Friday, 29 October 2010

The greatest society in the world

Last night was workshop and karaoke night for the Northumbria WriSoc (there being a tremendous amount of overlap between writing a sequel for A Midsummer Night's Dream and Frank Sinatra), and, as usual, it passed off in a blend of a sublime and the ridiculous. Mostly the latter, it has to be said.

I could go into detail about the president and her statement regarding top hats and chlamydia. Or how, two weeks ago, the secretary managed to mention Hermia's tentflaps. Or even our esteemed treasurer and his Brian Blessed impressions. But the point is this: we're not the usual.

One of our newest members said possibly the nicest thing it's possible to say about a collective of writers last night: that we're not pretentious and we accept all types of writers. And it's true. The aforementioned member writes (very good) screenplays, one of which we were treated to last night. I write SF. A few members write poetry, others write prose, others scripts. It's an eclectic mix, and we work well together, especially when we band together and do projects as a group, as we are with the sequel to A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Kate's script is brilliant. From the Shakespearean opening, it moves into more conventional modern prose, but it keeps the essence of Shakespeare in the way it can be acted. We have monologues, passion and fire. Unfortunately the 'kick your ass' line has been omitted, but a 'ooh, she's feisty' comment has found its entertaining way in.

Thanks to a stripey commitment I can't make it to the Newcastle Book Festival, where the prologue and opening scene (at least) will be performed, alongside readings of members' work (perhaps including some of mine!). But it's just the latest in a line of events happening down to the hard work of the committee and the other members since the society formed last year. We've got the anthology coming out (hopefully), in which members' work will be exhibited. And in February there was an open mike night down at the Head of Steam by the train station in Newcastle. The year was topped off in April when the society won best new society at the Union Awards Night.

So we're quirky. We're busy. We're eclectic. We're entertaining. We say odd things. We do odd things. And occasionally we write.

Nothing like patting yourself on the back, eh?

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