Tag Archives: school

David Raynor and his play ‘Targets’


Where did you get the idea?

A few years ago a college I worked at was going through a restructure, with many people being made redundant or having to take huge cuts in pay. Leading up to that we all had to interview for our own jobs. It meant friends and colleagues were competing with each-other for the same positions. It was a very difficult time for everybody. It was only a few years later that I reflected on this time and how the pressure of the situation caused people to act and react in many different ways (bringing out the best and worst in people). This experience, combined with many of the challenges faced day-to-day working in a further/higher education institution, provided inspiration for writing Targets. I should add, however, that the college and characters in the play are entirely fictional!

Why should people come and see it?

The play is very topical. So many people will relate to the challenges the characters face. I’m hoping that the characters are engaging and relatable. The story has the potential to amuse, anger, sadden but overall to entertain. (I’ll find out afterwards when I receive the audience feedback!)

Is it the first play you have written? Could you tell me a bit about what you have written before?

Targets is the first full length play I’ve written. Prior to this I have written many short plays and sketches, some of which I’ve directed or acted in myself. A previous short play I wrote, Last Turn of the Night, was performed at Manchester’s 24/7 festival where it was very well received and was praised by Manchester Evening News. I first began writing that when I was member of Live Youth Theatre. An early version was shown at Live, directed by Jeremy Heron.

Have you ever written in another style?

I’ve always scribbled all kinds of stuff; stories, poetry and general gibberish on the back of envelopes. Theatre is the only medium that has forced me to actually finish something, however.

Does your play relate to your life in any way?

 I guess everything we write relates to our own lives, doesn’t it? If it doesn’t it’s probably not worth staging.

What are your ambitions with playwriting?

Once I’ve finished Targets (it’s only the second draft at the moment) I’m hoping that it will be staged professionally. This is only my first play so I plan to write many more. Ultimately I want to keep writing plays, gain a huge international reputation and be paid ludicrous sums of money!

What is more important for you- character or plot?

It’s difficult to say. I feel that character and plot are so entwined. Firstly we have to relate to the characters and find them believable and interesting otherwise any plot is meaningless. Just having engaging characters without a structured plot, however, is also unsatisfying. Both?

Is there anything else you would like to tell me?

Only that I hope people will come and see the play and give me honest, constructive feedback to help me develop it further. I hope people enjoy it.

Playing Up: https://www.facebook.com/playingupwriters?fref=ts
Arts in Touch: https://www.facebook.com/ArtsinTouch?fref=ts


Day 2: The Glasgow School of Art. As designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

My first reaction to The Glasgow School of Art was that it looked like an arty Hogwarts. Whilst walking around, on a tour conducted by one of their students, I discovered that Mackintosh had created something just as elaborate and magical as any fantasy novel.

The building, although designed in one go, was built in two halves. So it is odd in the respect that it is one of the first, and the last, of his designs that Mackintosh saw built. He designed not just the building, but the interior and the furniture also. This makes the entire atmosphere so cohesive that it is almost creepy.

The theme throughout is nature. Mackintosh aimed to remind students that nothing created by man is as perfect as nature. He also reflected on the students growth, during their time in the building, as being like a flowering plant.

His control over everything in the building, as well as the building itself, also allowed Mackintosh to express his unique understanding of light and space; which varies throughout the building from claustrophobic, to dazzling light from huge windows, to be continued throughout the whole of the design.

The technological aspects for the time (the late 1890s) are also impressive. Mackintosh incorporated a system for air cooling and heating (which continued to be used into the 1960s); as well as electric lighting and clocks. The system of clocks in the building are particularly special as they could all be set to tell the same time as a control clock.

The most amazing part of the building for me was the library. It might be because I’m such a book nerd, but also the crowded space was filled with the most richly designed objects in the whole building. The room sees Mackintosh’s vision incorporated into desks, chairs, futuristic electric lights, and of course the two floors of shelving. Unfortunately (and understandably) visitors are not allowed to sit on the original chairs, but students still work in there.  

Overall stepping into Glasgow School of Art is like entering a different (heavily designed and creative) world.

Links: The library Charles Rennie Mackintosh