The Enough Project… A Pan-Pennines experiment in playwriting

About 6 months ago, Bradford based writer Emma Adams and Oldham based writer Cathy Crabb found themselves pondering ‘what would happen if we found one thing to respond to and then both wrote a separate play about it?’  After a lot of chat and even more thinking, what developed was ‘The Enough Project’.  Here in the first of a series of blogs, Cathy Crabb explains how the process began. This series of Blog posts first appeared on Culture Vulture as part of an online residency.

We sat in Chet’s Library, Manchester, probably on our about fifth meeting- we couldn’t sit where Marx and Engels sat as a member of staff was having a break in those seats (bastard). He was probably writing his blog about how he loves to hog those seats to annoy visitors who reckon they are thinking big things, making them sit on the old hardbacks, staring at nothing, whilst he lavishly enjoys the big thinker’s window seat, eating a Ginster’s and denying them.  It mattereth not as we were full of it anyway.

So bursting with ideas and thoughts we were that our whispers were that weird high pitched type people do when they don’t want to be seen scalding children. We grappled with our fascinations and focus, we were nearing a time to make a decision or we wouldn’t get to work together this year. Emma and me have been friends and followed each other’s work since we did a week’s workshop together at Contact Theatre, Manchester some six years ago. We’ve kept up with each other, and have attended each other’s plays and always talked about working together. So, the past six months has been an exciting time for us, hatching plans, but pinning down a subject we could both get our teeth into had took time. It needed to be something with huge scope but something we both felt inspired to do.

All our ideas previously to Chets were streams and trickles leading to the lake of the theme we were really discussing above all- what does it mean to have enough? What is enough? In a finite world what makes us think of progress infinitely without a cap, and without restraint? Is the human race just a big greedy pig? (Pig thing is probably not what we said and now Emma is wishing she’d wrote the first blog). And on a personal level what does enough mean? Can it still have a positive spin in 2011? Does ‘enough’ pose a negative or positive in our lives?  Maybe it’s was the smell of old ideas and leaved through historic texts that helped us set in stone our subject. But here it stood amongst us, ‘enough’.

In the coming month or so Emma pursued funding as I had a nuisance womb removed, keeping me informed of our advances. Finally we – grateful and a tad guilty in the current climate-were successful in our bid and are now advancing, (almost advancing, nearly finished first drafts) brandishing our scripts to our peers and contemporaries at two significant future dates-  1st September in Salford where scripts will be strewn amongst wine and nibbles to be devoured and discussed and 9th September at Theatre In The Mill where proper actors and a proper director (Tom Hogan of Aqueous Humour) will have rehearsed for three days hence to present our murmurings as scripts in hand performances.

We’re keen to know what people think of the work so far.  We’re keen to know what people think enough is.  Keep tuned for more info on the Rehearsed Reading event at Theatre in the Mill, Bradford and the ‘Meet the writers’ events in Salford in September…

Upcoming Enough Project events

1st September, 7 pm
Kings Arms, Salford
11 Bloom St, Salford, M3 6AN
This event is free, just turn up to the pub.

In the Snug, Script Event
On this evening copies of our scripts will be available to read and comment on (whilst drinking beer – it is a pub afterall), both Emma and Cathy will be there to talk about them informally and get your feedback. An hour will be given from 7.30-830 for people to sit and read the scripts (they are only short!) and then scribble on, discuss, drink, chat, for the rest of the evening.

Friday 9th September, 7.30pm
Theatre in the Mill, Bradford

Tickets to this event are free and can be reserved from the TiM box office by telephone 01274 233200 or email theatre@bradford.ac.uk (remaining tickets will be available on the door on the night).
Directed by Tom Hogan, this rehearsed reading of the two new 45minute plays comes hot on the heels of a twin event at Studio Salford and is a unique opportunity to grab a preview of these two new works.
The writers will be propping up the bar after the reading to talk about the work and discuss  what happens next with the production. Join them for a glass of wine and to put your two-penneth into the conversation.

Stage one of the Enough Project and has been supported by Arts Council England through Grants for the Arts.

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