I just got confirmation of my play date. That’s the date I’ll be performing my play, not the day I’ll be out playing with other soon-to-be 40 year olds. Though that would be a nice idea as it can get hard to meet new people and adult play dates could catch on. Just so long as they didn’t go weird and involve men in giant nappies and women in matron’s uniforms. I’m not into that kind of thing and if you are, then just keep your twisted playdates to yourselves.
The date-of-my-play (as I must now apparently refer to it), is Thursday January 26. I’ll be performing it as part of Fronterafest, the Austin fringe festival that starts in early January. It’s called ‘Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower’ and is a light-hearted tale of abandonment at birth. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll avoid all eye contact with me as you leave the theater. I actually wanted to write a proper British farce about adoption, you know with doors opening and then slamming shut, misunderstandings, cover-ups, mistaken identities, a man who’s lost his trousers and a vicar who gets stuffed into a laundry basket. But it’d be too close to the truth and that’s just not fair to those involved in my adoption.
It’s not easy, this playwriting lark, it makes stand-up look like a series of set-up/punch style jokes woven together to create ‘bits’ which are then subsequently formed into a ‘set’ and performed onstage in a comedy club.
In creative playwriting terms, I’m currently in the ‘sloppy stage’, which I believe means that I have a draft but hate it and am now hacking at the stuff I’ve written in the hope that it might rewrite itself into something that’s good. They’ve all been through it you know, all the great playwrights. I bet at some point Chekhov was sitting at his desk reading his draft of the Seagull and threw up his arms and shouted ‘this is shit’. Only in Russian or at least with a Russian accent. Anyway things turned out alright for him.
Not that I’m suggesting you compare my work to Chekhov, as I think that’d be unfair of you and rather like comparing apples to oranges, or in this case perhaps cherries to hot dogs. And I very much doubt that Chekhov could have got the line ‘oops Vicar, I’ve lost my bloomers’ into any version of Uncle Vanya. Nor could he have referenced three of my plays into a single blog entry.