I have exciting news.
We open on the 4th July at 7pm at Theatre 53Two. The hottest new theatre space in the city of Manchester, and the perfect location to resurrect ‘Mother’
Following on from the success of the previous production last year, I am delighted to have obtained the original cast.
Excitingly, director Emma Bird is a welcome recruit to the Bleeding team fresh from directing our very own Randall (Pete Gibson) in his monologue performed in North West Wonders.
Rehearsals began this weekend so please come back to my website as I’ll ensure that I keep you up to date. This year I have the added pressure of producer so if it all goes wrong……well that’ll be the plot for the next play that I write.
It would be wonderful to see as many people as possible for our Bleeding fantastic show.
Performances are on Tuesday 4th July, Wednesday 5th July and Thursday 6th July at 7pm. To buy them click here.
There will also be limited copies of the playtext available to purchase on the night.
I’ve always loved to write, I’ve always enjoyed reading and I’ve always loved books.
Clayton Green library was like a second home to me when I was a teenager. The library staff knew me by name as I would be there every single day in the long summer holidays.
I could be found sitting in the corner reading books as my library card only allowed me to take four library books away. I could read four library books in a couple of hours back then. I am talking Sweet Valley High’s Wakefield sisters rather than the Bronte Sisters, so the books were thin rather than War and Peace volume.
I enjoyed being in a fictional world with characters that I would never come across on a Saturday afternoon in Preston.
I also loved to write my own stories using those fictional characters that I read about.
Secretly, I longed to see my name on the front of a book cover like all of those famous authors whose work I enjoyed. I would wonder whether Francine Pascal or Jackie Collins would get excited about seeing their words in print for the public to see. I bet they did.
So I’m delighted to say that tomorrow afternoon I will be spending an hour taking part in a book launch for Write for the Stage Publications (WFTS) and my first play Bleeding with Mother is on sale.
I still can’t quite believe it. A play written by me, in print, with my name on the front cover. If I never do anything again, at least on my bookshelf which is stacked with printed copies of stageplays and screenwriting bibles; Willie Russell, Lena Dunham, Blake Snyder and Robert McKee is now a Sarah Cassidy. Does that mean I can say that I’m a proper writer now?
The Write for the Stage Publications launch event is part of Greater Manchester Fringe Festival and is taking place at 4pm at The Kings Arms, Bloom Street, Salford, M3 6AN
There is good reason for the blog silence over the past few months. A real creative surge!
This play has seen a very long, yet incredible journey from concept to the rehearsal room in just under three years. I am currently scribing a separate blog about the birth of this play. It holds very dear in my heart as I feel that ‘Bleeding with Mother‘ has grown in character as much as I’ve grown as a writer over the past three years.
The community radio soap which I co-write Station Road is also back on the airwaves this week after a long break. It is wonderful to hear it again, and reminds me of how much I have developed throughout that incredible experience of being part of a writing team for the past two years. You can listen live on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5.30pm on ALL FM 96.9
And finally I’ve been undertaking an intensive block of script development sessions with Scriptwriting North which resulted in a first draft of a brand new radio drama which was table-red by professional actors last week.
To say 2016 has been a productive year is an understatement. It’s been fuelled by coffee, a new laptop and a great deal of support.
Station Road is a continuing radio drama about life in a fictitious and gritty Manchester street. Not only do the characters work and live on Station Road but there is also a public house, café, urban farm and a corner shop.
Hearing the scripts come alive for the first time on Saturday was quite simply marvellous. A couple of the writers, myself included were interviewed live in the studio at ALL FM prior to the episode being aired.
The episode was played mid-interview, and it was pretty special not only hearing our scripts come to life but we also have a theme tune. An actual catchy theme tune that we’ve since been humming in our script meetings.
A surreal moment yesterday as I left work to drive to the weekly Station Road writers meeting, the pilot was played out again during ALL FM’s Drivetime show and as I sat in traffic, I felt such pride listening to the scene that I wrote
It’s been a while since I wrote about how I am finding being part of the writers group for the radio soap.
Twelve months on and we are a core of six writers, meeting weekly and we have currently written 168 scenes on our brand new community radio soap opera.
It has been an organic process to get to where we are. Twelve months ago there were fifteen writers at the very first session and to be honest it would have been chaos if it had continued to be that number, and I’m not sure that I would have been in it for the long haul either.
As the initial weeks passed by a writer would stop coming to the meetings until we found it to be the same six writers that would turn up each week.
This was a good number of people to have involved in the process. It meant that we were able to really get to grips with the characters that we created, the world that the soap is set in and without a large number of people to get their point across meant that storylining is more of less a discussion rather than a battle.
Within the team there are various expert areas. A stand-up comedian, a short story professional, an actor, a novice and a radio writer/presenter. With our diverse backgrounds I think we get the best from our characters and we all more or less write our scenes with the same tone, and voice.
Our weekly meetings consist of reading through the previous weeks scenes. This is my favourite part as it’s enjoyable hearing the characters come to life and from something that we’d discussed briefly during story lining to actually having full scenes which feed into the overall soap feels like an accomplishment.
The writer of the scene to be read aloud has to talk briefly about the scene, where the conflict is and what is the change from the beginning to the end of the scene. Some scenes are harder than others to do this.
After the read throughs, we then look into the stories for the next week. Where our characters are up to in terms of their story lines and which characters are needed to assist in developing the story further.
We’ve been a writing group for a year now and it has passed really quickly. The actors were cast before Christmas and recordings are made each week. It’ll be really good to finally hear it on air though, something that I am looking forward to.
A number of things that I have learned from my experience of being part of a collaborative group of writers.
• Discussions amongst more than one person can generate a raft of ideas.
• If a character hasn’t got a solid back-story and biog then writers can really struggle when it comes to putting that character under conflict. It’s important that this is nailed down at the very start of introducing this character otherwise it never seems believable.
• Drop-box is a valuable tool for sharing ideas and scripts.
• Being part of a writing team keeps you motivated. We meet on a Monday night and on several occasions when I’ve had a really tough day at work, what I’ve really wanted to do is go home to rest. Knowing that there are five people relying on you means that you have to attend. I’ve never been to a meeting and not come away feeling motivated again.
• Being taught to listen to others and let go of your own great ideas if the group decide that something else works better.
• Learning to compromise and not feel precious about an idea.
I’m sure there will be more to blog about as the year progresses.
Once I get the official airtime date I will ensure I update this site.
I thought it was time to write a brief update to follow on from a series of blog entries that I posted last year about collaborative writing.
I joined a Manchester community radio station exactly a year ago after seeing a call out for writers for a new soap that they were launching.
Initially approximately 15 people were at the first session. Everybody was very keen and enthusiastic to get involved in the project. After all, we’re all human ad our very nature is to want to be part of a group with a common interest.
As the weeks passed by the numbers began to dwindle until after three months it became a core team of six, including myself.
We had a list of characters with their own biogs and back story, we had a map of the road and various areas of interest such as a pub, cafe, bistro, farm and garage. Now to come up with a name.
We settled on the name ‘Station Road’ given that our radio station is next door to a train station and the fictional world that is our soap is meant to be local.
The next part was to now start writing the thing.
The team comprises of various writers from short story experts, comedy, theatre writers, novices and me.
Luckily I’d written a radio drama in a group for one of my modules on my masters degree so I was able to share the tools that we used in terms of
This month I have gone back in time by three years, as I have purchased a paper moleskin diary in an attempt to get myself more organised.
I’ve been struggling to manage my time and the amount of tasks that I do during the week – and this is not even tasks to do with the day job.
Since beginning high school at the age of twelve I have kept a paper diary. I’ve even still got old diaries hidden away in my cupboards which now and again I’ll have a look at.
Three years ago I decided to embrace technology more, ditch the paper diary and keep everything on my electronic calendar which is on my mobile and on my work Outlook.
It works a treat. Every single appointment for myself, the kids and even the husband are added to the electronic calendar.
I’ve even gone as far as colour coding the various appointments.
It was working a treat until last month I ended up being asked to take on regular online writing, putting together match programmes for my sons sports team, arranging interviews for my weekly radio show and not to mention my own writing deadlines with the radio soap.
A lot of deadlines to remember every week, and I was starting to feel overwhelmed that I couldn’t keep a track on tasks and appointments.
Being organised is one thing that I am really good at in my day job. I can organise as many activities that are thrown my way, multi-task, prioritise and delegate.
Yet in my personal life I always feel like I’m drowning.
So I decided to go back to 2010 and purchase a paper diary so that I could see if it would help me in my aim to organise my private life.
Not that I need much encouraging in purchasing new stationery items. I decided to purchase a small moleskin diary which has the week listed on one side and a lined sheet on the opposite side which I use as a to do list/reminders.
Not to mention the colour-coded stickers.
Amazingly going back to the retro paper based product has worked a treat.
There’s also something really satisfying about crossing off items on a ‘to do list’ as well.
It has also made me realise just how much writing I am actually doing each week.
I may not be making progress on my personal scripts. I am however, writing two scenes per week for my collaborative radio soap, several features for a sports programme per week, online articles and submitting sketches and one-liners for a BBC radio show.
Have you ever ditched paper for paper-less, did it work for you?