Play­wright Rob’s ca­reer has turned full cir­cle

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

I’m try­ing to en­joy it rather than be over­whelmed

It was only a few years ago that Ruther­glen play­wright Rob Drum­mond was be­ing helped by the Play­wright Stu­dio in Scot­land and their men­tor­ing sys­tem.

Now the boot’s on the other foot, and it’s Rob who’s found him­self help­ing along the next gen­er­a­tion of Scot­tish writ­ers.

He’s cur­rently an As­so­ciate Play­wright at the stu­dio, af­ter a suc­cess­ful few years that has seen his work like Quiz Show, Wrestling and Bullet Catch win over crit­ics and au­di­ences.

“The Play­wright Stu­dio is one of the in­sti­tu­tions that I credit with the fact that I’m a work­ing play­wright,” he says.

“I went through their men­tor­ing scheme with Dou­glas Maxwell about five years ago, and now I’m do­ing the men­tor­ing, so it’s nice to come full cir­cle. I’m work­ing with three emerg­ing play­wrights, and just pass­ing on any ad­vice that I can, although with writ­ing it’s about find­ing your own way of do­ing things.”

The ex­pe­ri­ence is also help­ing Rob, too. He’s spend­ing most of this year work­ing on new ma­te­rial for 2016, and the men­tor­ing is giv­ing him a fresh per­spec­tive on some things.

“I’m ac­tu­ally learn­ing stuff as well. Just by talk­ing to them about their prob­lems you en­gage parts of the brain you haven’t thought about, and solve prob­lems of your own.

“The more you talk about writ­ing plays the more you learn, be­cause some­times they’ll ask you a ques­tion you’ve never thought of be­fore, and you eval­u­ate your own process as a re­sult. It re­ally helps.”

Rob’s next batch of work will come on the heels of Bullet Catch, which proved a much big­ger suc­cess than he was ex­pect­ing. It proved so pop­u­lar that he ended up per­form­ing the show, which saw the play­wright copy the famed magic trick where you catch a bullet with your body, as far afield as Brazil and Amer­ica.

“The real aim was just to get a good run at the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val and not em­bar­rass my­self,” he adds.

“I didn’t ex­pect any­thing, other than hop­ing it’d be a de­cent stan­dard. There’s turned out to be a lot more, go­ing all over the world. I re­cently did the last one in Van­cou­ver, so for the time be­ing it’s done.

“In Brazil there was the lan­guage bar­rier, in New York the gun it­self was a big­ger deal, be­cause of the amount of gun crime there com­pared to Bri­tain but it was more or less the same wher­ever it was per­formed.”

And now he’s con­cen­trat­ing on a host of com­mis­sions for next year.

“I’ve got one with the Na­tional Theatre of Scot­land, one with the Tra­verse, one with the Na­tional Theatre in Lon­don, which is an amaz­ing set of com­mis­sions to have. I’m try­ing to en­joy it rather than be over­whelmed by it, be­cause these are the com­mis­sions I was af­ter five or six years ago.

“The one for the Na­tional Theatre started out as a play at the Arches last year called Wal­lace, which was tied into the ref­er­en­dum.

“The new one is go­ing to be called Plebiscite, and it’s look­ing at ref­er­en­dums in gen­eral, not just the Scot­tish one.

“I’m also in­ter­ested in do­ing some­thing on ven­tril­o­quism in the fu­ture, but that would take sev­eral months to pre­pare for and work on.”

Bullet time Rob Drum­mond (left), on stage in the hugely suc­cess­ful play Bullet Catch

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.