FEATURE: Chris Robinson on One Cold Clear Night | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The Writers’ ARCADE is a group of emerging playwrights who meet regularly to discuss their work, share experiences and develop their skills. They have recently been awarded a grant from Arts Council England to support a ten month professional development programme.  As part of this, each writer will create a brand new one hour script that will be given a rehearsed reading at ARC. 

Writers ARCADE Rehearsed Readings will take place every Wednesday from 6 May – 24 June 2015. In this new series, we’ve asked the members of the Writers’ ARCADE to tell us more about their experiences of being involved in the group, the works they’re presenting and their hopes for the future. This time, Chris Robinson talks about her work One Cold Clear Night. Words: Chris Robinson.

Growing up in the collieries during the 80s-90s, I didn’t have many opportunities to visit the theatre. My first experience was a school trip to see Billy Liar at The People’s Theatre in Newcastle. My second was Starlight Express during a school exchange trip to Germany. I didn’t have a clue what was going on but was fascinated with the costumes and SFX.

When I left school I was offered the chance to work as an apprentice at Live Theatre, Newcastle. I was there for a year and learned a great deal about the industry but it wasn’t until 15 years later, when doing my Creative Writing Masters, that I started writing for the stage. I contacted Annabel after graduation to see if a group of us, who had been on the Writing into Dramatic Space module together, could have our work showcased at Arc. This was to be the start of many New Writing Scratch Nights there. I’ve since had a number of short pieces scratched at Arc but this will be my first full length reading.

I feel as excited and nervous as I did on the lead up to that very first scratch night three years ago

I am delighted to have been able to be part of the Writers’ ARCADE Development Scheme. I can’t say that everything has gone as smoothly as I would have hoped but the staff at Arc have supported me throughout the journey, along with Fin Kennedy, my mentor, Ken Emson, and the rest of the Writers’ ARCADE group members.

Deadlines have been my downfall and length is usually a shortfall (I use the excuse that I build up rather than chip away at words). However, here I am, just one week away from my rehearsed reading and I feel as excited and nervous as I did on the lead up to that very first scratch night three years ago. The play I’ve been working on, One Cold Clear Night, is about Vince, a young man returning home from war and his struggle to reintegrate into society.

Tickets are still available so please do come along and see what yourselves what we’ve been up to. There will be an opportunity to feedback afterwards in order to help with further script development.

One Cold Clear Night comes to Stockton’s Arc on Wednesday 27th May.

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