Talon: a note from writer Theo Fraser Steele

Its just a few weeks until the opening of Talon, Bristol Old Vic Young Company’s latest production, and we’ve been talking to writer Theo Fraser Steele about the process of bringing the show to the stage.

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The whole process of working with Bristol Old Vic has been extraordinary. There were two workshops and two read through performances one internal, one public. The workshops were incredibly helpful in clarifying the characters and their traits. It was very obvious very quickly if something did not ring true.

I had performed in plays but never been on the other side of the director’s table so it had a great feeling of familiarity and strangeness. Writing a play is very personal to start with; you come up with the story, the characters and their voices, decide what they are going to say and how. Then you hand it over and it suddenly becomes very public and revealing.

The questions Miranda (Director), Verity (Composer) and the members of the cast asked were fascinating. Many of their questions I had to answer, ‘I don’t know, what do you think?’ which worried me as a writer until I realised that not knowing and finding out is what it’s all about. I thought as the writer you have to have all the answers but you don’t. You have to be open.

It has been fantastic working with the Young Company. They have a natural freedom of expression, trying things out without self-consciousness and bringing such huge energy to everything.

What an amazing experience. I don’t think I have ever felt such a mixture of elation and fear – I thoroughly recommend it to all thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies!

Theo Fraser Steele


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