News / 05 Jul 2024

Creative Writing student writes and produces local play

BA (Hons) Creative Writing

Final year BA (Hons) Creative Writing student Katie Mcilroy wrote and produced her first play, 'Fully Furnished', in Leeds, last month.

'Fully Furnished' is a comedy drama with a dark twist. It follows the story of a suburban mother-turned dominatrix, whose daughter returns home from university to find her house inhabited by human-furniture ("Forniphilia") fetishists.

Drawing on the family history of DIY theatre, Katie decided to create her own site-specific play in her student house. It is a semi-immersive play where the audience are guided through the experience by the actors.

Katie decided to write a contextualising short story, 'The Lynch Family Blog', told from the perspective of the ex-husband of the dominatrix character. It was a comedic piece in the style of a blog, inspired by the work of David Sedaris and her own thoughts on the phenomenon of family blogging.

Her peers on the BA (Hons) Creative Writing course were invaluable to the writing process, allowing Katie to develop the play and workshop ideas in a supportive environment.

"I had a really great crit group in class who I brought my work to, bit by bit, and they helped develop the show on a literary level. The work did not end when my course did. I had to recruit a professional actor. I did marketing for my show on instagram and by email. I printed and bound scripts with the help of digital print and the library. I sourced decorations and props from charity shops, and borrowed bits and pieces from friends to create the atmosphere in the space. Since the cast were located across Cheshire, West Yorkshire, Cirencester and Norway, we did the bulk of our rehearsals through group calls. We then had an intense two day rehearsal period in the lead up to the show, followed by two performances in front of an audience. We managed to sell out both shows, which I was incredibly pleased and surprised with."

Katie Mcilroy, BA (Hons) Creative Writing student

Katie collaborated with students Anna Richardson from BA (Hons) Visual Communication, who put together a video for the play, and Max Marley from BA (Hons) Filmmaking who filmed the live performances.

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