Hell's Rainbow


Manage episode 207793297 series 1301163
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Jeff Young is a dramatist for radio, screen and stage. He wrote the stand out Essay of Radio 3's In the Shadow of Kafka series 2015. His new Essay series reflects on aspects of the writer's craft - structure, imagination, character and so on - by sharing a deeply personal experience of the apocryphal muse, referencing other well known writers and artists and their relationship to their craft. Jeff says: 'When I was seventeen I hitched to Paris in search of the muse. I didn't really know what the muse was apart from a vague notion that it had something to do with inspiration and probably sex. The fact that I was, at the age of seventeen, already a failed artist and a bad poet didn't deter me. I was in search of the muse - of my muse, and she, it was inevitably a she, was waiting for me. A few years ago I wrote a drama called 'Wormwood' for Radio 3 about my Paris misadventures with a drug dealer called Harry and his decaying girlfriend, the ex-prostitute, Mona. My muses turned out to be two low life hustlers who took me to the cleaners and left me penniless. But they fed into the mythology and ended up in stories and I've never forgotten the smell of their breath.' An eclectic, erudite and engaging series that offers insight into the craft of writing. Three: Hell's Rainbow Jeff fell in love with a wild animal with flashing eyes and skin that smelled of danger and threw his life away to go and live in Cornwall, where he went off the rails. ... He ended up half-mad and homeless, living on the beach, and found a different kind of connection to the world on the wild marine landscape of Cornwall. This moment was the essence of transformation, through wildness and the elemental and through recklessness. This essay looks at metaphor and transformation. The great poet W.S Graham, Jean Rhys and the St Ives painters found their place of exile in Cornwall. The essay equates Cornwall with madness and a witchy or druidic magic, embodied in the work of the Surrealist painter and writer, Ithell Colquhoun, the guiding spirit of this essay. Jeff Young is an award winning dramatist, with over 30 BBC Radio Drama productions. He also works on collaborative projects in site specific performance, installation and spoken word. Recent work includes 'Bright Phoenix', the 50th anniversary production at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Current research includes the history of Liverpool's London Road for an Everyman site specific production and Dada artist Kurt Schwitters' exile in the Lake District. He teaches playwriting at Liverpool John Moores University. Producer - Polly Thomas Executive producer - Eloise Whitmore A Naked Production for BBC Radio 3.

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