Introducing our year four Write to Play writers!

Write to Play has landed in the Midlands for its fourth year. More specifically, it’s landed in The Belgrade Theatre Coventry, the Birmingham Rep and the Curve Theatre Leicester, where Graeae and our brilliant partner organisations are about to start working with six brilliant new writers living and/or working in the Midlands.

To get to know them a little better, and to get us all in the festive spirit, we asked them three questions. Here’s what they had to say…

Head shot of Jess LovettJessica Lovett

What is your favourite Christmas record?

As a Christmas fanatic, it’s hard for me to pick just one song. I guess it would have to be something by Frank Sinatra. Growing up you couldn’t escape Sinatra in my house. My dad was either listening to him on the record player or my mom was watching one of his films. So a Sinatra Christmas song always makes me think of home. That being said the Pogues and Wizzard are definite classics as well (see I knew I wouldn’t be able to pick just one).

What would you like to find underneath the Christmas tree?

Considering the nature of this programme, I think I have to say books! My Amazon wishlist is currently filled with new collections by some of my favourite playwrights. There are also a couple of comedian biographies as well as Hamilton: The Revolution, the complete journey from page to stage, my (and the rest of the world’s) latest theatre obsession. If Santa has an unlimited cash flow, I wouldn’t say no to a royal typewriter either. I’ve been coveting one since I was at school… either that or an unlimited theatre pass that can get me into every show for free.

What’s your favourite Christmas joke?

The cheesier the better, in my opinion. My favourite ones tend to be from Christmas crackers. My family hate them but I always make them go through the ritual every year. A particular favourite from last year was: What did Adam say to his wife on the day before Christmas? It’s Christmas, Eve.

Head shot of Michael SouthanMichael Southan

So, all things Christmas; yes? Right, I’ll try and not waffle because I’m sure yuletide of that (sorry)…

Ok, serious face now.

When talking festive ditties I think we need look no further than Greg Lake’s I Believe in Father Christmas. Some may consider this a strange choice given it’s not Slade, but once that tinkly instrumental bit kicks in I defy anyone not to feel the joys of the season. Is it really sad that I was genuinely disappointed that they took it off the background of the Sainsbury’s ad this year? It is?

Ok then…moving on.

I’ve really agonised over this next question. It’s a bone of contention in our house that Mike is terrible to buy for… sometimes I really just don’t know what I want! (Sorry mum.) However, I do have a very sweet tooth so I’d have to go with your classic Toblerone, with I hasten to add, its original dimensions (sorry for being all controversial). I don’t think you can go wrong with that really.

Finally friends, let me leave you with a joke to dazzle your friends and family with over the festive season. “What says “Oh Oh Oh!”? Santa walking backwards.

Merry Christmas, and to all a good night!

Head shot of Hannah TorranceHannah Torrance

What is y­our favourite Christm­as record?
Rage Against the Machine made Christmas number one right? I love Christmas but I worked in retail for a number of years so I’ve listened to the songs so many times they’re all one jingle bell blur! I think I’d have to pick Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! It’s all jazzy and warm and reminds me of chilling out with the extended family at Christmas, which is what it’s all about really.

What would­ you like to find und­erneath the Christmas­ tree?
When I was young I remember a TV programme called Bernard’s Watch. This watch could be used to stop time, everything and everyone would freeze around him, which I always thought was fantastic but he would generally use it for cleaning up mess before his parents got home. I would definitely choose to have a Bernard’s watch to give me more time in the day; time to chill out, unwind, sleep, write, then start the clock and get on with what the day has to offer.

What’s your fa­vourite Christmas jok­e?
What goes black, white, black, white, black, white, thump?
A penguin rolling down a hill.

Head shot of Naomi WestermanNaomi Westerman

What is your favourite Christmas record?
The South Park Dreidel Song.

What would you like to find underneath the Christmas tree?
Donald Trump’s head in a box all beautifully tied up in a red glittery ribbon.

What’s your favourite Christmas joke?
Admiring the Christmas trees displayed in his neighbour’s windows, David asks his father, ‘Daddy, can we have a Hanukkah Tree?’
‘What? No, of course not,’ says his father.
‘Why not?’ asks David.
‘Well, David, because the last time we had dealings with a lighted bush we spent 40 years in the wilderness.’

Khush ChahalHead shot of Khush Chahal

What is y­our favourite Christm­as record?
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire by Nat King Cole. I just love this record, as no other song depicts Christmas for me quite like it. Every time I hear it, it puts me in a Christmassy mood.

What would you like to find under the Christmas tree?
Lots and lots and lots of presents just for me.

What is your favourite Christmas joke?
What does Santa suffer from when he gets stuck up a chimney? Claus-trophobia.

Head shot of Karran CollingsKarran Collings

What is y­our favourite Christm­as record?
My favourite Christmas record is a classic, Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

What would you like to find under the Christmas tree?
I am not particularly materialistic. I do not desire exquisite jewels, expensive handbags, exotic holidays nor being extravagantly wined and dined.  I do however enjoy unwinding with family and friends, home cooking, cosy log fires, the open British countryside and the freedom to travel. So, all I really want this Christmas is a 45ft cruiser 6 birth narrowboat in blue with red trim.

What is your favourite Christmas joke?
The Christmas joke that never fails to make me smile is another classic.
What did one snowman say to the other snowman?
‘Can you smell carrots?’