A Sharing: The Offside Trap

18-Jan-2023 | Kerrie L Marsh -

It was like a proud parent moment, seeing their faces as professional actors brought their words to life. So special and just magic.

Last week we managed to share with an invited audience of family and friends, ‘The Offside Trap’, the new play from Hull Truck Theatre’s Young Writers, 14-18 group.

What an awesome and inspiring thing to have been a part of.

I had an epic afternoon with professional actors Amelia Grimes and Marc Graham in the rehearsal room, bringing the young writers play to life.

A collaborative effort that was the result of our free ten-week playwriting course which has been an absolute pleasure to deliver and I’m a little sad it’s over to be honest. But don’t tell them because for an old person, they think I’m sort of cool. I think it was the lo-fi music I played in sessions.

Each week we explored a different aspect of playwriting, and the group would take part in writing exercises, discussions, and group tasks. The seven young writers, once the story and plot of their play was decided, set about writing scenes in pairs and came together in regular intervals to ensure that the piece had the feel of one voice. It was clear from the sharing that they achieved that.

Seeing their faces as they entered the performance space was something I instantly recognised. The nerves, the wonder, the worry. Hearing your work aloud for the first time is a nerve-wracking experience as an adult, so I thought it was an extremely brave thing for our young writers to do.

It was so enjoyable to see the group, their family and friends smile throughout, laughing and engaging with a play that they had all created together.

It’s so important to be able to hear your words spoken into existence, as a writer it’s a vital part of the process and for them to have been able to experience this at this stage in their creative development is just awesome.

I can’t imagine being able to have had such an opportunity as this when I was their age. What a special thing Hull Truck Theatre has been able to provide for them and one that I hope will remain with them and encourage them further as writers.

On a personal note, it’s been a highlight of my time working here at the theatre. There is nothing I love more than being in a creative space, with other creative professionals and making stuff happen. Amelia and Marc were a joy to work with. Directing the piece with them was easy and enjoyable. Such an ace day at work and I am thankful of the experience.

The actors were generous with their time, sharing their thoughts and praise with the young writers at the end of the sharing. Providing them with some valuable insight and encouragement to keep writing. This gave me time to hear some of the invited audiences’ thoughts on what they had just watched. It was positive, supportive and in some cases extremely honest with one parent expressing, it was much better than they had imagined. To which made us all laugh but there is also some real weight in this thought. It proves that without opportunities like this, we don’t get to explore or uncover what young creatives are truly capable of.

The young writers will now go on to submit their piece into the 37 Plays Project as a way to celebrate and conclude their amazing achievement.

Well done to our Young Writers 14-18, class of 2022. Hull Truck Theatre and I are extremely proud of you. You are inspiring, encouraging, and brave.

Now, stick some lo-fi on and chill.

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