Send… (email swoosh).
My debut play BLUE has just been released from my closely guarded hands…
Within a few hours it will land in the inbox of director, producer, designers, dramaturge, publisher, and actors. To be prodded, teased, brought (hopefully) gloriously to life.
BLUE (not related to the Noughties boyband) will be the second production, and first piece of new writing, for Chippy Lane Productions – a company all about championing Welsh work in and beyond Wales. Chippy Lane is artistically led by Rebecca Jade Hammond, who first approached me two years ago with the idea of writing this play for the company. To be given the responsibility of writing Chippy Lane’s first original work, their first foray into new writing, was a hugely daunting proposition, but one I couldn’t turn down (even if at first I thought it was mad). It is a testament to Rebecca’s fearlessness to attribute a task like this to one so young (even if I do say so myself), and fearlessness in the arts must be commended.
BLUE is a deeply personal play inspired by a joint love between myself and Rebecca for classic American drama. This play, however, isn’t set in a ‘stiflingly hot Southern American State’, but in the here and now in Wales – the Carmarthenshire Coast to be exact – and focuses on the financial and emotional impact of having to care for someone with dementia.
Having lived closely with someone affected by the disease, I felt that the stories of the people left to care for those affected weren’t being told – across any medium. This, therefore, became the play’s motor, its beating heart so to speak, as I sought to write a play that would not only hold a mirror up to this issue, but one that would spark a much-needed conversation.
The play spans one evening and follows a family in crisis. This family – the Williams’ – feel trapped, isolated, and excluded from the world around them as they struggle to process the reality of their recent loss. Huw (Gwydion Rhys) has journeyed into a fictional online world, his sister Elin (Sophie Melville) has found solace in alcohol, whilst their mother Lisa (Nia Roberts) battles hard to keep her family, their history and herself from falling apart. However, when an old acquaintance (Jordan Bernarde) unexpectedly arrives back into their lives all this is thrown into jeopardy.
The Williams’, like families all across Wales, are led by a strong, fierce, brilliant woman. Lisa Williams is a character rooted in all the wonderful Welsh women that I have met in my life, a character that I think Welsh audiences will instantly recognise, and hopefully love.
Although the play deals with a serious subject matter, I feel it important to note that it’s definitely not void of a few laughs. Even in the darkest, saddest of times, human beings often have the capability to tell the odd joke and make the odd quip and the Williams’ are no exception.
Steering this ship, and keeping me and this incredible cast in check, is director Chelsey Gillard. Her passion, vision and sensitivity for the play is twofold and she and Rebecca have brought together an incredible team of collaborators from all disciplines to take BLUE from page to stage.
Nothing fills me with more joy than to have my debut play brought to life by these two incredible women. Women who, I believe, are blazing a trail for the arts, not only across Wales, but across the whole of the U.K.
Tuesday 5th – Saturday 16th February 2019 Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm
7th, 9th, 14th, 16th February, 2.30pm
BLS performance, 12th February, 7.30pm
Q&A talkback performance, 13th February, 7.30pm