Derry’s wife Rosie Patton has always been creative but discovered her passion for writing four years ago. Since then she has written her first-ever play, ‘I Didn’t See That Coming’, which will make its stage debut in October at Derry’s Studio 2.
The 36-year-old currently works as a personal secretary at the North West Cancer Center and hopes to continue working there for many more years while pursuing her passion, “I’m the youngest of four and I’ve always been the most creative, whether it’s art, photography, building or writing, but I’ve never been this much in the last few years,” Rosie said.
“I really love my job and the people I work with and hope to be there for many years to come. The service provided by NWCC is so essential to this city and the users of the service. great job it does.
“I’ve been writing for about four years now. It was mostly short stories, poetry and comedy sketches that would have been performed in an acting group I attend called ‘The Actor’s Bunker’.
“If it wasn’t for this band and the amazing people in it, I never would have found or pursued my element. I call it that because we always hear the term he or she is in their element when they enjoy Writing has become my element.
“Ken Robinson describes it best when he says, ‘The Element is where natural talent meets personal passion.’ Now, I’m not saying I’m talented, but I feel like I’m in my element when I’m writing.”
Rosie’s latest project and first play took just over a year and a half to write and she says she’s thrilled to be able to “let a little piece of the world see it”.
Rosie continued: “I attended Lyra McKee’s writing event and met a wonderfully talented woman called Felicity McCall who kindly agreed to proofread the play for me.
“She came back with the comments, ‘I can’t wait to see this on stage.’ When I heard that, nothing stopped me. The inspiration came from something the Playhouse had done for Pride a few years ago.
“They were making a collection of people’s experiences in peace projects. I followed up and submitted this piece which at the time was only about 15 pages.
“I never got any feedback on the submitted piece and thought it wasn’t good enough. So I wanted to jump into it and make it as good as possible. I took it almost from scratch but without losing the original story.
“I submitted a pitch again this year and received no comments or response. So I thought you know what, I’m going to pitch it myself. So I contacted Olly Green at Studio 2 and the rest is history.”
The play will be on the Derry stage for two consecutive nights on October 21 and 22 at Greater Shantallow Community Arts. Rosie continued, “I’m so grateful to Studio 2 for taking the risk with someone unknown and giving me the opportunity to make the piece a reality.
“I had a bit of a casting in mind and everyone I asked, who then read the script and their proposed roles, said yes immediately. I was shocked that they thought that was enough. good to be part of.
“The talent in this cast is incredible. The cast includes Shelby Devine, a talented young woman who will be finishing her arts degree this year. Watch this space, this girl is moving forward – her comedic delivery is on point.
“I’ve written a few comedy sketches and Shelby was my first choice to ask to do them and Maureen Wilkinson. There hasn’t been a play that she hasn’t been in. She’s got such a talent. I personally remember a piece she did which is famous in town called “Packie’s Wake.” She is a very talented and respected woman in the art world.
“His daughter, another fabulous talent, Shannon Wilkinson – who was in one of my favorite community plays, ‘Happily never after’, with her mother might I add – the emotion and drama that this daughter brings on stage are scary. She’s another ‘Watch this place.’
“Also, Paul O Doherty, the man is as smart as he is talented. He was in the recent Bloody Sunday play, ‘The White Handkerchief.’ He was also in a film called “The Maltese connection”, which won the award for best director of an independent feature film at the Cannes Film Festival.Paul brings the necessary calm and seriousness to my piece.
“Then Teresa Ramsey, she’s the voice of the radio. Teresa is a radio presenter for Drive105. Teresa has done a few plays, one in particular that actors talk about all the time is ‘Bumps’. Teresa is a raw talent and real and can immerse you in a scene like no one else.
“As you can see the talent on this stage will be phenomenal and I was so lucky and privileged that they all agreed to be part of my first stage adventure.”
Rosie plans to direct the play herself with rehearsals beginning in September. However, Rosie says that with the talent surrounding her, the cast won’t need much direction.
Brian Hassan, who works for the Lilliput Theater Company, is also expected to serve as assistant director. Brian has composed a number of pantomimes over the years for adults with learning difficulties. Rosie added, “It takes a special type of person to dedicate yourself in this way.”
Rosie’s play, “I Didn’t See That Coming”, is set in the 90s at the end of the Troubles just before the Good Friday Agreement. Although the play isn’t about the peace accord, Rosie says it’s a factor.
Rosie continued, “Not to say too much. The play is based on a woman in her early to mid-twenties and she’s a teacher and she struggles to come to terms with her sexuality.
“It shows how his family reacts to the whole revelation. It covers mixed religious relationships, age difference, acceptance, stereotyping and incorrect judgments. It also focuses on the perception of homosexuals in the 90s and how this perception is still somewhat alive today.
“In the play there are a number of time-lapse scenes after the Good Friday deal showing the audience just how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.”
Rosie said she is forever grateful for the support not only from Studio 2, but also from her family and partner whose support she says has been incredible in bringing the production to the stage.
Rosie concluded: “I just want to thank them all, so much. If the play goes well and the audience gets something out of it, then I’ll be happy. And if it goes well, I already have the bones for a second. For me, it’s already a success because I exceeded my wildest dreams of having a play on stage.”
Tickets can be purchased online at www.studio2.com/theatre. They can also be purchased from the office at Studio 2, 4 Beraghmore Road, Derry BT48 8SE.