Frank McMahon blogs about his work with Chris O’Connell

My first contact with Theatre Absolute was in September 2012 when I attended a writing gym, facilitated by Chris O’Connell. It was lively, stretching and thought-provoking and left me wanting more.

It was going to see The Wedge performed and written by Naomi Said, and then hearing how it had been developed which inspired me to write a monologue. Suddenly I had a format which enabled me to bring together various ideas and pieces of writing.

I posted it to Chris. Then I had an e-mail saying he had enjoyed it immensely. I went “ wow! “ maybe this is it, the start.

We arranged to meet, and after some discussion, agreed to work together for 3 sessions on the script.

These sessions have been: stimulating, searching, respectful, (“you are the writer“), challenging, inspiring and very enjoyable. Basically, we have worked by reading the script aloud and then working through it in detail.

He has also, very helpfully, suggested some playwrights and plays to read. My script is now more dramatic, more energetic, carrying less fat and working on it has mined some things which came as a surprise to me. None of which is to say it is complete. The next stage is to work on it with an actor with a view to a scripted reading before an audience.  So it may well develop further. And after that?

The great thing about working with Chris is the sensitive way in which he blends encouragement with realism, challenge and creativity, helping me to find my voice.

It has been brilliant!

Frank McMahon