Manchester

Final curtain call for Bleeding with Mother

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Proper writer now?

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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.
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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?image

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
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“Bleeding with Mother” A Black Comedy

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Cast September date

Tickets available here. Book soon to avoid disappointment.

Performance dates:

Saturday 10 September 2016 – The King’s Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford at 7:30pm

By ‘eck we’ll miss ‘er

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It wasn’t the cough that carried her off, it was the coffin that carried her off ‘in.

BLEEDING WITH MOTHER written by Sarah Cassidy

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My debut stageplay Bleeding with Mother will be laid to rest in May 2016.

Staged in my hometown of Manchester, Bleeding with Mother is an opus kitchen sink drama meets farce as in true Catholic tradition, Sally-Ann Nolan’s coffin is laid out in her home the night before her funeral. There follows a séance, IVF troubles, a hidden fortune, interfering neighbours and some missing Russian dolls.

This black comedy stars Louise Wilson (Doe and Hollyoaks) Pete Gibson (East of Heysham, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and Prey) and Dave Jordan (Various fringe productions and The Actor’s Lab showcase, The Lowry). Audiences will also be introduced to Sheffield Crucible actor, Jennifer Derbyshire.

Tickets are on sale from 5064 Productions and priced at £6 or £5, cheaper than a pint of lager and a packet of crisps (well in town centre ale houses any road).

We’ll be playing at three locations across Manchester, but we’d really love it if folk would come to either the Joshua Brooks or Nexus Art Cafe nights as they’ll be a reet good laugh.

Tour details are:

Saturday 21st May – 2pm at Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

Sunday 22nd May – 2pm at Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

Friday 27th May – 7.30pm at Joshua Brooks, 106 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6NG

Saturday 28th May – 7.30pm at Nexus Arts Cafe, 2 Dale Street, Manchester, M1 1JW

So come and bid ‘Big Sal’ a fond farewell as we join Randall, Carol, Sicknote Sheila and Doug as they bid her a final farewell, and remember that GREAT HUMOUR HAS THE SNIFF OF DEATH ABOUT IT……

Welcome to Station Road

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This week has seen the premiere broadcast of the radio soap that I’ve been co-writing for the past fourteen months.image

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 imageonly 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

Check out our blog which is all about the show and tune in at 17:30 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on ALL FM 96.9 www.allfm.org

Celebrating Manchester

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Yesterday was the fifth year that Mancunians celebrated “Manchester Day”

The day boasts a mile long parade of various community groups, organisations and clubs through the streets of Manchester.

Attended by a record breaking 20,000, the Manchester Day parade was a successful event. A gathering of Mancunians and visitors to the great city for the one day of the year where we can toast our diverse communities and remember how we prevailed during the riots of 2011.

Parading down the streets of Manchester were Read the rest of this entry »

Joining a writing team

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Get out of your comfort zone and do something that terrifies you. That’s a healthy motto – right?

One of the aspects of my MA which challenged me the most was the collaborative group project in semester two.

An eight part radio drama where I worked with seven other writers and devised a radio serial with a forty-five minute episode written by each member of the team.

It was a challenge to say the least. Not only a divide in age and gender, but also in sense of humour. We spent most of the semester arguing about the serial storyline and at the last meeting still hadn’t nailed it down fully.

Not one to learn by my mistakes I’ve gone and done it again and joined a writing team for a soap opera at a community radio station.Collaborative working

Firstly it’ll be great to get my writing on the radio again, secondly it will be good for the CV if I can show that I’ve worked as part of a writing team in a professional context,  and thirdly if I don’t have someone giving me strict deadlines I fear that my writing will only occur when meeting competition deadlines.

This project is at the very beginning of becoming a radio soap opera, and with a team of twelve writers we won’t all get commissioned to write an episode. Which mirrors real life on a television soap opera too.

Last night was the first get together of this new writing team, and I thought I would blog about the journey from inception to writing that first episode.

The writing team is a diverse group of local people from Manchester who are a mix of volunteers at the radio station, writers and others who just want to get involved in this thrilling project.

We began the session by reading aloud a couple of short radio scripts. When asked for volunteers there was an uncomfortable silence so I put my hand up. Reading scripts out loud doesn’t phase me anymore as I’ve had two and a half years of doing this week in week out.

We were then given a large selection of photographs of people which had been cut out from newspapers and magazines. A range of ages, gender and ethnicity were covered and each of us chose one picture. Mine was a woman in her mid-twenties in a yoga pose. I thought I could have a lot of fun in creating her character as she looked quite chilled and peaceful.

My aim is to make my character the least stereotype for that particular image which is what I did when writing her character biography.

Other groups worked together on each of the characters, but the group that I was put in we worked solo and then shared our ideas. I found this approach better as the least conflict at the early stages the better.

Briefly we then came up with a long list of places that would be featured in our make shift soap opera world. Pub, café, library, bridge, park and pound shop were just a few of the suggested places that would feature in our community.

We also need to name our community in the upcoming weeks.

It’s certainly exciting to be part of something new creatively, and of course getting to know new people in this context is something that I find beneficial. Who knows, today community radio – tomorrow the writing team on House of Cards!