I’ve only ever written one play, and this was (perhaps inevitably) a rather peculiar affair. It was written for radio and lasted all of fifteen minutes.
I wrote it back in the early 90s when it actually got me a chat with a producer from the BBC. Unfortunately, he couldn’t actually see what slot it might fit in, and I didn’t have any sort of follow-up ready, so nothing ever came of our meeting. In 2006, just after I’d started writing fiction again, I sent it to Dirk Maggs, an independent producer who’s done loads of interesting stuff, including all the recent Douglas Adams adaptations. He, too, liked it but couldn’t see a slot for it. The problem was a classic Catch 22: it was too short at fifteen minutes, but the concept couldn’t actually stretch to anything longer without driving the listener barmy.
Then I sent it to Andrew Sachs (yes, that Andrew Sachs), mainly because he’d written The Revenge, which in many ways inspired it. He actually took the time to phone me up to chat about it, and basically said that if I ever managed to get it produced, he’d love to play one of the parts. One odd consequence of this was that when the Russell Brand / Jonathan Ross scandal broke a few years later, this actually meant I could tell everyone that I, too, had Andrew Sachs’s mobile phone number. Lovely bloke, by the way.
In 2008, I took it to the Winchester Writers’ Conference and showed it to another independent producer, Philip Glassboro, who was also very enthusiastic about it. I mentioned to him that I would dearly love to hear it produced, if only to hear what it actually sounded like. He agreed with me, and suggested the name of a producer at the BBC to send it to. Sadly, she never got back to me.
So there it is. Twenty or so years on, a number of people who know what they’re doing have looked at it and loved it, but it’s still awaiting its first production. Do take a look, though. It could be so much fun.