Les a step nearer stage

A while back I wrote a theatre version of Les The Punter and sent it to Manchester ADP who promised a script appraisal – and that is what popped up in my inbox today.

Here it is:

A few pub friends mourn the loss of Les a fellow pub punter and as a tribute bet on a horse that ends up winning. Only it’s not them who claim the winnings, but Les himself, risen from the dead.

I really liked this piece. At first I didn’t but the dialogue and general weirdness of it won me over.

The characters are funny, although I do feel there may be one too many. However, they’re memorable and the language is fun and has a lot of wit at times. It’s not always witty and there are a few times it feels stilted, so take another proof of it to sharpen it up.

I predicted the twist of the horse winning as will the audience, but I think we’re meant to as it means we don’t predict the final strange twist, which is a really imaginative ending.

I think the audience will really enjoy this. What is also nice is that it’s not a scene from a piece to be extended that’s masquerading as a short play. It works at the length it is and is memorable.

Well done, I look forward to seeing it staged.

Should the script be put forward for a reading at this time? Yes.

I’m super-excited.

Next step? I’m going to give their suggestions a go and see how the script reads then but importantly, Les is now on file and awaiting a possible read through.

*October 2018 Update* I’ve re-jigged the script which now has one character less plus I’ve taken out the dialogue I think my reviewer was alluding to. It’s all far tighter and a copy has been sent to ADP.

About Manchester ADP.
Rather than me paraphrase, find out full details, first hand, here: www.manchesteradp.com

The Rose, JB Shorts and Les

Earlier this year I visited The Rose Theatre, Kidderminster, to see an illuminating performance in its Studio. Shortly after, I attended JB Shorts in Manchester with writer friend Pete Spencer; an evening of six short theatre plays which were equally as fascinating.

What caught my imagination was how few props are required to paint a scene, that theatre is an excellent platform because of it and, the light bulb moment, Les The Punter could actually transfer well from screen to stage.

So that’s what I’ve done.

I originally wrote Les The Punter as a poem, which was recorded. I turned the poem into a short screenplay and it was received very well.

Now, having turned it into a theatre play, I feel the story has found its spiritual home.

I’m hoping that the play can get a read through – am beginning to send it off.


Les The Punter places 2nd

I entered Les The Punter in a Hammond House screenplay competition a few months back and it has placed second – a good result.

The prize is to have a trailer made for the film. It will be fascinating to see someone else’s interpretation of the story.

The trailer is due to be shown at an awards ceremony, December 11th.

Until then…

Les The Punter – Director onboard

A very exciting development. Phil Hawkins, a Director I adore for the consistent high quality and visual scope of his work, has indicated he would be pleased to be involved in the Les The Punter short film project.

There’s a long way to go of course. I’m aiming to secure up to £20k of funds to cover the project which will enable the film to be made to an acceptably high standard. Of course, this is tops and in theory short films can be made on a shoestring. However it does indicate, along with Phil’s involvement, the production standards we’re aiming to achieve.

There are several next steps, not least attracting a known actor to be cast in the central role. We have some ideas and approaches are being made.

Of course, I’m not completely niave and anticipate many obstacles, set-backs and disappointments along the way but for now things are definitely looking positive for a script I and others truly believe in.

Les The Punter – 2016

I’d like Les The Punter to be made into a short film (statement of intent). And so would all of the folk who’ve read the script (justification).

Everyone loves an apocryphal story and feedback from an eclectic range of readers has been beyond encouraging. As has the pro opinion here.

Perhaps this is a perfect opportunity for an established bookmaker to jump on board and brand the short film – or embark on a series of them?

Maybe it’s an opportunity for a Director (comedic inclination) to add a relatively inexpensive piece to their portfolio?

Who knows? All options are open.

If you’re interested then email me at les@julian-williams.co.uk. I’ll send the script and we’ll take it from there.

Theatre, Les and a tentative next step

This Wednesday I went to my local theatre (a first) to see Jim Cartwright’s “Two”, a performance that explored 14 different pub characters acted by a male and female (hence the title “Two”). It was performed in the theatre’s Studio.

The reason for being there was to see how I could turn Les The Punter (a thirty minute screenplay) into a theatrical studio piece, and to that end I loved the intimacy of the Studio environment and the possibilities it holds.

However, I had no positive feeling for the performance I saw and am worried about this .

I didn’t see anything engaging, heart warming, confrontational or blissful about the characters. Worst still, there was no pace,  no snap, no vibe, no life. I’m fearful of the flowery pretensions of theatre and they seemed all too evident here – in the writing, exorcised through the acting.

My worry is, maybe this is what theatre is. And if so, maybe I’m not suited to it.

Positively, Les The Punter is an observation of real pub characters in a real pub environment, exaggerated into a ridiculous story about a lost betting slip and a winning horse. It could have a place in this Studio. It could provide entertainment.

The question is, how do I write my screenplay into a theatre production? Am I capable? Can I do it? And do I have to assume some kind of theatricality to achieve this goal?

Too many questions – head’s hurting – but, in summary, I was thrilled to discover the local theatre’s Studio environment and the exciting possibilities of Les’s next step.

Not that you’re asking but, yes, I’m glad I went on Wednesday.