mirror teeth: Not A Guardian Theatre Blog

Jul 12, 2011 by

mirror teeth: Not A Guardian Theatre Blog

The Guardian Theatre Blog asked if I’d write something for them; I did, and it turned out not to be what they wanted.  Too long, too much about me, not broad enough for readers to respond to.  So, reluctant to waste my time entirely, I’ve popped it up on my own little blogeroo for any interested parties, including anyone who might have wanted to read it on an official newspaper page.  What better place to read something that’s too personal, eh?

In the short expanse of what I laughingly refer to as my writing career, I’ve had the honour and humiliation of working alongside some extremely talented writers.  A few years ago, I was part of a short-lived group of writers called The Apathists, all of whom were, and are, much more successful than I…

  • Mike Bartlett has had numerous productions at several other theatres, including the Royal Court- his Love, love, love has just finished its Paines Plough tour of the UK.
  • Morgan Lloyd Malcolm writes for several TV comedy shows, and has just had her new play Belongings transfer from the Hampstead to Trafalgar Studios to great acclaim.
  • Duncan Macmillan, who was largely responsible for putting the group together, won two Bruntwood Prizes for Monster and was Writer-In-Residence at the Royal Exchange.
  • Simon Vinnicombe is a Pearson Playwright in Residence, and has had shows at the Finborough, BAC and The Bush among other places
  • …and Rachel Wagstaff is now working on more productions with the novelist Sebastian Faulks, after her adaptation of Birdsong had an extremely successful run at the Comedy Theatre in Piccadilly.

And now, in July, I’ll be the last of The Apathists to have a full-length play of theirs produced.

I think I’m safe in saying that this was always the way it was going to be- the other five were, at the time we banded together, starting to receive justly deserved attention from critics and their first commissions from the industry.

For most of us, the excitement of what we did at Theatre 503- writing a new short play each month for a year – was in being able to have consequence-free playtime: we could try out things that literary departments would have discouraged us from doing in the full-length work they were interested in commissioning.  Or, at least, that’s what we thought.

For me, though, the real interest was in actually having something onstage: I don’t think any of the group would disagree if I said that my stuff tended, pretty consistently, to be at the more unusual, and deeply unfashionable, end of our nights; maybe because of this, or perhaps because I was terrible, I wasn’t really getting any attention from anyone.  That meant that The Apathists nights were the only time I actually had actors performing something I’d written, and I tried my best to squander those opportunities by doing things like getting them to ring up the audience and perform down the phone while they thought they were waiting to go into the theatre.

Since then, I’ve been in a situation that many, if not all, writers will recognise: the occasional promising meeting with a director, getting into the last few rounds of a competition, being shortlisted for some prize or other, even the odd short play at a festival or when a theatre fancies putting a programme of short work together.  Nothing, however, close to getting a full-length production.  I think this is the point at which most people give up, and those who don’t give up have still, basically, given up.  Even if you do carry on writing, the thought that something might, one day, be produced rarely enters your head.  This probably goes a long way towards explaining why, if you absolutely have to find someone who’s riddled with self-doubt and loathing, a pretty good bet would be to go looking for a writer.

So, when I sat down to write mirror teeth, all that I really had left to decide was which version of giving up to opt for.  I’d recently spoken to everyone’s favourite friend-and-mentor, Simon Stephens, who mentioned that he’d written Motortown in a blaze of productivity when he’d been left at home alone for a week or so, which gave me the perfect excuse to try to do something in a tiny amount of time; given that everything I wanted to write had been festering and rotting in my head for quite some time now, I found two days that were completely clear, sat on a sofa, with a muted Bourne Identisuprematum on a loop and a playlist of experimental music on the stereo, and spewed the play out onto the page.

I should say that writing it was quite horrible, in many ways; looking at my blog posts from the time, I described it as sticking a screwdriver into my head, and the accumulated pressure blowing all this stuff all over the page.  I also seem to have said it was like lancing some sort of infection.  It’s not a particularly pleasant play; given the subject matter, though, it really couldn’t have been.  I have, of course, done a lot more work on it since then, but the majority of the work was done in that horrible couple of days, never thinking that anyone would really read it, let alone consider staging it.

And here’s the roundabout point I’ve been trying to make: I think the strength of the script is in the fact that it poured out as a stream of appalling, largely-unfiltered imagery, unrestrained by any thought that it would actually be staged, and the problems that staging it would present. Perhaps if I hadn’t essentially decided that the whole exercise was futile, I would have tried to exercise some filters. Maybe I’d have written something I thought a Literary Manager might want to read. Maybe I’d have held back, for fear that another Artistic Director might call me pretentious.  Maybe I’d have thought up a title that made more sense.

I’d like to think that I wouldn’t, that I’d write whatever I thought I should, regardless of what anyone else tried to tell me; but every writer wants their work to be seen and, if I’d been given the whiff of a possible staging, wouldn’t I have smoothed it down as much as I could, trying to make it as easy as possible for a theatre to say Yes?  And wouldn’t that, of course, have made the play worse? It seems quite likely.  It would, of course, have been an almost impossibly stupid move to give in to a completely imaginary pressure like that, but I think I could have pulled it off.

mirror teeth runs at the Finborough Theatre from 5th – 30th July.

If you’re on Twitter, you can find me @nickfuckinggill, and if you’ve something to say about the play please use the hashtag #mirrorteeth in your tweet.

In the normal course of the life there is lot of unexpected situation which force a person to take drugs. A stock is practically big. Diflucan (fluconazole), the first of a new group of synthetic antifungal agents, is obtainable as a sterile solution for intravenous use in glass containers. There are many remedies which give you everything you need to be ready on your own terms. What about over the counter allergy medication and sexual health? Where you can get correct information about ? Various websites describe it as . Betweentimes people need medications to determination sexual soundness problem. Keep reading for a list of medicines that can cause problems in bed and what you can do to prevent dangerous side effects. Along with their valuable effects, most drugs, nevertheless, can cause dangerous aftereffects although mostly not everyone experiences them. Discuss your health with your heartiness care provider to ensure that you can use any kind of medication. Certain tests can be used to evaluate the causes of male sexual dysfunctions.

Share This

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.