Cultural Engagement


Blythe Duff praises talented student writers

Actor Blythe Duff praised the “brilliant” work of student writers as she led a cast bringing their plays to life.

The Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Cultural Fellow was joined by Paul Nivison, Dani Heron and James Young as they performed Awkward Dating, a series of micro plays written by MA TV Fiction Writing students, alumni and staff.

A packed audience enjoyed the highly entertaining rehearsed readings, which spanned everything from Disney’s Little Mermaid Ariel’s first day with her Prince to an awkward blind date.

Ms Duff said: “The pieces are brilliant and it’s a very good experience for the writers to hear how their words come off the page. Writing can be a really solitary business so it’s nice to allow a writer to hear something out loud and for them to trust the actor too. They might think I need to write more as the audience won’t get it or the actor won’t understand what I mean, but we do.

“It’s a really good exercise for lots of reasons and also the actors quite like it as the pressure on us is slightly different. We have a script in hand so we don’t need to learn our lines, but it’s a heightened state of performance so it can be quite seat of the pants stuff.”

The evening also included a screening of Meet Cute, a short film developed from a play written by alumna Gemma Copping for last year’s showcase, and directed by James Young.

Ms Duff added: “The MATV Writing course is going from strength to strength. It seems to be really established now within the industry. What is brilliant about Glasgow Caledonian University in particular is that it feeds into the workplace and when students leave they get placed in a job which, let’s face it, is the most important thing.”

The MA TV Fiction Writing is the only dedicated full-time postgraduate programme of its type in the UK, supported by scholarships from Warner Brothers, BBC Scotland, Larkhall Films, MG Alba and from GCU, in honour of the late David MacLennan, an Honorary Graduate who co-founded stage companies 7:84 and Wildcat Theatre.