Interview with Lee Coffey – Rough Magic Seeds
We had the chance to ask Lee Coffey some questions about his new play ‘Shadows to Light’ which will feature in Rough Magic Seeds programme this year. You can see the results below!
Rough Magic Presents – Shadows to Light – rehearsed reading (Rough Magic SEEDS Showcase 2017)
Dates: 08 Dec – 09 Dec – Show Time: 3pm & 5pm
Did you always want to be a writer or when did you first realise?
No, I originally trained as an actor. One day we had to write a short story and I wrote mine as a script. Then my teacher encouraged me to start writing.
Was there a certain trip to the theatre that made you realise you loved the stage?
It wasn’t a particular trip to the theatre. It was from being in college, reading scripts and being constantly surrounded by it.
When did you write your first play?
I wrote my first play in 2014, it was a play called Leper + Chip.
Which playwrights influenced your work? Are there any you particularly love?
Martin McDonagh, Mark O’Rowe, Eugene O’Neill and Carmel Winters would be big influences. McDonagh and O’Rowe in particular. How they blend comedy and tragedy that has you laughing and crying all at the same time.
Do you have a civilian job also, or are you a full-time writer? Is it difficult to make a living when you are starting off?
I work the odd day with my uncle to keep the wolves from the door, but mostly I make a living from writing.
It is quite difficult starting off. You have to put on something that gets your name out there before you start to get any sort of commissions and even then it’s very difficult. You need to branch out, and write for colleges, TV, as well as the stage if you want it to be sustainable in any way.
Tell me about this new play, what world is it set in?
Shadows To Light is a play about redemption. It is set between this world and the next, or what we perceive the next to be. It’s two hit men in a room after a job goes wrong but everything isn’t as it seems.
This is a reading of the play. How much do you learn from working with the actors and director Lynn Parker? Has the play changed much since they were involved?
The play has changed a lot. With the Seeds programme you work on the play over the two years so it’s miles from what we started with. We’ve had two workshops over the last few months with the cast, Lynne, and Maureen White (who is the dramaturg for Rough Magic). The first workshop was more about the structure and tone of the piece. We pulled it apart and asked a lot of questions. This led it to change quite a bit. Our second workshop was very precise, with smaller changes and removing the fat from the script. The actors and Lynne helped massively, seeing things that I didn’t, asking questions and really pushing me on aspects of the story that they felt didn’t make sense. Overall, the process has been great. I’ve never had as much time on a script before and the input from everyone has really strengthened it.
You can see the results later this week – 08 Dec – 09 Dec 2017 – Show Time: 3pm & 5pm – Full Details here.