Find Out About...Tuirenn as Writer
As a playwright, I have penned stageplays that are documentary in their content, adaptations of well-known works, one person plays, creative new works and in a range of production styles and formats (including radio drama, short film, animation, one act and two act plays)…
Although I actually started writing short fiction and poetry at a much younger age, I found that play-writing enabled me to both carve out special worlds, that must be practical to the stage-world in which they are contained, and develop events and characters that were fleshed out dramatically, and in a way that relies on a certain logic which is unrestricted in the process of writing fiction.
This combination of problem-solving, thinking as a director, as a designer, a performer and an audience is especially intoxicating to me.
Regardless of the topic and format, I am resolute in scripting a human connection with any story or narrative – a bridge for the audience to cross, no matter how dark, twisted or unbelievable the content. In doing this, the unreal can become real and an audience can empathise with the darkest murderer, or enjoy the subtlety of love’s first blossom.
At all times, a single line of advice has remained with me in my writing journeys: “Always ensure your characters have their own voices…” and they do, texturally, intellectually and stylistically. Thank you, Chris!
My other professions within theatre have given me strengths in understanding playmaking and production processes :- enabling a keen directorial vision, and as such my texts are as much visual in content as they are spoken word. This is not to confine the reader from their own imagination, but rather to flesh out the possibilities available on stage.
Although I am still relatively new to professionally writing for the stage, I already possess a considerable portfolio of stageplays (short and full length) which have been performed either professionally and/or by upcoming companies, short film screenplays and even a short animation script.
My work has so far received favourable reviews from The Stage and local papers too.
Current Writing in Development
A Thousand & One Nights
A new musical written with Tim Gilvin based on the Arabian Nights stories and focusing on the overall frame story of Shahrazad.
Play Scripts – Performed Professionally
The Signalman (1hr)
One act adaptation of the Charles Dickens story.
The Elephant Man (2hrs 10mins)
Co-written with Gwyndaf Tomos-Evans. A new look at the history and life of Joseph Merrick. A true story.
The HollyWood Murder Mystery (2hrs 30mins)
Dinner Murder Mystery Event.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2hrs)
Co-written with Gwyndaf Tomos-Evans. A family Christmas show based on the much loved children’s story.
Play Scripts – Performed
Cookies & Milk (30mins)
A secondary school English teacher finds her life is thrown into turmoil as she is accused of something horrendous by her pupils. Her aunt viciously holds her to account without acknowledging her own demons. Performed at the Northern Ballet Theatre (2011)
The Ministry of Love (1hr 15mins)
Adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984” and Ray Bradburn’s “Fahrenheit 451” – set mainly inside the dreaded Ministry of Love and Room 101, a look at censorship, fear and the human condition.
The Company of Wolves (1hr)
Adaptation of the short story and screenplay by Angela Carter and Neil Jordan.
Fear of Flying (25mins)
One act, one-man show dealing with modern day witchcraft.
When Friendship is Thicker than Blood (45mins)
A physical theatre adaptation of the book “Sleepers” by Lorenzo Carcaterra.
Betelgeuse (1hr 20mins)
Adaptation for Youth Theatre of Tim Burton’’s film “Beetlejuice”
Silent Whispers (30mins)
A psychological short drama looking at the effects of child abuse.
Echoing Corridors (25mins)
Originally written for an Amnesty International competition, this play deals with capital punishment in the USA.
Happy Ever After… (45mins)
A short play for young children, looking at the morals in fairytales and fables.
The Commedia Nativity (1hr)
Series of sketches chronicling the birth of Christ in traditional Commedia lazzi fashion.
Smoke & Mirrors (1hr 15mins)
Children’s Theatre. A satirical observation of the Witch’s Hammer and the Inquisition with a dark twist.
Animal Farm (2hrs)
A re-rendering of the Orwellian novel for Physical Theatre.
The Most Dangerous Game (45mins)
One act adaptation of the famous short story by Richard Connell.
Oedipus the Pawn (2hrs 10mins)
A new adaptation considering the Greek festivals to the Gods and their playing with Mortal destiny
Short Film Scripts – Performed
The Tomb of Ratigan Syph (30mins)
A 1950’s ‘B Movie’ style Zombie short.
The Web of Blood (25mins)
A 1950’s ‘B Movie’ style Vampire short.
The Day the Earth Screamed (30mins)
A 1950’s ‘B Movie’ style Alien short.
Short Animation Script – Performed
The Quest for Avalon (40mins)
A 3D Animation and Live Action Script as a futuristic take on the Arthurian Legend.
Additional Developed Scripts – Unperformed
Dracula (2hrs 20mins)
New adaptation of the Bram Stoker classic masterpiece.
A two act production dealing with werewolf mythology, and the werewolf trials in France during the 16th Century.
The Elephant Man – Reviews
CragRats Undermill Theatre, Holmfirth, Sept 1st – 24th 2005
The Stage (reviewer: Kevin Berry)
9th September 2005
“There is an intriguing dynamic in this new look at the Elephant Man’s story. What to do with him?
The writers set up a conflict between Dr Frederick Treves and Matron Luckes. She is a realist. Her hospital cannot deal with Merrick, the Elephant Man. Treves wants to give Merrick as normal a life as possible and he blithely hopes that the hospital authorities will agree with him. Luckes forsees the damage to Merricks fragile health. Rachel Cartwright is consistently excellent as the matron, Gwyndaf Tomos-Evans rather too mannered as Treves.
This production prides itself on being scrupilously researched, correcting many assumptions about Merrick’s life. His time in the fairground freak show is emotionally charged and is beautifully staged, the actors donning plain white masks to play the freaks.
An angled framework of 3 by 2 timber creates Merricks hospital room. It is deliberately uneven, like the frame for a house in a fairy tale. The set was constructed by Mel Briggs, who sadly died before the production opened. Briggs has been responsible for countless splendid CragRats sets and he will be missed.
Some of the action of The Elephant Man takes place on the CragRats theatre’s floorspace. Act One does look scattered and hurried but less toing and froing is needed in Act Two.
Hurstfield and Tomos-Evans have put together a commendably insightful play. Its emotion is balanced with gentle, unforced humour. A new look at the Elephant Man’s story.”
14th September 2005
“A man walking around stage with an over-sized papier-mâché head instils dread into reviewers. The potential for theatrical suicide is immense.
But this latest production at CragRats brilliantly avoids the pitfalls and makes for a superb evening of well-judged drama.
Joseph Merrick (Alex Jacobs) suffers from major skin and bone deformities. He has been rejected by his family, following his mother’s death, and been taken in by cruel freakshow ringmaster Thomas Norman (Alasdair Tose).
After receiving a savage beating, Merrick is cared for by London medical staff (Gwyndaf Tomos-Evans, Rachel Cartwright and Penni Rhys) who offer him a new life.
This true story is played out exceptionally well. The tiny CragRats stage is transformed seamlessly from freak show to hospital and strong turns all round make for compelling viewing. It is an utterly absorbing play with great use of music and lighting.
One of the other joys is the wonderful script, provided by Tuirenn Hurstfield and Tomos-Evans. It is intelligent, rich and well-crafted. At one point an actress visits Merrick and describes a recent standing ovation as looking out over “an ocean of pearls and moustaches”.
We see the saga come full circle as Merrick escapes one world of disgusted onlookers only to find a new breed of high-class freak-hunters that meet him solely to gain social kudos.
But the script’s great triumph is that it leaves the audience to come to their own conclusions.”
The Signalman – Reviews
CragRats Undermill Theatre, Holmfirth, Oct 14th – 31st 2005
Huddersfield Examiner (reviewer: Adrian Sudbury)
27th October 2005
“Was it the bowels of hell-tearing asunder during Tuesday night’s macabre goings-on at CragRats theatre, or just a gaping hole cracking open beneath the audience?
It may have been the latter – only a minor incident! – but there were still plenty of on-stage shocks to delight and scare a packed audience in equal measure.
As Halloween approaches, the Holme Valley theatre group has raised two ghost stories from the dead.
The first is Bram Stoker’s, The Coming of Abel Behenna, which tells the tale of two Cornish men vying for the love of Sarah Trefusis (Hayley McGregor).
Abel Behenna (Andy Thomas) and Eric Sanson (James Rushton) are cast against each other following an “unnatural” bet, cooked up by Sarah’s mother Emily (Katharine Vasey).
The story, adapted by Chris Blackwood, chronicles the grisly fate of those who make a pact with the devil.
Then there are more treats after the interval.
I had never heard of Charles Dickens’ The Signalman before this performance, but put it this way, I was glad I wasn’t catching the train home afterwards.
The premise is wonderfully simple. A signalman (Jack Wright) is haunted by a spectre warning him of impending horror that appears to him from the darkness of the tunnel beside a red danger light.
This marvellous adaptation by Tuirenn Hurstfield squeezes every drop of fear out of the compact stage.
Fine acting and two impressive adaptations make for a great evening.”
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Review
The Stage (reviewer: Kevin Berry)
9th December 2004
“Sorcerer’s Apprentice has originality, good songs and plenty of hearty playing …
In CragRats pantomimes inanimate objects are given vivid life and a funny voice. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice has two splendidly droll gargoyles and there is a talking Book of Spells. Here is fantasy and fun.
When fantasy, fun and clarity are spread throughout this story it will become exciting and it will be a winner.”
3rd December 2004
“Grown men reading nursery stories? For actor Gwyndaf Tomos-Evans it was all in the name of research. All 42 stories!
Gwyn was on the hunt for ideas for a Christmas show with which to wow audiences at CragRats Theatre in Holmfirth. Hence all that reading of fairy tales.
Though it was just two pages long, the original story of The Sorceror’s Apprentice captivated Gwyn. He knew that he’d found the basis of his new Christmas show.
He drafted in fellow actor and Bretton graduate Tuirenn Hurstfield to work with him on the script. You can see what they’ve come up with tomorrow when their version of The Sorceror’s Apprentice opens in Holmfirth.
It seems that the magic rekindled by the adventures of Harry Potter and films such as the Lord Of The Rings has rubbed off on a whole generation of children. And that’s what Gwyn and Tuirenn hope to give CragRats’ audiences in coming weeks.
The co-writing team have set their story in the bowels of a grand old castle where two sorcerors (and their apprentices) try to outdo each other. Problems start when one of them decides it would be a wizard idea to get rid of Christmas.
For Gwyn, the whole production has been a spell-binding experience, not to say a lot of hard work. He’s a familiar face at CragRats where he has appeared in and directed many shows. But this is the first time that he has had to help write a brand new script.
“I got to know Tuirenn earlier this year and read some of his work, including a stage version of The Company Of Wolves. I was very impressed.”
They hope that audiences will be similarly impressed by The Sorceror’s Apprentice, a story packed with excitement, music and fun.
CragRats’ actress Rachel Gee has choreographed the production and there is a cast of brand new faces in what promises to be a laughter-packed family show.”
Find Out More About My Work…
Below you will find heaps of information about me as Theatre Director & Producer, Playwright, Performer and as a Performing Arts Tutor.
Work With Me
There are a number of skills and services I can offer on a freelance basis. I am always interested in hearing potential project ideas and would love to discuss any proposals or collaborations you have in mind.
Services I Can Offer:
- Directing Productions
- Writing New Play, Musical or Screenplay Commissions
- Curriculum Design (Performing Arts)
- Private Tuition/Coaching (one-on-one)
- Mentor Support
- Lectures and Seminars
- Social Media Support
Please note: I cannot offer services free of charge.