Rosie Kellett was a member of the Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab 2015/2016 where she wrote her third full length play, Roost, which was also developed in its early stages at The North Wall as part of TheatreCraft 2016. Roost will be performed at The North Wall as part of Alchymy 2017 on Saturday 8 April.
“I loved the immediacy of writing”
I kind of fell into writing. I really never planned on it – or had never really considered it as an option – but it was the National Theatre Young Studio workshop that really got me hooked.
I loved the immediacy of writing. As an actor, I was very used to waiting for other people to give me opportunities or the chance to be creative, but with writing, I could give that to myself. I found it really liberating to be able to make something with just my laptop and then with a little more effort, to get it produced.
I was lucky enough to be offered a place on Season 6 of the National Youth Theatre’s programme and was introduced to a great host of incredible theatre makers including RashDash, Ben Kidd, Simon Godwin, Melly Still and Polly Bennett. The course took place over a series of weekends where we were partnered with a theatre-maker and encouraged to make our own work. My first play came out of a workshop with RashDash, and I have been writing ever since. Since then I submitted it to the Bolton Octagon Theatre’s Top Five Festival and it was selected as one of the five plays, which meant it received a rehearsed reading at the theatre in March of this year. That was such a great opportunity to hear it aloud and get feedback from such a big audience.
ROOST began on the Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab. I was paired with Joe Murphy as my dramaturg and it developed over roughly 8 months on the course. During that time I was offered a place on the North Wall’s TheatreCraft residency and I took a very early draft of the play to be developed over the two weeks I was there. That time was hugely important for me in terms of the development of the play and gave me a real chance to work on it in a great theatre with a brilliant team.
ROOST was initially inspired by my auntie, who was a headteacher of a massive secondary school in Yorkshire for many years. The play has developed so much since then and the character that she inspired is no longer in the story – but there are certain elements of the play that have been inspired by my own childhood. I grew up in a farming community and spent a lot of my time on my friends’ farms, helping them with their animals, so I have a natural affinity to that way of living.
Since the Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab I submitted it to the Bolton Octagon Theatre’s Top Five Festival and it was selected as one of the five plays, which meant it received a rehearsed reading at the theatre in March of this year. That was such a great opportunity to hear it aloud and get feedback from such a big audience.
I am so excited to be coming back to the North Wall and especially with ROOST, considering how instrumental the North Wall was in the development of the play. I’m really looking forward to working with our director, Thomas Bailey, our brilliant cast and in such a beautiful theatre.