I’m working on a rewrite of my stage play Fallow at the moment; turning it into a radio play. Now, the easy route would have been to shorten it a bit and make it little more radio friendly.
But of course that is the road that I turned away from, preferring instead the thorns and prickles and brambles of the “let’s take the play and turn it inside out and hey, for good measure, let’s change the POV it’s told from.”
(Actually, I’ve just realised that my overgrown garden metaphor is perfect for Fallow as this is one of the main images in the play. Well done brain, that’s what I pay you for!)
Do I seem a masochist if I admit that I am completely excited by this approach? I have been working on Fallow on and off for a good, oh, 7 years now (now I feel old; years should not slip by that easily) so naturally I was a little, well, uninspired by the thought of just rehashing it.
I guess somewhere in my overworked brain (paid in peanuts, see above) the thought has never left that if I did rework exactly what I had then I’d be cheating – the audience, and in that touching after school special kind of way, myself.
Do you want to know the truly scary thing? There is a good possibility that what I have written to date (in both versions) will be thrown away. Because who needs that many flashbacks? (Except if you’re an episode of Lost…) But in the meantime I have answered a whole heap of questions that I had never really nutted out before.
For instance: I now know where and when Christian (first) proposed to Faith. Sounds like something I should have figured out years ago eh? Well, you’re probably right, but at least I know now! I have also figured out why the concrete planter that sits on the stage is very important not only to the boys, but to Faith as well, and when and why her affair with Evan started.
All going to plan, the radio and the stage version will sit side by side, informing each other but also being complete in themselves. Ideally, I would like the audience to gain a deeper understanding of the story through exposure to both pieces; because I intend them to be very different, but there will be points where the stories converge. Hmm, sounds like another play of mine…
Of course, this brings up the dilemma how I can possibly deliver the “whole” story to any one audience. Do I sell CDs of the radio play in the foyer? Convince a production company to put on the play if (or when) it airs? Does it really matter; if I am successful then each with stand on its own anyway.
Perhaps I can convince someone to publish them together, in one of those crazy formats where you read one and then flip the book upside down and read the other.
Two weeks to finish this draft, but I guess these questions will take longer to be answered. Hopefully it won’t take 7 years to get there!