Saturday, 13 May 2017

Tribute interview with Marilyn Court-Lewis

Can't believe there is only one more week to go of the Tribute Podcasts, and therefore the interviews. This penultimate episode is a rich and touching one called Turning written by Marilyn Court-Lewis who I got to interview regarding the episode, you can read that here.

1. Living in Wales myself I firstly wondered what reasons the story was set there?

 On the basis of ‘Write what you know’, the story is set there because that is the culture in which I grew up. I lived with relatives within the Welsh hill-farming community on the Brecon Beacons. This is the background that informs Turning.

2. The language is very rich, it reminded me of a classic novel. Is Bronte-esque a thing? What were the influences on the style of Turning?

 That’s interesting. No, Bronte-esque is not a thing. The main influence on the style of my prose writing and on the style of Turning is the work of Edna O’Brien, whose work, in my opinion, is very underrated. I love her humour and the lyrical quality of her work.

3. The distance between the characters in Turning is very deftly handled. Was this something you thought about when writing. How did you go about creating that distance?

 When I wrote the piece, I wanted to hone it to the bone in order to cut out any overflow of emotion. These were spare people who had lived fairly isolated lives. I felt the best way to get that across was to write sparingly.

4. I love the structure of the three things he said before he died, setting up the inevitability of death, probably the way we all look at it. Was this intentional?

 Yes, it was intentional. It was important they were spanned apart like that to create tension – a kind of emotional scansion, if that makes sense? His words mark the stages of his passing and are beats in the process of her realising he is going.

5. His statements are very simple and effective to the audience and the characters. How did you come up with those three statements?

 The story is predicated on a real experience and those are the words that were said.

6. What other projects are you working on, do they bear any resemblance to Turning?

I am working on three projects at the moment. One project resembles Turning in that it involves work I wrote around that time. I am reformatting it to make it suitable for podcasting. The second project is a rewrite of a feature-length screenplay which I want to pitch to a particular TV producer. It is nothing like Turning. The third is the development of a comedy about a reluctant hellraiser, who, having lived ‘fast and loose’, is horrified to find herself still alive when all her friends are dead. From the Land of Ozzy Osbourne to the World of Politics, she is baffled to have survived all this only to have to adjust to quotidian realities.

7. Have you listened to the other Tributes, if so which ones have stood out for you? 

I like them all and it has been a joy to be involved with this project and to have met such lovely people. But one Tribute really stands out for me. It’s Will Mount’s An Irresistible Force, which leaves me in awe. It is so well-written, funny, sophisticated and insightful, and I love his mischievous treatment of the theme.

 8. I was asked this question and think it's very interesting - what would you want your Tribute to be? 

It would depend on who was giving the Tribute.

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