The first play I wrote was called The Trial of The Living Dead, and it was staged in Cardiff in 1991. I’d gone to a drama workshop because I had nothing else to do that day. When the facilitator asked if any of us could write, someone volunteered me, and I was immediately put on the spot to come up with something for the following week. I hadn’t planned on being there the following week, but in the panic of the challenge, I agreed to write a play in a week.
When I got home that night and realized I’d never written anything longer than an essay, I started to panic again, but faced with the choice of crawling under the bed and never going outside again, (I did say I was panicked) or giving it a go, I sat down and started to write.
With no clue as to how you get people on and off stage, I decided a courtroom was the best setting. Knowing nothing about court procedures, I made it a gameshow/courtcase. Then I just had to find something to write about. At that time there were riots in Britain over the Poll-Tax, and the government were coming down hard on everybody.
So there I was writing a play about a gameshow/courtcase where someone is being prosecuted for not paying his Poll-Tax. But I didn’t know why, and the first thing that occurred to me was that he’d been dead for six years. The idea of a reanimated corpse put on trial for not paying a tax that didn’t exist when he was alive felt like it was too good an idea not to use. The script was only 12 pages long, but I’d written my first play!
My new play is longer and it doesn’t have any reanimated corpses. It’s called Examine Your Zip and it’s based on my experiences in the world of Direct Marketing. It’s directed by Paul Winters, the man behind last years A Peculiar Arrangement, and we’re at the International Bar from the 3 – 7 April @ 7:30.
And I would love to see it turned into an Opera.