Q&A | Ziella Bryars | Playwright

To give you a sneak preview of Now We Are Three we’ve been talking to the writers about their plays and working as a playwright.

Ziella Bryars’ Blind Date is a darkly hilarious monologue about the romantic set up from hell, possibly literally. Emma is incredibly talkative and as her stories spill out and she reveals more and more about herself, you begin to realise that this isn’t so much conversation and cautionary tale.

What prompted you to write Blind Date?
I enjoy writing monologues that have a confessional aspect, I think it’s something that really drives the story and it keeps the character speaking in an energetic and engaging way. After writing lots of dating and romantic plays for Love Bites,  the new writing showcase that I produce , I had the idea to write a comedy about a confession that someone has to tell on a first date.

What are you looking forward to seeing again?
I’m excited to see the point that the character has to first go near the topic she wants to confess. I think watching an actress tentatively approach that for the first time is one of my favourite moments.

How do you think the play will be different this time round?
Southwark Playhouse is a very different space to the intimate venues this play has been performed in before. I think making the audience feel like they’re eavesdropping on the evening will be a different challenge on a larger stage. At the same time a larger space and larger audience should also make the bigger moments get an even bigger response, which will hopefully up the energy of the whole piece.

How did you get into writing?
I was first interested in directing and when I set up Love Bites to put on new one-act plays my intention was just to get as much directing practice as possible. As the first show got closer we were one play down so I tried to write something with my friend, and Script Editor, Sarah Creasey. We both found it pretty hard at first but we also found there were things we wanted to say and that we cared about including and after the show went well and I liked the piece we wrote I continued writing a new play for Love Bites each time round. I learnt a lot every time – mostly from all the mistakes! – and I just became more and more interested in writing and that became my focus.

Which writers inspire you?
I like a lot of film and TV writers, particularly those in comedy and who have a light touch. I love John August, Tina Fey, Greg Childs, Woody Allen… Within theatre I am a big Neil LaBute fan and with novels I have a (guilty pleasure) love of crime.

What’s your favourite play and why?
I love A View From The Bridge. I saw it first when I knew nothing about the story (although I actually ended up studying Arthur Miller at university) and was at every point just pulled along by the writing and the tension and the heartbreak. There are lots of other plays I have seen since then that have had a big impact but watching that play at around seventeen years old and not knowing what was coming next for those characters is something that’s really stayed with me.

Blind Date will be performed as part of Now We Are Three from 20-24 August at Southwark PlayhouseMore info

About Ziella
Ziella is a writer and producer based in London. She founded Love Bites in 2008 as a way of collaborating with other writers and getting new plays performed and showcased. The annual Love Bites show invites submissions on the shared theme of love, each time choosing a new location for the latest instalment in the series. She’s written several plays for Love Bites so far including Never Kill a Boy on the First Date, The Pitch, A Little Bit of Magic, Blind Date, Good Clean Fun, The Wedding Date and Down In One, the latter three having appeared at Southwark Playhouse and The Waterloo East Theatre. Her monologues True Love, Sunny Side, Blind Date and A Room on Greek Street have been performed at Rich Mix, the Live Theatre Newcastle, The Red Room in New York, The White Rabbit Theatre Ensemble Australia, The Horsebridge Centre Whitstable and at the LiT Space in London. Ziella has also written for The Resident and Verities Magazine and is currently working on a comedy novel about dating.

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