10 October 2011

Sex Drive: Writing Across the World

Playwrights Lorae Parry and Pinky Agnew.
When Pinky and I first had the idea for Sex Drive we were living in Wellington. 

We'd co-written a couple of shows together, as well as political comedy skits for our 'characters', Helen (Clark) & Jenny (Shipley). Our writing routine always started with coffee and muffins and a catch up talk before we sat down at our laptops. And Sex Drive was no exception when, in 2006, we nutted out its storyline.

After completing the character breakdowns, we were about to start writing when, out of the blue, my partner got a 5 year contract in London and within weeks I was living on the other side of the world! No more morning talks, no play and definitely no more muffins.

Before I left we’d talked about somehow finding a way to write the play. All we had was a 1-page scenario and a great idea. Skype perhaps? Email? In London however, I struggled just to get the internet connected, then one day an Irish woman from British Telecom was sorting out my internet problems over the phone, and said, 'I can remotely access your laptop if you like.' And I watched in awe as she did so. Later she said, ‘You can write your play that way, to be sure!’

And that's how we've written the play, once a week, over the last 5 years. It's extraordinary technology. I literally get onto Pinky's computer - though never while she's doing her online banking! We work on the script in real time, while talking on Skype. 

One luxurious week Pinky came to London and we actually sat in the same room writing! But apart from that and some sessions snatched when we’re home at Christmas, the play's been written between different time zones, with Pinky’s morning and my night, and 20,000 kilometers in between.

But even though we're at opposite ends of the globe, we still always start our sessions with our 'morning' talk. And, of course, the coffee and the muffins! As Pinky says, 'It just wouldn't work otherwise!'

Lorae Parry
London, 18 September 2011

Sex Drive opens on 15 October and runs until 12 November. To book tickets, call the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or go online at www.circa.co.nz

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