Monday, 13 July 2015

Scripting Dramaturgy: Ian Pattison @ Edfringe 2015

Willie and Sebastian
Dining Room, 20:15 (21:15), 5-31 Aug
Willie and Sebastian is a brand new play written by Rab C Nesbitt creator Ian Pattison starring Andy Gray and Grant Stott and is directed by Sam Kane - the same creative team behind the Scotsman Fringe First Award winning sell out play Kiss Me Honey, Honey at the Edinburgh Fringe 2013

What inspired this production: Did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?

Ian Pattison: A script.

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
Marketing a one act play can be difficult. The Fringe, with its vast potential audience, is a natural home for relatively short shows.

What can the audience expect to see and feel – or even think – of your production? In this production the audience can expect to see three fine actors at work. They can expect to see a well directed piece of theatre. What people might ultimately feel and think about what they see on stage is anybody’s guess.

How would you explain the relevance – or otherwise – of dramaturgy within your work?

Depends what’s implied by ‘dramaturgy.’ If this question relates simply to an awareness of dramatic rules then I’ve attended writing seminars and would expect to have absorbed and applied what I’ve learned from those seminars to my work.

What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work – have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition?

I’m not aware of any tradition having inspired anything I’ve done. There are writers whose work I’ve admired and whose influence may have, along the way, rubbed off on me. Pinter, Orton, Woody Allen, for example.

Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe – where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?

Everything begins with stimulation, whether by something read, thought, felt or seen. The idea then has to be peopled and developed. This will happen over several drafts. Once this has taken place the script will be handed over to a producer. Notes will be given. Those notes will be discussed between producer and writer and the agreed results acted upon by the writer. To that degree there is collaboration. In a rehearsal room the transition from page to stage is fluid. Some writers attend rehearsals, others don’t. Useful, practical ideas can arise out of simple conversations. The key word is useful. So long as a writer is useful, he or she should be in the room. When a writer is no longer useful - and you can sense when you’ve moved from reassuring presence to clumsy passenger - it’s time to leave and allow the others, and the play, room to breathe.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of the meaning of your work?

If the audience turns up, it’s fulfilled its role for me. I hope people are entertained or interested by the play. If they can be both, that’s quite enough meaning for anyone in my opinion.

Willie and Sebastian were friends. Willie was a theatre producer, Sebastian was, well … Sebastian. Both squandered vast fortunes. Both were hopeless romantics. Both were crack addicts. Did I mention they happened to fall in love with the same girl? Well, they did. Hopelessly, of course. If you’d like to see how that worked out, do join us. Oh, and check your morals at the door. 

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