Neil Bebber - Enillydd ScriptSlam 2009

Awdur y Flwyddyn SgriptSlam 2009

How and why did you get involved with Scriptslam?

I made a short film and enjoyed the process so much I thought I'd write another slightly longer and more ambitious script. As Seven People developed, it started to feel more like a stage play and, after going to a couple of heats of the previous years Scriptslam competition, it seemed like the perfect place for it.

What was the inspiration for your piece?

I people-watch a lot, always wondering what unspoken secrets they harbour. Seven People was a way of allowing an audience into people's most private thoughts, appealing to the voyeur in all of us.

What experience of writing for the stage had you had before ScriptSlam?

Seven People was my first attempt at writing for the stage though I've learned a huge amount since having been lucky enough to attend two writing courses at Sherman Cymru last year.

What was it like seeing your play performed on stage for the first time and then winning the September round?

Surreal. I fully intended to sit and analyse the words and use it as an exercise to assess what needed improving but... all I could think was, "those are my words, they're saying my words, oh my God, people are laughing". The actors and director did such a great job. It was so much better than I'd envisaged. And winning? Just really pleased. And excited. And then frustrated that I'd have to wait 8 months for the Final!

How did it feel winning ScriptSlam 2009?

When the result was announced, I clapped because it didn't initially register that Branwen had actually read out my name. I was totally unprepared. Numb. Nervous. I've never won anything before! Not even the lottery! It took a couple of days before the excitement kicked in, especially when I started to realise that next time Seven People appeared, it could be a full production at Sherman Cymru!

What are your future plans?

Well, other than developing Seven people with Sherman Cymru, I'm writing new work and redrafting other scripts that I've written over the last year. My first play, Magnets, was staged at Chapter Arts Centre in February as a script in hand production. I've redrafted it and intend to put it on as a full production by the end of the year. My second play, Michael Groves, is appearing for the first time at Chapter on the last weekend of June ( I'm also developing monologues to be performed in the room spaces in Ikea in Cardiff at the beginning of June and I'm currently working with David Lane, the dramaturg at the Ustinov Theatre in Bath, on my third play, Distortion.

The plan is to keep writing new work and continue to develop my craft as a writer. I'm currently working on a fourth play and have written outlines for two more so for now I'm just going to keep writing and hope the inspiration doesn't dry up!


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