Writing Robin Hood

At the start of this week, I ambled into GSC HQ absolutely convinced it was a Monday. So convinced, in fact, that I sent a couple of messages to a couple of alarmed actors, wishing them a good start to their school workshops. Why was I heading in to work, while 90% of Guildford was still asleep? Because we were doing some R&D on our new play, Robin Hood.

R&D is short for Research and Development, a chance for the team to read the script and discuss how to improve it. This is my fourth main-season play for GSC, so I’m quite used to the process by now. My role, as I see it, is to sit and listen, biting my tongue as the other six people at the table tell you what’s wrong with your writing…

Take that description of the conversation with a healthy pinch of salt. The reality is that it’s an excellent chance to get some feedback on what could otherwise be a very lonely process. The collaborative nature of writing a play is probably my favourite aspect. It’s absolutely essential too. Not only are two heads better than one (three are better than two and so on and so on), but there are quite a few factors that must be considered when writing. The casting is one (especially when your cast are also required for Love’s Labour’s Lost, the second play in the Season). The site we’re performing in is another. Then there are minor practical considerations, like how you loose an arrow and split another, without fail, every night for three weeks…

That last problem, I might just leave to the others. You can see how they fix it, when Robin Hood heads to Rack’s Close this Summer.

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