Theatre The Sherling Studio

Overview

If you could re-write your past, would you?

“I made myself not like you. Picked out all your bad bits, all our bad bits and ran them like a tape trying to make sense of everything. It was the only way I could... Until you came in today. And it was like... You were just coming back home”

Nick loved Elena. Elena loved Nick. Their relationship was a disaster. The Edit unfolds in real time, a year after they broke up, as they desperately try to unpick where things went wrong, and whether they could - or should - take another chance on each other.

Set in the turbulent world of modern romance, The Edit is a gripping new play about forgiveness, love and self-preservation - and about discovering who we really are…all over again.

Folio Theatre Company is a West Country based touring company, born from a desire to create innovative new plays, working with exceptional local artists. Folio's debut show, Unearthed, received critical acclaim and named as one of readers favourite stage shows of the year in The Guardian. Their latest production, Reel Life, premiered at Theatre Royal Bath and is in development for a UK tour. One man show ‘Our Blood Is An Ocean is currently in development with Bristol Old Vic. Folio are supported by English Touring Theatre as part of ‘The Forge’ scheme for promising young companies.

Writer, Sarah Gordon, from Dorset, is a graduate of the National Film and Television School and now writes for both stage and screen. Sarah is currently developing her TV series ‘We Listen to Podcasts’ for BBC3 with Big Talk Productions and ‘Flies’ with Drama Republic. Over the past two years her scripts have been nominated for Channel Four’s 2016 COMING UP scheme, The Old Vic 12 and The Bruntwood Award. Her play ‘Figures’ was a Theatre Fest West finalist in 2017 and was subsequently workshopped for a week at the Royal Shakespeare Company, who continue to support her work.

Sarah Gordon interview

Sarah Gordon

A new play by Poole-based BBC writer Sarah Gordon, in many ways The Edit brings its writer back to where it all started for her as she explains in this special interview.

Tell us a little about your connection to Poole – what’s great (and not so great) about it, does it inform your work at all, where did you go to fall in love with theatre/drama?

I grew up in Poole and I still absolutely love it here. Growing up so close to the sea is pretty lucky! It definitely still informs my work; mostly in the sense of space that it gives, rather than the city where I find thoughts can get quite crowded.

I used to think of theatre as quite an inaccessible world, something that only people from London were allowed to do. But once I started looking, I found the approach to drama here much more nurturing. In fact, one of the first things I did was a summer writing and acting course at Lighthouse – I was so bad I actually managed to break my foot on stage. Clearly an early warning to follow writing rather than acting…

Please could you introduce The Edit to us?

The Edit is basically a story about what happens after the ‘love story’ is over. It’s two people trying to make sense of their past together so they can both move forward.

How did you come to write it – was there a moment that inspired you to begin, or is it a story that has evolved over time?

The Edit deals with a lot of themes that have long been really close to my heart. Relationships that change and define us are obviously so important and I wanted to try and write something that makes sense of those experiences. As I’ve started working with Folio it’s definitely grown and changed. It’s been wonderful having more opinions and teammates to help shape the story.

Is The Edit at all autobiographical – does rewriting the past make anything better?

It’s not an autobiographical play, but I think that there are elements of Nick and Elena’s relationship that most people have gone through. We all mess up and edit each other constantly. Witnessing something like that at the theatre can show you that that’s OK.

‘Rewriting the past’ I think is a deadly concept – in both your own personal history and in a wider social sense. Instead, I think the characters in The Edit realise that they need to accept what has happened in order to learn from it.

In what ways do you think modern relationships differ from those of earlier generations – are they any more or less complicated, loving, unpredictable, wonderful, awkward, enriching, damaging…?

I love this question! I bloody hope that relationships have moved on from the past generations – at least in terms of equality.

Having grown up on a strict diet of 1990s romantic comedy films, I find this era of dating apps desperately depressing, but overall, I think our attitudes towards relationships are now much healthier in terms of respecting each other as individuals.

I really reject the idea of the millennial generation as being selfish or unable to commit in relationships. Just our ideas about what we consider to be ‘romantic’ have changed. Who knows?

How did you create opportunities to write for stage and screen and what advice would you give young writers wondering how to make a career?

I’ve gone quite a traditional route into writing and I’m a massive believer in first getting the right qualifications and training. But knowing that those qualifications aren’t actually going to get you very far in terms of work is quite crucial. I’ve always made work alongside whatever formal training I was doing and that’s come from (very luckily) being surrounded by like-minded people I really respect. Find a tribe and rather than wait for people to give you permission to put something on, make it anyway.

For ages I thought the process of writing was just about that, the writing. But you have to be really active (and confident, which can be hard) about creating opportunities for yourself. For instance, it was me that found and contacted Folio Theatre to put on The Edit together rather than the other way around and it’s proving to be a really wonderful partnership! You need teammates. (You also need to get your family on side, you’ll need them).

What is your ambition as a writer and what are we going to see next from you?

I just want to keep making as much work as possible - across both mediums. I have a few TV projects currently in development, which is a much longer process than theatre, but hopefully you’ll be seeing something on screen fairly soon!

 

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