Write On Festival – Call Of Duty

The Write On Festival returns this summer with a plethora of brand new and exciting works performed at The Courtyard. The festival, now in its fifth year, will take place Wednesday 1 – Saturday 4 July 2015 and will showcase new work from writers, directors and actors!


Guest Blog by Writer of Call Of Duty, David Wood.

Ever fancy being a famous playwright? You get famous stars calling you up. “Dave, darling – that part is made for me!”. Me: “Well, I had Paris Hilton slated for it, but….”. It was never to be, I thought.

One day in HMV, breaking a promise to my wife to have a hiatus in my Bluray spending, I saw the movie ‘The Inn of The Sixth Happiness’. I remembered seeing it with my mother years ago – it’s a marvellous weepy. I couldn’t resist buying it.

The movie was just as good as it seemed years before. But lo, there was a commentary track. Something made me play it. The surprise was that it continually announced how the movie added such Hollywood gloss to the real story of its English heroine, Gladys Aylward.

Googling around, I found a second-hand copy of the biography of Gladys, ‘The Small Woman’. I discovered that the Bluray commentary track was true and, great though the movie story was, Gladys’ real story was even more fascinating.

Then I saw the call for plays for the Courtyard 2015 Write On Festival, and was inspired to write a play to share the truth about this wonder woman of the 20th century. The Festival team liked ‘The Call of Duty’ and it will be staged at the Courtyard on 1 July 2015 at 8:45pm.

Whatever you know about Gladys today, you will come to respect and understand her better when you see the play. Her remarkable character will stick in your mind, as it does in mine.

The Courtyard team do everything they can to help new writers. They asked Nick Lane – a pro playwright – to look at my and other winning scripts. In addition, Nick offered to share his expertise in a short course.

Was it easy to write a play? Well, it’s essential to have a good story to tell. You need to start with a ‘set up’ where the context of the play is explained, provide a ‘plot point’ where something in the story takes a turn, and have an ending to leave the audience with something to think about.

Why not look at my short YouTube clip to get you in the mood for the story?

Oh, and if you see me browsing in HMV, please don’t tell my wife…