Playwright's With Feathers gets three-week London runBy Lewis Rudd
November 16, 2010
Messages on the wall form a treasure trail for two CCTV operators in a new play by Zoe Grainge. Lewis Rudd tags along to find out more
A performing artist and playwright from Wokingham is hoping to hit the big time after securing a three-week stint in London for her latest production.
Zoe Grainge will take to the director’s chair at The Pleasance Theatre in Islington later this month for her third full-length play, With Feathers.
The work of the 34-year-old, who, by day, is an energy analyst for IHS Consulting, first took to the stage for its opening performance on Tuesday, and will continue its run until Saturday, November 27.
The former Emmbrook School pupil, who is also founder of production company Orange Door, is no stranger to writing stage plays.
Her first, The Moebius Strip, was staged at the John Knox Theatre in Edinburgh as part of the FebFest in 1997.
Then, in 2007, she was shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award, a competition run by The Soho Theatre in London and aims to recognise the best new plays by emerging writers.
Now, she’s excited about taking With Feathers to London.
“It is very good news [to have the play performed at The Pleasance Theatre],” she says. “It is going to be nerve wracking, no doubt, but I am very excited. I’m really proud of it and I believe it to be a good piece of work, although I guess the audience will be the real judges of that.
“It is quite an inspiring piece of work.”
The playwright, who is a product of the Alison Knight School of Dance in Finchampstead and has a degree in sociology and politics, says that the play follows the life of two CCTV operatives who discover random, but hopeful, messages sprayed at various points across their town.
Being unable to fully dissect the messages through the lens of the camera, the pair embark on a journey to learn the full extent of what the confusing communication means.
“The production has some strong links to Wokingham,” she says. “Although not absolutely specifically about Wokingham it is set in a town in the south east and the area of Emmbrook gets a mention. There is also reference to a Station Road.
“I am very much looking forward to seeing the play taking to the stage. It is a culmination of a lot or hard work from a lot of people. It is not just about me because there are a lot of other people involved.
“There are a lot of actors involved who have worked hard. We have all given a lot of time to it.”
Speaking about her time in acting and writing, she adds: “I have been involved since a very young age and, when growing up in Wokingham, I did attend the Alison Knight School of Dance and went on to study performing at GCSE and A-Levels.
“Orange Door, however, hasn’t been running very long but it has been the vehicle for this particular production and the ones I hope to put together in the future.
“It is committed to staging new work seeking to reveal the mystery in the everyday.”
When asked if her work might one day take to a stage in her hometown, the response was promising.
“I would love for it to come to Wokingham,” Zoe explains.
“But it all depends if there is the time and venue for it to happen. There is nothing else happening this year as it is extremely time consuming doing just one thing at a time in this business.
“But next year I am to do something else.”
- Tickets for the show, which begins at 7.30pm, are priced at £10 for adults and £8 for concessions.
These can be obtained by calling 020 7609 1800 or logging on to www.pleasance.co.uk.