Introducing Jake Campbell (July’s Guest Blogger)

Jake Campbell profile photo
Jake Campbell

I’m going to confess now that I know next to nothing about theatre, so apologies if my posts are a bit, well, crap. My first – and only – real experience of working in theatre came courtesy of the Swallows Foundation in South Africa earlier this year, where I travelled with 9 other performing artists to work with 12 South African artists in a big mish-mash of creative talent. I was the least theatrical performer on the trip. Mildly-amusing anecdote: in Johannesburg airport, our director, concerned about the language barriers that might afflict our work, warned us against using any jargonistic or heavily theatrical terms. Terms that could cause confusion for our South African counterparts, unused to our academia. Terms such as ‘dramaturgy’. I sheepishly raised a hand and asked if anyone could explain that to me.

So, what do I do? I occasionally write poems, short stories*, articles and reviews and give off the general demeanour of being a writer while secretly trying to avoid the crushing feeling that comes with being in my mid-twenties having not really achieved much beyond two degrees and a lot of debt. Some of my poems have appeared in a pamphlet, Definitions of Distance (Red Squirrel Press, 2012), and other writings and ramblings have appeared in various places in print and online.

I’ve probably seen a grand total of 15 plays in my life (most recently Mies Julie at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg [astonishing]; formatively The Customs House panto in South Shields [was it Aladdin, was it Dick Whittington? I can’t remember]) so I’m keen to get to grips with what’s going on down at Broad Chare and broaden my repertoire, as it were. Maybe criticise the dramaturgy? Maybe drink lots of Writer’s Block ale? Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to it.

*I haven’t written a short story since 2011.


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