A workshop with author and playwright Barney Norris

Barney Norris, who won the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2014 with his first full-length play, “Visitors”, shared his knowledge and experience with pupils during the recent run of his play “While we’re here” at The North Wall. Barney put on a practical workshop for Lower Sixth A Level pupils and a Q and A session for aspiring writers, directors and actors.

Jack Verschoyle, who was among the attendees, writes about the experience and some of what he picked up from Barney’s session:

“In a short workshop with the aspiring writers and actors of the Sixth Form, Barney Norris conveyed to us the importance of truth in drama. Being a writer of plays as well as books and poems, his workshop focused on the writer’s role at the start of a dramatic process, specifically his duty to answer two questions: what do I know, and what do I want to say about it? If you don’t know about it or have anything to say about it, there is a high probability that no one, including yourself, wants to hear about it.

We broke down into small groups, brainstormed and then came together to discuss. Our conversations varied from talking about our relationships with the people around us to our interests in derelict parking lots.

For me, this workshop reaffirmed the importance of the everyday in theatre, life isn’t always exceedingly dramatic, so why should drama be different?”

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