David Kinder in the English Department

Head of English wins writing competition

In the last lockdown Head of English, David Kinder, used his time to write a script a week for Chichester Festival Theatre's lockdown project  'Five Day Play'. The brief was published every Monday and submitted a 10 page script by 6pm on the Friday.

David's contribution to week 4, Blue Moon, a play set on the last night of the Conservative Party Conference, won week 4 of the project. The prize was feedback from a professional director and a recording of the play by professional actors. The play, Blue Moon, recorded by Lucy Briers (Forty Years On, Young Checkov) as Anushka and Keir Charles (Quiz) as Simon is available here. Warning: it contains strong language.

David has written since his university days when he studied English and Drama at Exeter.  Here he describes his contribution to the arts,  'We put on a two hander about two soft southerners heading north, all set in a car, at the Exeter Arts Centre. I did a few other bits of writing during my degree but when I left university I became an actor and tried to write more but, aside from one public reading of a play at the Battersea Arts Centre, organised through a friend, never really got anywhere.'

When he started teaching he began to teach lots of plays but never got round to writing any more until in 2015 when he invited Sarah Hehir, winner of a Radio 4 drama competition (and now writing for the Archers!) and Dan Rebellato, another regular Radio 4 dramatist to Godalming College to run a radio workshop. I started something while sitting in on their sessions. The year after, when they came back, I mentioned that I had about 20 pages of a play and Sarah asked to see it. She was encouraging, so I carried on but couldn't get it to the production stage.

'I was nudged into entering the Chichester Festival Theatre's project by my wife' he says, and got into a rhythm of thinking about and writing a play in five days for nine weeks. So, from my first efforts at university to a small amount of public recognition it has only taken 35 years! I am now working on a full length play. We’ll see what happens… I’m not holding my breath!'

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