, a pink Hawaiian baseball cap, two feathers, a toy monkey, a 2009 calendar, a drill, a skipping rope and a mobile phone (though phones weren't allowed on the weekend). In the last 30 minutes, some brave members read out their attempts, often to hoots of laughter, particularly at the use of the objects, which was at times ingenious and at others verging on surreal.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Drama Results - 9th April 2016

On 9 May, over half the members attended to hear the results of our second competition of the year: a dramatic piece of ten to twenty minutes in length, suitable for performance at the Hastings Festival Fringe. The organiser of the event, actress and director, Heather Alexander, was our judge, and she was extremely encouraging about our work. She gave a clear overview of all fourteen entries, followed by very practical, useful suggestions for how to make each piece work on stage before announcing the winners. First was Amanda Giles' well-controlled and tightly written monologue, 'Miriam Waits', followed by Godfrey Forder's poignant and timeless short play, 'Just War' in second place. The light-hearted 'Lifted', by Roz Balp, was third, and fourth was Vicky Armstrong's uplifting 'Above Rubies'. Heather summarised the judging by saying that although the prize was originally for the winner to have their piece performed, she felt all were worthy of inclusion in the fringe and urged us to have an HWG short play evening at one of the town's venues. Finally, two members performed Jill Fricker's Highly Commended political satire, 'Brexit, Non!' More information about this year's Hastings Festival Fringe can be found here.