Phew, the show is done and dusted! Firstly, thank you to those kind people who came to watch it and I hope you enjoyed it! Before I note what watching the show taught me, I would like to take a minute to recognise the hard work of those involved.
Elena Carys Thomas, thank you for being the best Kristy I could have imagined!
Scott Patrick, thank you for an unbelievably natural and hilarious performance as Gez.
Beth Quaife, thank you for turning Tasha into a sneaky plotter (and adding that streak of malice!). Oh, and for your poker face which was most impressive!
Ashley Cummings, thank you for your dedication and comic genius.
Michael Edwards, thank you for all the hours of recording you put in, and for not falling apart on the last night and fixing those pesky tech issues!
Josh Jones, thank you for providing light in your oh-so-godly fashion. And for the hugs, needed those!
Natalie King, thank you thank you thank you for stepping in so late and handling everything. Your involvement was a huge relief.
Ian Staples, thank you for being a part of the process when I was originally writing it, and for all the help you provided as I was going along. Your input, enthusiasm and encouragement made me feel like maybe I did have a good idea there!
Last but by no means least, thank you Rob Dean, director extraordinaire. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see my first show in action and thanks for all the hours and hard work you put in. I may have provided the bare bones for this show but it wouldn’t have been half as funny without your input and changes. Thank you for ruthlessly editing the script (and for that hilarious, nervous look you gave me every time you announced you were cutting something), you made it something much more than it was.
We had a blast working on this show, and I’m sure we’ll continue to do so because I feel a tour is imminent…
Moving on from all my waffling gratitude, here’s what I learned through watching the audience:
1) No one can possibly predict what they’ll find funny – over the two show nights we had a lot more laughs than we expected, but each audience laughed at different elements. No single joke, line or visual gag was a guaranteed laugh (well, okay.. except for Gwyn ‘wetting’ himself….that turned out to be a hoot!). This reinforces what Ian Staples told me from the beginning – if you write comedy, write about what you find funny. You can’t write based on the response you hope to get from an audience as you can’t possibly know how anything will be perceived.
2) The ‘serious’ scenes were just a little too long. In future, I think some cuts would be useful just to tighten up the dialogue and allow the scenes to flow more fluidly. I think that during these moments, because of the change in tone, the audience disengaged a little but I’m pretty confident that this can be avoided in future shows.
3) It’s okay to let other people in on the writing. In fact, in my case for this show it made the script a hell of a lot better. I was really nervous in the beginning about letting anyone change/cut/add/alter anything at all. I was really afraid of losing control of my work. As it turns out, everyone else’s input provided huge improvements. There were moments of hilarity provided by Rob and the cast themselves that I wish I had thought of myself so I could take credit for them!
In future work, I know I’m going to feel very differently about how I view the creative process. I feel that my job as a writer is now to provide the skeleton rather than attempting to flesh out the whole thing completely alone.
Overall, this process has been amazing and so worthwhile. I was very fortunate to have such talented, hard working people to collaborate with. I still haven’t relaxed yet, for some reason those show nerves are still hanging around today, but they feel more like butterflies than bats in my tummy now. As far as writing goes, actually putting the words into action has been the best learning curve I could have experienced.
For anyone who didn’t get to see it this time around.. I’ll keep you updated about the tour!