I don‘t forget… I just let you think I do. It’s easier.
The story behind Ray and Doreen
The Jack Studio Theatre in Brockley, south-east London is an award-winning pub theatre where I’m Literary Associate. Like so many venues, lockdown hit hard but a lifeline for the theatre to continue came in the form of funding from Arts Council England. As part of the funding package received, the Jack Studio had proposed a project called CONNECT in which four writers who’ve previously had plays produced there, would each write a 10-minute short film script. These scripts would then be filmed and put out online in autumn 2020 on the Jack Studio’s website.
Kate Bannister, the Jack Studio’s Artistic Director, contacted me and asked if I would be interested in directing one of the short films, Ray and Doreen by Mel Pennant? I knew that the script would be brilliantly written as I’d admired Mel’s play No Rhyme at The Jack Studio some years before. But reading this beautifully touching two-character piece made me so excited at the prospect of directing this film and working with a pair of talented actors and an equally talented cinematographer so I eagerly accepted.
I was hugely fortunate on both counts being recommended Dan and Pauline Armour, an acting couple who also run The Bromley Little Theatre, for the roles of Ray and Doreen and then being recommended NFTS trained cinematographer Alfred Thirolle to come on board as director of photography. Shooting the piece over two days in September 2020 was an amazing experience and I’m keen to share the finished film online on the Jack Studio’s website very soon.