Playwrights prepare for debut at Arts Festival

By Suzie Russell, Darlington College Festival Reporting Team

Authors and playwrights Angela Pickering, Lesley Blundell and Sandra Spears, who together make up the newly-formed ‘No Name Theatre Company,’ will make their debut at Darlington Arts Festival on May 31. They spoke to NCTJ Journalism student Suzie Russell about their maiden collaborative work, called Communication Breakdown.

Expect a large dose of laughter tempered with a plethora of other emotions as their characters who are at different stages of their lives ‘communicate’ with each other.
I asked the playwrights where the idea for Communication Breakdown had come from.
Lesley said: “It came out of one of our writing classes when the task was about putting insertions into our writing other than prose. One of the classes was devoted to texting.”
As part of the writing session, they were asked to write something in ‘text speak.’ Text Speak, for the uninitiated reduces words and phrases into letters, capitals, and numbers. A foreign language that the younger generation speak fluently.
Lesley said: “We were reading out our bits. Well, we got the giggles something rotten and we laughed so much we said, wouldn’t it be good to just try and do a piece? We should make it about communication and about how people communicate!) “
And so the seeds for the plays were sown.
The first of the three plays is ‘Text Lessons.’ It explores the trials and tribulations faced by two teenage girls growing up in today’s society.
Sandra said: “ They swear a lot and do things they shouldn’t. They have invented a text language of their own and it’s translated for the audience by an interpreter. An example of this unique text speak is. YOM? Y? HOWD HENO WUWE?   ‘’Your old man? Why? How did he know where you where ?’’
‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie,’ is about three 60-year-old men. Mick, who is happily married or thought he was. Larry who is a bit dull and just plods along. Lightbulb, who thinks he is God’s gift.’
Sandra added: “They are trying to re-live what they never had. They say they are going to do it, but blokes they never do really.”
Sandra gave a little hint that all is not what it seems with Mick, Larry, and Lightbulb. So expect some twists before the play ends.
Finally, in ‘Waiting Game,’ three old ladies are living in a care home. They have ended up here for different reasons.
Angela said: “The character of Rosa has had a difficult life. Abused as a child she ran away and fell into a life of prostitution. She has had a child taken away from her and has ended up in the home because she is losing her memory.”
Catch Communication Breakdown at The Elm Tree Room in the Friends Meeting House in Darlington on May 31, 2017 at 7pm.
Tickets £3.00 on the door or to book in advance email – or mobile 07941213155/07880 801261
This event is unsuitable for under -16s.

Darlington College is a supporter of Darlington Arts Festival
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