I wrote My Romantic History in 2008, having not long left my job to become a full time writer
I wrote My Romantic History in 2008, in a small cupboard in the Royal Court Theatre in London. I had recently had my first play, The Wall, produced, and had not long left my job to become a full time writer. The first draft came really easily, it was finished in less than a week. I remember typing so quickly I was bashing the keys hard and loud, so urgent did it feel.
Ten years on, I write this blog post in my living room in my house in Glasgow, my baby daughter is asleep in her pram beside me and I am typing INCREDIBLY softly. My life now is unrecognisable from my life then and it is no exaggeration to say that without that play I have no idea what I would be doing for work, who I would be living with, and my daughter would almost certainly not exist. I met Alison, my partner during the original production at the Bush Theatre in 2010 (she played Amy). Almost every job I have had since has come indirectly – or more often directly - off the back of My Romantic History. As a result of writing that play I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many of my idols. It has been unbelievably transformative for me. It is delightful to have had the opportunity to return to the text and think about it again for this new production at Live Theatre.
The play has been produced all over the world and I have always taken the approach that producers should be free to change it as much or as little as they wish for the local audience. I have seen many of these productions and it always seems more or less as I wrote it. It’s a robust play, it’s a cheap cut of meat not a fillet steak so it doesn’t matter too much if some of the details are different. When Max at Live Theatre asked me whether I would consider allowing it to be adapted to the North East I didn’t even have to think about it. If it can be successfully moved to Slovenia, Japan, France, America, China, India, the Czech Republic and God knows where else then a couple of hours along the A69 shouldn’t cause any problems.
I’ve only been to Newcastle a couple of times so I was happy to be lead by Max and the company as to what should change and how. It seems to me that in terms of attitude and character the people of Glasgow and Newcastle share a lot of similarities, I’m sure this isn’t a new observation. I don’t want to be reductive and say things about getting pissed and going out without a coat… but… you get the idea. I hope the play will still make sense in 2018, in a world of Tinder and Bumble and whatever… I think it fundamentally will. As I understand it people are still lonely and horny and getting in their own way… but trying to connect and become part of something greater than themselves. Oh hold on, I need to go – my daughter has woken up.
Live Theatre's new production of D.C. Jackson's My Romantic History, directed by Max Roberts is at Live Theatre from Thursday 19 April to Saturday 21 May.
Meet the Writer and Cast Post Show Talks
Hear more from writer D.C. Jackson in a FREE Meet the Writer Post Show Talk after the 2pm matinee on Sat 21 April. We have also added a Meet The Cast Talk following the 7.30pm performance on Thurs 26 April with actors Bryony Corrigan, Brian Lonsdale and Amy McAllister.
Post Show Talks are FREE with a ticket to that evenings performance. They are also audio recorded and available to listen again on Live Theatre's website.