The BBC take note. In the next few years as you face almost certain budget cuts and outside moves to change what you do and the way you work, there is one thing you need to remember. While money can buy you lavish sets and the services of some big name stars, what’s really important are the words.
That has been in evidence all this week at Slung Low Shorts which commissioned six seasoned TV scriptwriters to write a series of short plays. The sets aren’t up to much, but it doesn’t matter. Each and every one is a masterclass in the power of great writing.
It’s also an eclectic mix. There’s a touching comedy about a couple reharsing their first dance for their forthcoming wedding, an off-beat tale of the night Bill Gates got trapped in a hotel room with Robert Mugabe and tale of love, loss and friendship at a Lady Gaga concert. Some, like Nick Ahad and Alison Hume, ponder timely questions of acceptance in difference. Others go for laughs. All are little works of art.
Star of the show is Peter Bowker’s When I Say I Love You. Superficially it’s about two work colleagues who give each other wildly different Secret Santa presents. One gift is romantic, the other Hen party lude. But it’s about so much more than that. It’s about unrequited love, our need to be part of a pair and that indefinable thing that makes our hearts race. It’s also laugh out loud funny.
Slung Low Shorts as the brainchild of scriptwriters Lisa Holdsworth and Mark Catley who pinched the format from a similar event in Manchester. Fingers crossed it returns next year, because it is nothing short of a triumph.