I’ve taken up the 29 Plays Later Challenge and I am writing a complete new play every single day for February. Previous intensive durational projects like this have easily gotten completely out of control – the fig-2 loyalty card‘s 50 weeks and the two years of A Haiku A Day. So I’m doomed. But by God I’m game to try.
Each evening director Sebastian Rex sends the challengers themes, ideas, and other guidance for writing the next day’s play. On day one, in response to being asked how long a play was, the theme was string – to do with as we wished. On day two, we were asked to think of the funniest thing then write about it, not as a comedy but as a tragedy; and to have three made-up words and a far-away location.
I’m writing these as radio plays. They’re necessarily composed at top speed, yesterday with a little retouching but today with none. The idea is just to write, write, write. But of course, we aspire above.
Day 1 – Sweet Chariot – I thought about ‘no strings attached’ sex (something which has never worked out ever). I didn’t want to do some retrograde honey-trap story. Instead, a woman who can’t conceive a child volunteers her husband to deliver the goods to her best friend. Things do not, shall we say, turn out well. A contemporary melodrama.
01_-_-SWEET_CHARIOT_-_AJ_DEHANY (pdf, 30pp, 4 actors)
Day 2 – My New Sampo Tattoo – Like Cheers or Desmonds set in a tattoo parlour with stoner bikers, crossed with Fargo. Faris is ridiculed for his tattoo and seeks revenge on Boris, setting tragic events in motion. A sitcomic tragedy.
02_-_-MY_NEW_SAMPO_TATTOO_-_AJ_DEHANY (pdf, 25pp, 7 chars)
Check out Sarah Mann‘s own journey – hers are witty and moving with an exemplary stagecraft – read them and you can readily see them.
You can also follow everyone tearing their hair out with the hashtag #29playslater.