The Bridge

The starting point of the The Bridge came from an actual bridge that was near a wedding I was attending. That was the germ, combined with a big ‘what if…?’ One of the things we were taught on the Street Voices course is that ‘writing is re-writing’. I’ve lost count of the number of times the ‘final’ script of The Bridge was saved, only to be replaced later with ‘The Bridge – final rough draft’, ‘final final draft’, ‘rewrite final’…’rewrite final 2’! And if writing is re-writing, it’s also talking – lots of it! Paulette and I talked, shared stories, joked, debated, improvised – it was all just as important as the physical act of writing. The flyer for Street Voices describes the plays as being “in real 3D” and that’s so true of what we’ve learnt through this process. The script in essence is only 2D – it’s now in the process of becoming 3D with the director’s vision and the actors breathing life into the characters. And a big plus point – you don’t have to wear those daft glasses to see it all come together!

The process of writing a script can be a cruel one. Thoughts, fears, desires all tied up in words but never in a neat bow. There is always something that can be improved; a point that can be made more poetically, something that can be said in a completely different way. As we wrote we sought to tell the story as simply as we could, to know the characters so that we could understand what they would say and do but hold them so gently that they could twist and turn and do things we hadn’t anticipated.
Writing a script surprises you. We started off with something that looked like GCSE coursework and ended with something we couldn’t believe we’d written. The mentoring process fed, challenged and matured us as writers. Seeing the play performed in rehearsals was magical, it was like watching a dance we had choreographed but could learn from as we watched others breathe real life into our characters. We have learnt so much but feel there is so much more to learn in this craft that takes from the heart and allows you to give characters words to tell a story.

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