OK, so due to the blog being on lockdown at the end of 2014, we didn’t get the opportunity to hear how 2014 had treated some of our favourite folks. Well, we’re back with a bang this year!
Mhairi Ledgerwood, a wonderful playwright and all-round lovely lady, is here to open the series with her review of 2015 and by all accounts, it’s been a cracking year for her. Oh, and today just happens to be her ninth wedding anniversary – congratulations to Mhairi and her husband, David!
Thanks for being involved Mhairi!
2015 was an incredible year for you. Do you have a favourite memory professionally?
Stepping onto the film set of “Hummingbird”. “Hummingbird” was a short play that I wrote which had a reading at the ARC and The Traverse in 2014. At the start of this year, I decided to be brave and send it to Dan Perry –a film-maker and fellow writer that I met on the Creative Writing MA at Teesside University in 2010. I’ve loved films since I was a teenager, but never thought I’d be in the position to have one made. Dan said yes and it was filmed in June of this year. I went to have a peak at the set just before we started filming and seeing the green screen set up, the set, the film-making equipment… to go from being a teenager in my bedroom reading films scripts bought from Waterstones to seeing something that I’d written about to get made… Yeah, I won’t forget that in a hurry. Dan’s a great guy, it was fantastic being able to get the chance to work with him professionally. It’s being edited just now so looking forward to seeing the finished film!
And how about a favourite moment from 2015 generally?
Man, so many! Non-professionally, my husband David took part in the London Marathon and that was an amazing experience. Even as a non-runner, I got swept up in the atmosphere of the whole weekend. There was also 8 weeks spent at the ARC over May/June where each member of the Writers ARCADE group had a rehearsed reading of a play they’d written. To be part of that was incredible, getting to see everyone’s plays, what they’d been working on… I’ve been a part of that group since it was founded and I’m so proud of how far we’ve come as a group. Yes, I had to write one of the plays, but as a theatre fan, getting to see 7 other readings every week over the course of two months – I loved it!
Favourite book in 2015?
“The Paying Guests” – Sarah Waters. I don’t often get the time to read books (too busy reading plays) but I love her work, so made sure I kept an eye out for this. She also writes stories either before, during, or after WW2, with really strong female characters.
Favourite film of 2015?
I try and see all the Oscar nominees (time dependent!) and loved “Whiplash”. Incredible performances from the two leads.
Favourite song of the year?
Again, so hard to choose! I’ve been keeping a Spotify list all year called “2015” where I save songs that come up at certain times; there’s the ones on there that I played a lot while writing my ARC play, or ones I heard from West End shows I’ve seen this year. If we’re looking for something that was released this year then “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon, I really like that.
Any downsides for you in 2015?
Terrible time management! I could be a lot better at this.
Are you making resolutions for 2016?
Less faffing. More writing/cleaning.
What are you hoping for from 2016?
I’ve been really lucky the past couple of years to have had several rehearsed readings of plays on in venues around the north-east. 2015 saw my first 60 minute play being presented. I would love for 2016 to be the year that I have a full production of a full length play that I’ve written. I would love a play on at the Edinburgh Fringe. To see “Hummingbird” accepted to a short film festival. I’m co-writing a play called “Signal Change” with a friend of mine that had ten minutes previewed at Northern Stage in October – we’ve already written more, so am really looking forward to what’s going to happen with that in 2016.