ATOF wins ‘Best new play’!

I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful theatre touring company available to me which opens up the opportunity to test drive my new plays. They tend to push the script hard throughout the rehearsal stage, then test run it as a mini tour before embarking on a competitive festival or fringe, where the play is adjudicated at a professional level extensively. During that entire process, the script is challenged at every turn. Initially by me, then a workshop, then a director / cast / crew, then an audience and finally it’s analysised professionally on the hugely competitive festival circuit. By the time a play completes that whole process I know exactly what is needed to improve the play. I tend to do a mini re-draft from there before releasing it for publication to the outside world. This is the standard process I follow.

The Fringe Files, the touring company mentioned earlier, presented my latest play this week at the Spelthorne and Runnymede Drama Festival. A Tail of Forklure had been very well received during it’s mini tour run. As is tradition with drama festivals there was an awards evening at the end of the final show. We knew we had a play that would split opinion, my plays tend to do that, but fortunately the adjudicator picked up on the deeper vibes of the play. Actress Chantal Bargery received a nomination for her performance as Sorceress L’Theena, Quintin Mitchell was nominated for his incredible performance as Gus / The Plot Master, the script received a nomination for best comedy and then another nomination for best new play. I was chuffed to pieces. We were absolutely over the moon when it was announced that we’d won two of these awards. The first for actor Quintin Mitchell and then the key one for me, “Best new play”.

I have a golden rule with plays, I write what I like and not what I think others will like. So when a comedy play that was, shall we say, slightly quirky, receives two script specific nominations it’s really lovely. Like I say, my plays tend to split opinion. I’m accepting of that fact, which makes the nominations even more sweeter for me. A huge thank you to The Fringe Files team as always.

Edinburgh Fringe production meeting

Michael Starr (me) and Arianne Wolodarsky heading out to the Edinburgh Fringe production meeting hosted in London. We may have accidentally stopped off at Hamley’s of London toy shop for a spot of prop hunting. On the way up on the train, I wrote up The Curse of Miss Fortune production notes.