Conviction is a piece of brand new comedy written by Cambridge student Alex Franklin. Through interaction between a warden and his prisoners, Conviction tackles the relationships we make and break, and asks why we befriend the people we do. We talked with Alex to give you a taste of his play.
What made you want to write the play at first?
I actually came up with the idea a while ago, and simply got round to writing it just last year. A friend’s dad gave me a spare ticket to see a production of Wolf Hall four years ago, and they did a really captivating lighting effect to show Thomas Cromwell as he went from place to place trying to figure out the culprit in some sort of mystery. Afterwards I just thought of a context for which the lighting effect could be used, in this case for various spotlights to be used as the cells of a prison, and the characters just emerged from there, as did the play as a whole. The lighting effect is now gone but the play remains. To be honest I wouldn’t say the story is the central focus of the play; I’ve had more experience in sketch writing and it definitely shows, with many of the scenes building on comedic characters and their interaction with the Warden. Plot seems to be more in the form of thought, with Adam, the Warden wondering who he is and what he wants to be and do as a person.
Can you tell us about your writing experience in Cambridge?
Cambridge was the first place I started writing stuff properly, I hadn't actually done that much before. It was something I'd always wanted to do and made plans for but never got around to doing, whether that was because of a lack of support for new writing, or because I never saw myself as the sort of person who could write something. However, I found that Cambridge had such a great theatre scene and so many different places to exhibit new writing that I thought in some form I had to give it a go. The large number of people into writing stuff here also meant there were so many people to help and learn from, and I basically just tried to take in as much information from them as I could. To be honest I'm really just copying others in a hope that I can make something half as good as some of the stuff they produce.
Conviction will be performed at the Corpus Playroom between the 23rd and 27th January. You can buy tickets here.