So carrying on in my attempt to properly answer those questions.
What do you feel is the role of the audience?
The audience is everything. The fact that an audience are there, experiencing the writing live, in the space with the play should never be forgotten. I get very angry about plays that ignore that element and I also get annoyed with plays or performances that push the line too far. As an audience I want to be comfortably unsettled. I think theatre will always have the ability to effect people. The audience are part of the play, they are the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle.
Do you have recurring themes or a specific style?
I always used to find this question very difficult largely because I would think, what should I say, what should my themes be, what should my style be? It’s all part of recognising and knowing your voice as a writer, if you know your voice then you know what themes will recur and also what style you voice requires. Your voice will be distinctive and in being distinctive it will have a style. The themes that haunt you, should haunt your writing and if they don’t then it’s quite likely that your writing is lifeless and lacking passion.
So what are my recurring themes? I am constantly drawn to “unusual” lifestyles and “traditional” lifestyles and I “” those words because it’s all in the eye of the beholder or the pen of the Daily Mail journalist really. But what interests me is the clash of extremes and what is supposedly normal!
I also find myself with a recurring theme of isolation, that feeling of not fitting in, of trying, of failing, of finding a way to “fit in”.
Also women, women just has to be a recurring theme for me. I love to write about women, and the things that effect women on a daily, trivial level. Women that don't conform, women that break taboos, women that don't do what they're supposed to do.
I spent a long time feeling there was something lacking in my writing because I wasn’t interested in the BIG themes but then realising that it’s simply part of my voice, themes and style that I am interested in the minutia and that I don’t need to apologise for it.
And what is my style? Heightened realism is definitely the style which is at the forefront of most of my work but also I like the clash of expressionism and the poetic into the realism. I find myself drawn to finding the fragments of poetic word and moment which conflict with the stark reality in which they are housed. I want to find magic, supernatural and the extraordinary on a bed of realism, nature and the mundane.
Do you have areas that you’re strong in?
Dialogue and characterisation is the writing element that comes most naturally and if the characterisation isn’t working and the dialogue isn’t flowing then the character is in the wrong story or I’ve been lazy or tried to cut corners and just not worked enough on it.
What do you think you can do better?
I think as a writer we should always be striving to do everything better. I think it is our job to be seeking ways to improve every aspect of our writing and also to always strive to find the way to tell the particular story as well as we can possibly tell it. So honestly I think I can do everything better.
What do you hope to gain from the course?
A commission from the Sherman Cymru would be nice. But certainly I want to get to get through to the final stage and have the experience of working a play through with a cast and director. I want to gain new ideas and approaches to writing theatre. I want to make myself a better writer.