I paid my first visit to the Royal Court Theatre yesterday. I didn't go to see a play, but to attend a presentation by the staff at the BBC Writers Room. There was a power point presentation, lots of tips, questions and answers, and general encouragement from a very brave bunch of people. In response to an email to everyone on the mailing list, I reckon about 300 writers showed up.
The mix of people was very interesting. Older men, younger women, young men. Middle aged women not much in evidence, but I suspect that's because most of them were dealing with their children. Very few people knew eachother, so there was little chat in the audience. There was the usual old git at the front with An Issue, as is usual at such gatherings, but the lady running the event obviously had plenty of experience in dealing with old gits with issues.
They very clearly explained what was required, what to avoid, and what the procedure was. They also downplayed the fact that out of the 10,000 scripts that they received every year only about 5% got any further than the NO pile. They were encouraging, enthusiastic and very open about what they wanted.
On departure, they whipped out sacks and asked for any scripts that people had brought along. I did see a few people with parcels, but I think many took them home for revision following all the tips that we were given.
Much of the audience, like me, raced home, but I suspect Nice Lady and Old Git had a good chin wag in the bar. I got home about an hour later - wonder if I was the first one!