Opening Night: May 1st 2001
Venue: Aberystwyth Arts Centre (studio)
Lucy Gough was born in London in 1958 and she spent her early years in Beddgelert before the family settled in Bath where she attended a convent school. She left at 15 without any qualifications and a year later returned to Wales, this time to Fishguard. There she followed an Open University course in Drama and in 1982 moved to Aberystwyth where she graduated with a degree in Drama in 1985. As part of her degree, she wrote a play called Bad Habits Die Hard, about a naughty nun, and started work on the play Joanna, which she finished as part of the MA in Playwriting which she gained from Birmingham University.
She has written several stage plays which have been professionally performed including Catherine Wheel (1991), By a Thread (1992), As to be Naked (1994), Rushes (1995), Stars (1995) and Wolfskin (1997). In 1994 Crossing the Bar was shortlisted for both the John Whiting Award and the BBC Wales Writer of the Year Award, and has recently been translated into Croatian.
She has been commissioned to write a number of plays for the BBC: Our Lady of Shadows, BBC Radio 3 (1994). For BBC Radio 4: Head (1996), The Red Room (1999) (with material from Glyn Hughes), Mermaids (1999) (with material from Marina Warner) and Judith Beheading Holofernes (2000) (with material from Germaine Greer) as well as The Prophetess of Exeter (1997) for the BBC World Service (a version of Joanna.
For the last five years she has been scriptwriting for Mersey TV's teen soap Hollyoaks, and lectures in Radio Drama at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. A volume of three of her plays has been published by Seren Books, and two monologues have been published in One Woman, One Voice.
Lucy says "I enjoyed the experience of writing for a large cast very much, a rare privilege these days. I had for a long time wanted to write a play based loosely around a medieval morality play and this seemed the ideal opportunity."
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Castaway's 10th Anniversary production. Indeed, we could not wish to celebrate in a more fitting manner, as tonight we premiere a specially commissioned work by one of Wales' top writers. I am happy to say that Lucy has wanted to write a play for us for some time, especially as this would mean she could write for a large cast (27!)
Last summer, Lucy and I exchanged some ideas and we liked the notion of blending medieval with contemporary but also we wanted to go crazy! Amidst a massive workload Lucy started to write... Forward to January of this year and Lucy joined myself and the company for a series of workshops that helped to embellish Lucy's work. Imagination and spontaneity were on fire at times as we worked through some of Lucy's scenes and this was a hugely enjoyable process where, I felt, that both the work of Lucy and the actors complemented each other. Lucy emerged with the final draft and after a fairly intensive rehearsal process we are proud to premiere... Mapping the Soul.
-- David Blumfield