Write About What You Would Like To Know
REP Foundry Artist Thomas Moran chats to us about his process behind creating theatre, what inspires him and how he'd love to collaborate with the likes of Frantic Assembly and Beyoncé.
What made you first want to write plays?
From a young age, I was fanatical with the idea of writing pop songs, poems and first chapters of stories I would never complete. I have always been super-glued to the forum of storytelling and creating an experience, so my journey into the world of writing for theatre began in late 2014. Being an actor had always been my primary career goal and following drama school auditions, reserve lists and eventual 'no's', I discovered my strengths in other areas. I began noticing things around me, people watching, sitting in York's Bakery Cafe infatuated with over-priced hot chocolates and notepads, jotting down conversations I overheard and found intriguing. I learned about how people converse, flirt and disengage. Ideas that I once had very little faith in because of their sporadic and unconnected nature would eventually shape my first play, NOISE. I fell in love with play writing when I understood that the theatre I could make could be anything I wanted it to be, wherever and with whoever I wanted it to involve. "Write about what you know" was a recurring line that allowed me to leave behind what I thought were writing boundaries. However, "write about what you would like to know" enabled me to continue to learn, develop and shape the work I produce and direct today.
What excites you most about being a REP Foundry artist?
Being able to refer to myself as REP Foundry artist is a privilege. I am thrilled to be able to enter a building I have visited previously so often as an audience member and know that it is now a building in which I am able to learn from and contribute artistically to. The opportunities; the people I will work with, the collaborations and the conversations I will be able to have all whilst a part of this company will invaluably contribute in developing me as an artist.
If you could collaborate with anyone (past or present) who would it be, and why?
If I were able to collaborate with somebody, it would be Scott Graham for Frantic Assembly. His plethora of knowledge and experience in making theatre three-dimensional, resonant and captivating makes him one of my biggest idols within the industry. I feel as though his blueprints for creating are so innovative that it changed theatre into what we see today. It bought back and amplified Artaud's concept so much that it has swept the industry and gave it a new lease of life. I would love to work with him to learn his nuances and understand how he draws movement from moments within a play.
That said, a masterclass with Simon McBurney for Complicite is a dangerously close second, followed by Marianne Elliott and then Beyoncé (a woman whose work ethic is incredibly understated).
Who or what in theatre inspires you most?
The theatre that influences my work is the theatre that is loud and energetic. Whilst I enjoy a traditionally staged classic, the theatre that most impacts me is the theatre that makes me feel, that makes me question and engages me. The theatre I want to produce has a filmic aesthetic both visually and audibly and I am enthused by using an array of methods to explore a narrative. I am often described as someone who doesn't do things by 'half-measures' - and how true that is. I strive for perfection (understanding there is always room for improvement), but find myself persistently inspired by clean and slickly presented work where the grit transcends from the characters.
Enjoy brand new work from our REP Foundry artists each week, as we present a series of Tales & Tonic evenings. Starting at 6.15pm on Fridays (31 March and 7 April), they are the perfect way to kick-start your weekend.
Don't miss Thomas Moran's sharing this Friday (31 March)!