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DAVE ANDERSON – Oran Mor … and more – 3rd Sept, 2014

Dave Anderson 03 09 14 2It’s not often one gets the opportunity to see in the flesh, a face – so familiar from television and film – in the midst of Ayr Writers’ Club. And so it was, with many of us pinching ourselves, that we settled down to be transported and inspired by the imagination and creative genius of Dave Anderson.

During the first part of the evening we were treated to excerpts from two of Dave’s plays. The first, “A Walk in the Park”- a two hander- ably demonstrated how with minimal cast and simple setting, action can convey themes of weight, with humour and wit, the use of a CHORUS figure cleverly representing a wide range of creatures of magical realism. The second piece, part of a play cycle with continuing themes, was this time in the form of a musical whose rhymed lyrics wove their magic.

Following the break for refreshments and chats with members old and new, we got the opportunity to pick Dave’s brains.

For him the essence of theatre is not the naturalism introduced at the beginning of the 20th century exemplified by an Arian youth entering through French doors, declaiming “Anyone for tennis?” but about using the medium to convey powerfully passionate messages and addressing audiences more directly.

During the Q & A Dave also shared the story of his creative journey, from his early days writing song lyrics as a teenager; the impact of 7:84; the luck of gaining work from meeting Bill Forsyth in a Glasgow pub and on to the success of Oran Mor, now celebrating its tenth anniversary.

We learned the perfect length for a one act play : 45 -55 minutes; the importance of minimal stage directions, allowing directors do their job; the need for trust and honesty when writing collaboratively and how the experience of being an actor adds greatly to the art of writing successful drama.

What a treat and such a wonderful way to kick off our new session.

Carolyn O’Hara

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