Directing... Theatre? What do you mean there are no Cameras? BBC Writers Room

I'm actually writing this a good five months after the event and back-dating the blog post, but yes, I had my theatrical Directorial debut at Media City courtesy of the BBC Writer's Room and their "Turn Up The Talent" night.

The event is designed to showcase New Writing talent, utilise Actor's who have not yet been exposed to that particular "BBC Crowd" and, evidently, new Director's too!

My involvement in the whole affair was a happy accident! I think one of the regular BBC Writing Room staff members was unavailable, and so a call was put out internally for someone to stand in. Someone suggested "that Ginger bearded film-maker from the second floor" and before you could say "Scottish Play" I was sent a script and told to go and find some actors a.s.a.p; as the challenge was that we would only have one afternoon to rehearse the script!

I have to confess to a little bit of "cheating" in that I found two actors early and we got in a rehearsal the weekend before. I was working with the wonderful and beautiful people that are Hazel Earle and Michael Justice; two actors I'm sure any long term Col Warhurst fans will know I have worked with before. This was pretty crucial, as being up against it, and with Theatre being new to me, I needed experienced actors who I could communicate with very quickly.

Of course, the script was essential, and I have to say I was very fortunate to be given a dark comedy piece called "Catherine Phillips" by local writer Clarke McWilliam. We played it for a few cheeky laughs and a dark twist... and dare I say it seemed to go very well!

The night was compered by Whovian comedian Toby Hadoke, who (unbeknowst to me) found out I work for Technology Solutions and Design at the BBC; so of course he promptly introduced me as "Colin Warhurst, who works for the STD department of the BBC!" - Yeah, thanks.

Still, he was doing his job and the jibe put the crowd in the right mood for our little play, and I'm glad to say that we hit all the right notes, got laughs in the right places and managed to pull the rug out from under the audience's feet at the right time with the play's last little twist. Not bad for a first outing! I was almost in danger of looking like I knew what I was doing, but that is always the case when you have brilliant Actor's on hand. (Mwah! Mwah! Dahling!)

So it seems I am now able to add 'Theatre Directing' to my CV, but I won't be making too much of a fuss of it yet, as I am aware that I only dipped a very small toe into a very large pond, and I was supported by a brilliant script, and two brilliant actors. There were some amazing plays and acting that evening, and if any of you local creative bunch (or BBC Staff) hear about future events, you should attend!

Meanwhile, I will stick to camera Directing for now (perhaps a film version of this very play?...), but who knows, I may feel the need to boss someone about upon the 'Wooden O' again. Watch this space!

Thanks again to Clarke, Michael and Hazel for making it such a fun night, and for the Writer's Room staff for giving me a turn at the wheel.