Sunday, July 31, 2011

Monologues, one person, one story. Word count optional.

Ok, so I am going to chat about monologues. For no reason except that I love monologues*, when they are done well they are extraordinary! Funny, insightful, clever - they can lead us on flights of fancy and dazzle us with actor skillz. There is nothing quite like seeing one performer hold the room in the palm of their hand.

*that's a lie, there's a reason, see further down. I'm a stinking liar.

I like writing monologues, I've written a few over the years, many of them have been performed, either by me, my "team" or various things I've entered them into. I've written good one's, ok one's and shit one's. The shit one's were sent to sleep with the fishes, so they won't be back to make me look bad.

The lipstick lady a monologue that I have performed a bunch of times. An old favourite, with a deep Southern accent.

Sometimes I have started writing a mono and then realised that I have lost my way, but I've hung onto the mono because something good may still come out of it. I have a couple them. I have short plays like that too. There are some short plays I've kept because only one line is good.

Boom Boom: A monologue for a guy, a comedian talks about his relationship ending. 

I don't believe that there is any "right" way to create a monologue, much as I don't believe that there is any right way to create a play. This is art that we are talking about and art should arrive in the way it needs to. Sometimes as a fucking mess. Ideas, really subtle and nuanced ideas, are often buried beneath a lot of  dross, and it is that sublime ability to edit, or to have the help of a great editor that really makes the difference. But I digress.

I define a monologue as one actor being the predominant focus of a piece. This means that there might be others on stage, but the action at that moment is all about just one character. That character doesn't need to say very much, but they are the focus.

Not Nothing, Something: One of my personal favourites, done beautifully by Chris Costigan for Beaten Hearts in 2009. 

*this is where my ulterior motive kicks in hard: Baggage Productions is currently calling for monologues. We want women to write an original monologue for us and then submit it, and then we will put it on, in November. We will nurture it, give it to an actor who is worthy of it and direct is beautifully. 

We want lots of monologues to choose from - so we need you to be BRAVE! Please, female writers, seize your confidence by the nipples and give it a rousing tweak! Submit and live! Submit and learn!

And now for a lie down.

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