BOAT

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I probably should have mentioned BOAT on here at some point in the last four months. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll know all about it, but for those of you who don’t, BOAT is my debut play. And it got Arts Council England funding. And it has an amazing director, cast and crew. And it’s currently being performed at Theatre N16. And it’s been doing rather well. Here’s the blurb:

BOAT grapples with the experiences of a young girl uprooted from her homeland, a girl who has found that fantasy is her only means of escape.

Form-bending theatre company PIGDOG works with live sound artist/composer Jethro Cooke to bring award-winning poet and novelist Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s debut play to life.

Press Reviews:

★★★★★
Needs to be seen by as many people as possible
– Culture Fly

★★★★★
Hauntingly beautiful… darkly magical… unique and brave
– The New Current

★★★★☆
BOAT is probably the most demanding and urgent piece of theatre you’ll see this year
– Grumpy Gay Critic

Pick of the Week:
Director Max Barton has a strong sense of the visual
– The Stage

Achingly beautiful… The language is rich and compelling… Will haunt our dreams for months to come
London Pub Theatres

‘A highly creative and imaginative piece.The studio space is used brilliantly
 London Theatre1

Ethereal and surreal… Always cleverly conceived… Distinctly offbeat
– British Theatre Guild

This is a production you must see. PIGDOG have created a little piece of magic  – beautiful, horrible, dark magic
– A Hannah In The Works

Yep, you are looking at the typings of a five-star playwright *preens*.

Of course, when producing a play, the script is only a small part of a much, much bigger beast. Director Max Barton, aside from dramaturg-ing the whole thing, has created something spectacular with designer Shawn Soh. The actors are sublime. The superlatives sound excessive, but they’re not, honestly. I mean, just look at them:

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BOAT is one of the things I’m most proud of, and I’m going to miss it when it ends Thursday – though I’m sure this is not its final voyage.

Writer, Writing

Forgive me blog, for I have sinned. It has been forty-four days since my last confession blog post.

And a lot of things have happened, as things tend to do.

Firstly, I had my first editorial meeting for The Cartographer’s Daughter at Chicken House. My editors are Rachel Leyshon and Barry Cunningham. I’m head-over-heels. I already feel that mix of trust, respect, abject terror and awe that is essential in the writer-editor relationship.

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It was lovely to visit them in Somerset. The company is based in a beautiful old Georgian-style (or maybe even Georgian full stop?) house, all books and high ceilings. They made me flapjacks and I made nervous small talk, but it soon became clear that this is going to be a fun, challenging and exciting experience. We have a more in-depth, all day session coming up in November, once their other projects have come to an end and I have finished my WiP (so very nearly there!) I should be working with my US-based editor at Knopf-Random House by then, too. Hero-agent Hellie is checking in regularly to make sure I’ve not lost it, and I’m so grateful to have her on my side.

I’m slightly less there with BOAT – my erstwhile debut play. The brilliant director/dramaturg Max Barton, whose work I have followed from Cambridge’s ADC to the West End, is guiding/cutting/keeping my feet on the ground. We hope to take it to Edinburgh next year, so I suppose I’d better get on with it! He has asked me to collaborate on a stage adaptation of a film – in fact, one of my favourites – too, but I can’t say which just yet.

Max must be on a mission to infiltrate my writing life, because I am also working on another project with him in his capacity as a musician, and the artist Tom de Freston. I can’t reveal too much right now, but we are converting an ancient myth into a poetry/music/live art performance for 47/49 Tanner Street, and I’ve got a very, very good feeling about it. Hopefully the performance will act as a launch pad for bigger things, and we have an amazing producer on board to help us with promotion and funding. Here is a little taste of one of my Chorus poems for the project:

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Which leads nicely onto one of the most exciting anthologies I have ever contributed to. Published by For Book’s Sake – a premier e-zine of writing ‘for and by independent women’ – Furies consists eighty-one pages of startling, angry, beautiful poetry. Silenced or misunderstood women from history and myth rise from the pages in a cacophony, accompanied by striking line drawings. Other poets include Helen Mort, Rebecca Goss, Malika Booker and Patience Agbabi. It’s a lovely object, but the contents cut like a razor on the tongue. I’m reading at the launch on the 1st October, more details here.


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And lastly, I handed in my MA thesis. I also declined my PhD offer. As well as bringing my twenty years in education to a close, this means that I am now a full-time writer.

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Did you get that? A Full-Time Writer.

Six months ago, that sentence would have evoked a wistful sigh – ‘maybe after the PhD’. A year ago, I was trying to finish my first book. Two years ago, I was wedded to poetry and therefore had no illusions that such a thing may be possible. Three years ago, it was hit-and-miss whether I would feel up to getting out of bed that day. Four years ago, I would have swatted you aside with disdain – because four years ago, I wanted to be a lawyer, and was working (very briefly) for an asset management firm in London.

But now, I’m a writer. I’m paying taxes, filling out scary forms, signing contracts, actually saying what I do for a living to people without hiding behind student status or qualifying it with a self-deprecating quip.

My point is, things happen. My point is, for the first time in my life, I know where I want to be in a year, two years, four years’ time – writing, in whatever genre will have me.

And hopefully, remembering to update my blog more often.

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