Write Here Write Now
The intimate space downstairs at Higher Ground is the perfect spot to uncover some of Adelaide’s best writing and acting talents…
Write Here Write Now is a monologue competition operated by Alison Kershaw’s Acorn Productions. The competition was run in August this year. All writers, experienced and novice, were encouraged to submit an entry. The only set creative criteria was that each monologue needed to feature a shoebox.
These entries were judged by David Jobling, Tracey Korsten, Guy Masterson and Rebecca Vaughan. The winning monologues are currently being staged professionally by Acorn Productions. This is its first year in operation, and it has yielded some fantastic results. Who knew that we had such talented writers in our city?!
The Strange Man In The Car
Written by Anthony Berry, Performed by Jonathan Johnston
Johnston plays a man in his early 20s, who anxiously sits in his car outside 37 Seymour Drive, Highbury with a shoebox on his lap. As he mumbles to himself, we discover that he was put up for adoption as a baby, and is now grappling with the potential impact of meeting his biological parents.
Berry’s monologue gives a real insight into who this ‘strange man in the car’ might be in the space of five minutes or so. His choice to include references to other characters who have shaped the story so far, and those who will shape it should it continue, is what gives us this insight. He has deliberately chosen to frame this monologue in the middle of a longer story, which could be explored as a play.
Little Bit Of Heaven
Written by Carla Rich, Performed by Chelsea Diprose
Diprose plays a whimsy woman who likes to collect ‘special things’, like a rainbow feather or an autumn leaf. She places these things in her treasured shoebox. She rambles on each of these items, displaying an almost cute child-like curiousity.
Rich’s writing is poetic, and explores the possibility of time travel by appreciating the things that happen again and again. For me, there are some clear comparisons that can be made with Rich’s character to the character of Ricky Fitts (Ed’s Note – do you remember that plastic bag?) from American Beauty.
Written by Nick Milde, Performed by Haydn McComas
McComas plays a old man, who is at times disoriented, easily distracted and forgetful. He reminisces on days gone by: how he wished that life used to be as simple as it once was…
Milde’s treatment of the underlying moral issue poses an interesting question: are innocent bystanders really innocent? He also successfully captures the essence of any old man that you know through his choice of phrases. It’s very easy to relate to this piece.
Written by Mandy Treagus, Performed by Faye Dawson Wise
Wise gives an eclectic performance as a great-aunt who is facing her impending death, as her heart struggles to beat. She reflects on her life, and reveals some of her saucier secrets, as she limps about the stage. Her shoebox does not contain photos, but rather something more unexpected.
Beautifully written, Treagus has shown her mastery of the gradual reveal and really allows the character to connect to us. This monologue is perfectly balanced: happy yet sad, celebratory yet mournful, staid yet shocking. The best writing given to the best actor makes this the sure-fire winner.
Written by Mark Taylor, Performed by Jonathan Johnston
An intense performance here from Johnston, where he plays a man who was raised as a rat who then tries to fit into human society. Ironically, he’s treated as a human when in the ‘rat world’, and treated as a rat when in the ‘human world’.
Taylor has managed to address some very real social issues here (namely poverty, homelessness) in a provocative manner. Prepare to be addressed, nay accused, by this character. The constant use of the second person will challenge your thoughts on these social issues, while reinforcing an us and them attitude. You’ll be left wondering about the motivations of homeless people – and perhaps how not so different they may be from yourself.
Written by Ben Brooker, Performed by Chelsea Diprose
Diprose plays a narcissistic girl, who seems to have problems with her parents, her psychologist and her dream therapist. As she recounts a session she has had with her dream therapist, it’s clear that she refuses to accept blame for any of her own actions.
This interesting monologue by Brooker clearly establishes the character, and her situation. It also explores her motivations and unpredictable behaviour.
Man In Shed
Written by Glen R Johns, Performed by Haydn McComas
McComas shines in this role as he explores the loneliness that fatherhood brings, specifically, when his son “grows away” from him. It’s a moving piece that truly reflects the feelings of fathers who lament the loss of the connection with their sons.
Johns has composed a great work here, truly engaging. His references to the “junk” in the shed seems to reflect that the father in this case finds it easier to relate to objects and associated memories than to his own family.