FEATURE: Scott Young on If I Should Wake | 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, Scott Young talks about his work If I Should Wake. Words: Scott Young.

I never really went to a theatre as a kid. I never did drama and never really had any ambition to write. I used to love staying up late and watching films on Channel 4 and BBC 2 about things I probably shouldn’t have know about as a young teenager. When I then enrolled at university to study Film I quickly realised that I’d selected a Joint Honours degree and was supposed to have considered a second subject to partner my major. I quickly scoured the list of options and with a very heavy hangover wisely decided that ‘writing’ sounded like a suitable companion to watching movies for three years…

Since then I’ve been involved with a number of different short films in a variety of roles, from writing all the way up to producing projects for now defunct, UK Film Council. I’d spent a year on a sabbatical of sorts, directing in regional theatres and was quickly falling in love with the rehearsal process, spending time with actors dissecting texts and exploring characters more than any films I’d ever made.

I was first invited to join the Writers’ ARCADE about two and a half years ago after an early attempt at writing my first play The Guest (Oddmanout in partnership with ARC Stockton). I joined the group initially to direct a few of the other writers short scratch pieces and quickly found myself part of a core group of writers here at ARC, meeting regularly and stumbling through scratch nights, readings and ramblings of our own doing.

If I Should Wake is the play I am currently working on and will share a reading of next Wednesday 3rd June. It started life as a short untitled scratch at ARC last February, about a refugee camp set in Teesside, and was then swiftly shelved for a while as I was unsure what it was, where it had come from or why I’d written it. With support from Writers ARCADE, and mentoring from award winning playwright Anders Lustgarten I decided to revisit those ten pages at the end of last year and suddenly I could see there was an idea in there which started to make sense.

“It’s a play about people and how far they might go to protect what’s important to them”

The play quickly changed direction, and now it focuses on a human story at the centre of contemporary post-election Britain in 2015. It’s a story about three characters trying to change their lives, but with limited options and a world that seems set against them. It’s a play about people and how far they might go to protect what’s important to them. What mothers will do for their children, what men will do for their pride and what those with power will do to keep it.

I’ve always maintained that theatre is unique in its power to harness drama and engage a collective audience through story, character and emotion. It creates a space for potential dialogue and conversation. You should come along to ARC to see this piece in development and then stay for a drink and a chat; we can maybe have an argument or maybe start a revolution… Most importantly engage, be part of the development of this piece of new writing.

It’s part of ARC’s pay what you decide programme which means there’s no upfront cost when you book your ticket. You don’t pay anything until after the reading, and then you pay whatever it is you think it’s worth. Most important to me, especially at this stage is that people come people see it and they share their opinions with each other afterwards – and have that drink obviously…

If I Should Wake comes to Stockton’s ARC on Wednesday 3rd June.

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