Thursday, 30 July 2009

Afternoons and Coffeespoons

Well the Afternoon Play is on the iPlayer and there's been a little bit of feedback, one person on Twitter and another on the Radio 4 forum have both learned the derivation of the word antimacassar from the play.
The person on the forum also thinks the play's worth listening to if low on comedy (it's been billed and announced as a comedy all over the place), another listener agreed with the lack of comedy and felt the production just about held the play together.
On listening to the finished piece I'm inclined to agree. The production and playing is very good, the writing not so, and I desperately wish the piece wasn't being presented as a comedy. The bits of Charles Trenet inserted in the edit seem to make the gulf between the comic and tragic greater.

Truth is, when initially pitched the word 'comedy' was used,though sadness was obviously always in there, but when first written as a comedy it came in way too short, partly because a chunk of plot about Frank getting mixed up about two different sets of road work from my story breakdown had been dropped as too confusing, though that wouldn't have filled the gap alone.
The piece drifted further from humour after the absurd ending I was building to in which Frank is blissfully relieved of the burden of his history in a gas explosion was rejected as ridiculous by everyone but me (probably because I didn't do it well enough), and it became clear there wasn't a lot of narrative drive to what was essentially a small journey.
A lot of meandering banter went and a new plot was developed based on Nick and his threat to Frank, as a consequence everything ended up a hell of a lot less chucklesome.
I guess however it was still down on the Radio 4 system as a comedy despite us moving away from the genre through the rewrites.

Do give it a listen if you're so inclined. It's well produced and a lot of very good people worked on it, but don't expect many laughs.

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