Page to Stage with Debby Broughton-Hay – 1st Oct 2014

Debby has ambitious plans for us; she wants us to put on a show as part of the Burns and A’ That festival next May. To that end she talked us through ideas for writing sketches and the dos and don’ts of them, like not having a cast of thousands or complex scene and costume changes, and gave us time to jot down our own ideas to take away and work on.

She also recalled some classic sketches for us (she was going to show them but the plug on the TV was bust) and we happily chortled at the memory of the fork handles/four candles, dead parrot and Gerald the Gorilla sketches. Our younger members are in for a pleasant surprise discovering such gems, as Debby supplied the Youtube links for us to view at home.

Other suggestions for the show include monologues, both poignant and funny, or pieces from a short story or novel that we’ve written, and poetry. It’s up to us to find our own cast and to rehearse in our own time ready for May.

Debby had tips for writing sketches like having some sort of movement, of having a punch line, of exaggerating emotional gestures so that the audience at the back can comprehend the more subtle aspects of our work, and of timing. Dramatic pauses are very effective as long as they’re not too long as she demonstrated, and of course, remembering to wait for the laughter to die down before giving the next line (if only…!)

Not everyone’s a budding Cameron Diaz or Daniel Craig willing to get up on a stage but there will be plenty of opportunities for people to help out in other ways behind the scenes.

As we couldn’t view the videos as planned, it meant there was time to hear Wilma’s two-hander, A Scottish Soldier’, convincingly read by Dorothy and Nigel. It was a touching story of an old soldier reaching the end of his life with some unfinished business bothering him. Not a dry eye in the house!

Debby’s achieved her aim of galvanising us into action and suggestions of pieces for possible inclusions are already circulating the google group. Watch this space, or rather, join us next May at the Burns and A’ That festival.

Ann Burnett

One comment

  1. Rhona Anderson

    Ayr Writers’ Club has so many talented writers, playwrights and performers. Our show will be THE unmissable Ayrshire event in May 2015.
    Ke-e-e-p Writing!

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