Term Two – Lab Project Two (by Aurelia Rosegger)

Unit One – Lab Two consisted of a project we did with Fin Kennedy called Taxi Tales. The part of the project we focused on was to create monologues for taxi drivers to perform to their passengers while driving them around. The idea was to have taxi drivers perform these to audience members being driven to the final performance of Taxi Tales which was to be written by playwright Ishy Din.

Throughout the second half of Unit One we met every week with Fin and a guest of his who was involved in the project. Apart from being very insightful and useful sessions with each of these masters, it was very interesting to meet people involved in the different aspects of the project.

We met Ishy first and discussed what was to be expected from us, how we would be exploring the theme of the British Pakistani community, particularly in Middlesbrough, and even some information about how Ishy moved from being a taxi driver to becoming a playwright. Ishy was great to work with because he gave us invaluable insight into what life is like for a taxi driver and the unique take he had on being part of two worlds. Ishy continued to work with us for the rest of the project.

We also met Boz Temple Morris (Holy Mountain) who offered to record the monologues we had written and that these would be read out by the taxi drivers and Evie Manning (Commonwealth) who was to help direct the project. With them we explored the idea of emotion, and where it is carried in the physical body as well as the physical aspects we needed to take into consideration when writing the pieces.

Finally, we also met the taxi drivers with whom we had a fun Q and A in order to help us with capturing their individual voices. This was a great session because apart from meeting three very helpful taxi drivers all of whom had very distinctive voices and outlooks on the world, we had the chance to discover what we were each most interested in, and explore our individual take on the topic.

The whole process, of course, involved a lot of work and research, all of which Fin did a very good job in taking us through. After all our first drafts were recorded, six of the second drafts were chosen to be part of the final show and which would be exhibited during London Writers Week at CSM.

It is safe to say that the whole project, apart from being a success, was very helpful in making us all look at voice and the development of a monologue (one of the most difficult forms of dramatic writing, in my opinion). Fin did an amazing job in making the lab both relatable and challenging for each of us, and I can only hope that future labs will be as instrumental as this one has been.

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