The Worlds Of Acting & Writing

It’s probably no surprise that The Corineus Theatre in The Summer Theatre by the Sea is based on The Minack in Penzance. What a stunning venue. The stage is cut into the rock face, looking almost as if its suspended in thin air. With the waves crashing behind and the wind swirling around the stone walls, it’s quite a spectacle. I hadn’t realised until visiting the theatre to watch a production of Amadeus that the cast are all amateurs. Each summer season various amateur groups from around the country travel down to Cornwall to put on a show. The quality of the shows are brilliant, and it’s quite an honour to be chosen to perform there. Naturally, as someone who loves amateur dramatics, I was captivated, my creative juices began to flow and the idea to write a story was born.

I feel there’s a close link between acting and writing. When I’m creating a story, my characters require direction; they need to know when to enter and exit a scene, how to deliver their lines, and how to evoke emotion from the audience…or reader. It’s still storytelling, and I believe my experiences on stage have given me the tools required to create stories in print. At least, I hope so.

My love of theatre started aged eleven when I was cast in a local production of Aladdin. I played a jewel in the genie’s cave. I was told to ‘stand there and sparkle’ – not exactly taxing stuff. While most teenagers spent their free time obsessing with fashion, make-up, pop music and boys, I was prancing around the stage pretending to be Miss Muffet, Bessie the Milkmaid and Aurora the Goose. I was never happier than dressing up in a padded white-fleece animal-suit, wearing orange tights and pretending to ‘lay an egg’. I admit it, I was an odd child.

Adulthood brought with it more serious roles, such as Nora in The Dolls House, Maggie in Hobson’s Choice and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Initially, I wasn’t enthusiastic about being cast as the mischievous pointy-eared goblin, who flies around the forest planting spells on people, and has a highly suspicious relationship with the King of the Fairies! But despite my reservations, I ended up loving the role. Puck was great fun…even if it did involve performing cartwheels, riding a bicycle and residing in a treehouse. The green face-paint left me with a strangely jaundice skin-tone, I had bruised shins from crashing the bicycle into the wings every night, and my dyed ‘orange-fire’ hair did take forever to grow out. But it was worth. After all, it was the inspiration for The Summer Theatre by the Sea.