Lucy Avery is the author of “Godless Monsters”, one of three specially crafted pieces for this season’s Omniwrite.
Lucy Avery trained at the University of Kent and Rose Bruford College, she became Associate Director with Apocryphal Theatre where she also directed her own writing ‘This is How I Lost My Memory’ at Camden People’s Theatre. She now focuses on her playwriting with credits including: ‘Dawn’, Theatre503 (staged reading), ‘The Day The Sky Fell In’, Theatre503 (LPC platform), ‘The Birdcatcher’, Brockley Jack Studio Theatre (platform performance), ‘Crazy Bitch’, Theatre503 (staged reading), ‘I hope we make it through the rain’, Theatre503 (LPC platform). Lucy’s plays ‘The Last Request’ and ‘The Birdcatcher’ were published in BRAND Literary Magazine.
In 2014 Lucy was awarded a residency by The Expansionists to develop ‘Godless Monsters’ with Culturcated Theatre Company and write ‘The Debra Project’, a commission from To The Moon.
Could you give us a brief summary of your play?
Gray and Esther turn to Christianity to help them take their lives in a new direction. When Gray travels to Africa to be a missionary and work with Esther things aren’t quite what he thinks, and when he discovers her secret they’re set on a trajectory where they’re made to question the very nature of their belief.
What inspired you to write it?
I was working at a Christian publisher and we’d send Bibles to a charity that gave Bibles to people in Zambia. I received a photo of some of the children reading them and I just thought: I wonder what happens out there? And then my writing brain started to work on that question and picture.
Tell us about some of the relationships in the play.
One of the more interesting relationships in the play is Esther and Ben’s. Ben is a character you never see or hear although she talks to him in a few scenes. He’s not invisible, but by not embodying him on stage and only seeing Esther’s reactions to him the story becomes more about the nature of her belief in him and in God, which for me is one of the big questions the play poses.
How do you approach your writing? Do you have a regular routine?
I usually have an idea, which may be an image or a feeling, it’s not usually something literal, and I may start to write or draw snap shots in my note book. Then when I feel like I can’t hold it in any more and I think I know what the story is, I’ll take some days to just write the whole thing out. It’s usually pretty mad but once it’s all there (I write this in long hand) and then I type it up and try to figure out what I’ve got and what it’s trying to say.
My regular routine is to write to write every week day.
How do you see this piece of work evolving?
It’s evolved a lot already since my initial draft! It’s become a process of teasing out the story. When I start to write a piece I tend to start with the major conflict moment and then tease out what the rest of the story is from there: how the characters get to this point and where they go from there, and what’s the play trying to say. I’ve also been working on pacing the story properly and really creating an experience for the audience so it speaks to them on the same level that it speaks to me.
What are you hoping for from your showcase at Omnibus?
I’m hoping to find a home for the play, somewhere that will take it for a full production. I’m also really excited to see the audience’s reaction to the extract we’re presenting. There’s nothing like sitting in an audience and feeling them respond to the moments you’ve written to figure out if it’s doing what you want it to do!
Omniwrite is on Friday 15 April at 7.30pm.
Tickets: £12 | £10 concessions
Ticket price includes a free drink and nibbles.