Stage fright

So everything’s starting to come together. The script is reaching its final stages…and I’m finding this the most nerve-wracking time in the process. I’ve taken on board most of what my script editor had to say. I’ve taken on board what the actors had to say and I’ve taken on board what joke writer Judy Walker, a former Sun newspaper cartoonist, also had to say. Even the bit about never wanting to see the script again…

I’m just waiting to hear back from one of friends who proof reads for author Liz Jensen. We’ve been friends for decades and I know she won’t hold back. I want to know what gags are so groan-worthy they must be consigned to the great Christmas cracker bin in the sky. I’ve become too close to the play and can no longer tell if it’s funny or not. Which is disconcerting because my script editor has said something similar: “It’s not funny – work with someone who can write gags,” he said. I’m sure he was really having a laugh. I used to be a gag writer. But maybe that’s just the problem: used. Is the joke on me? It’s not funny 😦

The script is also out with a director who has just been involved in a very successful show here on the London fringe: the War of the Walses, starring Julia Collier who is going to be in Martini Bond. Fingers crossed they will like the play too and want to come on board. We’ve also expanded the cast from two to three – and that actress, Juliet Holding, has said she is very excited about being in the show.

So all being well, the script will be solid – and finalised in the next couple of weeks. Then I can start panicking about who’s coming to see it. My colleagues have already threatened a group outing, which is fine, except they are all national newspaper journalists … and some websites such as the London Evening Standard encourage audience members to write reviews. Like I said, nerve wracking.

April 29, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Comedy, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing.


  1. crubin replied:

    I agree–it’s difficult when you become so close to your work that you can no longer tell whether it’s funny, sad, scary, or whatever the case may be.

    Good luck with everything. Sounds exciting!

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      It’s certainly exciting – so I guess you get nerves with that!

  2. Judith replied:

    I agree the more you look at and examine a piece of comedy writing the less funny it seems. That is when professional judgment comes in. The first time I read Martinis Bond I was on a bus. I laughed out loud and people stared at me. Then as reread it to add some jokes I could not laugh. It had become more like work.

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Hopefully I’ve put the bits back in that made you laugh! as well as some of your gags. This is a serious business – no laughing matter!

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