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Blog: Chekov's Parrot

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Last night I was back at my ALMA MATER City University - or rather, City University OF LONDON as it is now - for a meeting with chums about THE WRITING. A bunch of us are doing another group show (like "The Sexy Seven" and "London Calling" from last year), this time on the theme of refugees.

We've been working away at it for a couple of months now, though to be honest most of MY work has only been in the past week. The idea is that their are SIX short plays about refugees from throughout history, which i then tie together in some sort of story that links them all together. The six main characters are also all in a BOAT together onstage, telling their stories - if you care to be HIGH FALUTIN' about it it's sort of like 'The Canterbury Tales' and sort of like Caryl Churchill's 'Top Girls'. But, you know, with a BOAT in it.

I volunteered to do the in between bits because it sounded like GRATE fun - partly because of the CHALLENGE of trying to make a coherent story from six VERY different characters, but also because I thought that that meant everyone else would do all the research and I could concentrate on putting some GAGS in between them. ALAS it didn't quite work out like that, as I spend a large part of my weekend looking up correct terms for sea safety equipment and trying to work out if Idi Amin had ever been to Nigeria (I may be the only person EVER to be disappointed to find that he probably didn't).

It all seemed to work out in the end, and last night we had an EXCELLENT evening reading out the different plays and links and then TALKING about it. The lovely thing about these get togethers is that we've known each other for quite a while now and feel safe to CRITIQUE and BE critiqued about what we've written, which means that we end up getting to the GOOD STUFF by the end. On the down side it does mean that sometimes people get a bit over-excited and say things like "But this is Chekov's fcuking Parrot!" in public (hem hem) but I guess you have to take the rough with the smooth.

The PLAN is to put the finished play on for a couple of nights in November, on the 11th and 12th, in fact, at Oxford House in Bethnal Green. Before we do THAT though we still have to agree on a TITLE - the working title has been "Six Refugees and a Parrot" but some people (hem hem again) have been arguing to change it. Once that is resolved and we have got TICKETS available do not FEAR - I shall DEFINITELY be letting you know!

posted 15/9/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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