Sacred fools

So there was me, post-election 2004, living off my last nickels in a swell gaff in West Hollywood, looking for a job, and jonesing for some theatre-making. In retrospect, it was the name that made me choose the company, really. I can’t even remember if I found it online or just walked by the building on my way elsewhere. (You couldn’t walk past a building with ‘Sacred Fools’ written on it either. Try it sometime.)

I started going to company meetings, started helping with stage crew, and ended up getting whisked into their twice-yearly overnight theatre project - Fast & Loose. Didn’t matter who you were or what you usually did for Sacred Fools: For those 24 hours, you were a writer, a director, an actor, a techie, a whatever. And you worked hard and quick, and you loved it.

I directed a play called “Psycho-Tit Jamboree”; my most pressing tech concern was to find A) an empty hairspray bottle and B) the right mix of melted vanilla ice cream and water to simulate breast-milk. Messy but memorable.

Somehow Fast & Loose seemed like exactly the right madness to spring on Belfast once I came to study creative writing here. At its heart, Fast & Loose is a new-writing project, giving four scriptwriters (and sometimes never-before scriptwriters) the chance to take their words to the stage. I helped run it for three years at Queen’s with the aid of Anna Newell and the Centre for Excellence in the Creative and Performing Arts (r.i.p.). Now Accidental Theatre is bringing it back as part of Queen’s Quarter Weekends, in partnership with the QU Players drama group.

So yes: A crew of (perhaps foolish) people - four writers, four directors, two producers, a slew of tech crew, and a gaggle of actors - get 24 hours to make four new plays. Come along and see what happens. I can almost guarantee that there will be very little mess, vanilla-flavoured or otherwise. Almost.

Write to me if you want to know more or get involved.


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