In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project

In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project
In Search of My Father, 2017 writing project supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Friday, 21 October 2016

OPEN LETTER TO NORTHERN IRELAND DRAMA GROUPS
















Hello to Drama Groups in Northern Ireland,

I try my hand at freelance writing and I have written a 45-minute drama for radio (although it is suitable for stage production) - 'Shaking Hands'. The play is fiction based on some facts from my life. It is mostly a two-hander. 

The synopsis: This play was written as a 45-minute radio drama. It is fiction, based on several facts from the author's life. A 60-year-old son tracks down his 89-year-old father to question him on why he left the family home, a wife and seven children. In the quest to find out about the 'missing years', the son finds it hard to suppress simmering anger and the father clings to hope of reconciliation. The script is adaptable for the stage and would be useful for student actors to practice their skills.

In 1960, my father left our Belfast home, his wife and seven children and vanished. The next we heard about him was in 1982 when we were told he had died at 57 in Clapham, London.

I am investigating his "missing" 22 years and in tandem with that project this play has come out of my imagination. 

This is a link to a background piece written by me and published in the Belfast Telegraph in 2015:

In mid-2015, I sent the play to BBC NI radio producer, Heather Larmour, who declined it because a daughter/father drama had already been commissioned. She said: 
Thank you so much for sending ‘Shaking Hands’, it’s a very thoughtful, emotional and intelligent script which I very much enjoyed reading.  I thought your treatment of the relationship between father and son was very interesting and viscerally drawn - you really could feel the anger and frustration and hopes and vulnerabilities of the characters as they negotiated the stages of the meeting.  Although I was secretly hoping for a happy ending, I also very much admired how you left the piece, with no resolution possible given the past, but perhaps some understanding for the characters. Unfortunately however, we have recently had a piece commissioned, which tackles the story of a daughter tackling her father about the secrets of his past, and although the two pieces are of course very different, we just felt that the subject matter was too similar at the moment and that Radio 4 would be unlikely to be looking for another piece in the same territory.”

I wonder if any of you would be interested in seeing a copy of the script?

PLEASE NOTE I AM NOT SELLING THE PLAY AND I DO NOT WANT TO MAKE ANY MONEY OUT OF THIS. IF ANY OF YOU PERFORM IT, ALL PROCEEDS YOU MAKE ARE YOURS COMPLETELY. I JUST WANT TO SEE THE PLAY PERFORMED AT LEAST ONCE.

I look forward to hearing from any of you via joecushnan@aol.com

Best wishes,

Joe Cushnan

About Me:

Born and raised in Belfast, now living in Nottinghamshire.

I have written books on business, cinema biography and humour. I have a growing portfolio of published features, reviews and poetry.  My creative CV is as follows:
Books: Shops, Shoppers, Shopping & Shafted; Before Amnesia: Seeds Of A Memoir; Shaking Hands; Retail Confidential; Much Calamity & The Redundance Kid; Stephen Boyd: From Belfast To Hollywood; Hamish Sheaney: The Nearly-Man Of Irish Literature; Juggling Jelly; Geek!; A Belfast Kid; Jack Elam, I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life; The Chuckle Files; The Poems Of Hamish Sheaney: Remastered & Expanded; Only Yules & Verses; Only Drools & Corsets; Fun With Words, Fun With Rhyme; Fun With Words, Fun With Noise
Creative portfolio includes Derwent Poetry Festival 2015, 2015 Templar Poetry Anthology “Mill”, Octavius Magazine, Ireland’s Big Issue, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Belfast Telegraph, 2013 Belfast Book Festival, Irish News, BBC TV NI “Stephen Boyd: The Man Who Never Was”, BBC Radio Sheffield “Rony Robinson”, BBC Radio Ulster “Saturday Magazine”, BBC Radio 4 “You & Yours”, The Guardian, Tribune, NZ Management, The Grocer, Retail Week, Edge, Open Eye, Yorkshire Post, The Catholic Herald, Cambridge Evening News, The London Paper, Southern Cross, NZ Freelance, Writer’s News, Belfast News Letter, Irelands Own, Fortnight, The Dalhousie Review; Blithe Spirit; The Cannon’s Mouth, Poetry Monthly, Poetic Comment, Bard, Current Accounts, Candelabrum, Decanto, Inclement, Haiku Scotland, Time Haiku, etc. 

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