5 mins with: Christian Patterson Writer on Truth or Dare and Sleeping Beauty
See dates and times 13 Apr 2023
Christian Patterson has been part of the Theatr Clwyd family for many years as both an actor and a writer. As the award winning writer of Theatr Clwyd pantomimes, thousands of people have enjoyed his fantastic writing over the years. This year will be no different with the Rock ‘n’ Roll version of Sleeping Beauty (30 Nov-6 Jan). Tere are two chances to enjoy Christians work at the venue this season. Truth Or Dare (27 Apr-13 May) is a brand new commission by Theatr Clwyd, with ten brand new plays written by ten writers, and performed by 20 actors along the theme of Truth or Dare.
We sat down with Christian to catch up about these to exciting shows:
Its great to have two chances to catch your work at Theatr Clwyd with year. What drew you to the Truth or Dare project?
It sounded like a totally bonkers idea so I thought it would be a great opportunity to write an equally bonkers play! The 10 minute format means you have to get into the meat of the play straight away and leaves very little room for faff but huge scope for creativity. I have loved every single second!
Your play Two Parts Madness, One Part Mayhem is described as a murder-mystery farce – tell us a little bit about the piece?
I sort of flitted from idea to idea and landed on the murder mystery genre sort of by accident…it just sort of fell onto the page so I thought ‘Go with it!”. It’s pure farce straight out of the Goons, Morecambe & Wise, Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer school of writing. It’s a world where nothing makes sense and all is not what it seems.
And can we expect some panto style fun?
Well it’s farce as opposed to panto but there’s definitely word play and mayhem galore so fingers crossed it will tickle the funny bone in the same way!
The piece is only around 10 minutes long, this is hugely different to a full-length panto. Does that make it a challenge to write?
Definitely! There are ideas that you think “Hmmm I’d like to unpack that a bit more” and then you see your page count go up and up and have remove some of the stuff that is either superfluous to the plot (there’s definitely a plot there somewhere I promise!) and sadly some things that made you laugh…so the really challenge is reshaping after you’ve lost an important bit.
You will have already been working on the script for Sleeping Beauty. How’s that coming along?
Sleeping Beauty is a favourite of mine for a very strange reason indeed…the title character is asleep for almost the entire second half! So you keep the story plate spinning in the second half whilst maxing out on great panto routines! I have LOVED writing it so let’s hope the audiences will LOVE watching it!
Being a rock ‘n’ roll panto the song choices play a huge part of the show, have you got some of these in mind already?
I’ve put all my song choices in but then it goes to musical director supremo Tayo for his final say as to which choices stay and which change. It’s a pretty fluid process until the right mix of music is in place and ready to get the audiences dancing in their seats!
This year the show is taking place in a Big Top Tent – does this change the way you adapt the story?
Yes it does but in a “Ooo now that could be interesting” kind of a way! Every year I write more and more challenging things for Adrian (the brilliant set & costume designer) to make happen and every year he exceeds my expectations by a country mile! I have never heard him say “That’s not possible” - he’s a pantomime wizard and I love seeing what he’s come up with as much as the audience do! Roll on Sleeping Beauty!
Truth 27 Apr - 13 May | Book Now
Dare 28 Apr - 13 May | Book Now
Sleeping Beauty 30 Nov - 6 Jan | Book Now