Introducing Writer in Residence – Lindsay Rodden

Lyndsay Rodden shares her thoughts on life as Writer in Residence at Northumbria University and Live Theatre as she approaches the half way point in her residency:

The Lit and Phil 
Side Gallery
My grandmother-in-law’s house (thank you Dorothy)
In between teaching, the cafe of the Lipman building, Northumbria University
A Daysaver to Monument to Cullercoats and back

I started as writer-in-residence in September. I thought I would split my time between Northumbria and Live, writing at and being inspired by both places. By the productions, the students, the staff. And I was right – that has happened. I flit between the buildings. I’ve filled three notebooks. I’ve thought of ideas I would never have arrived at on my own, and I think (I hope) at least one of them is special enough to make a good play.  These rooms in these buildings are just a beginning.

The writers’ rooms at Live Theatre, watched over by Tom Hadaway and Julia Darling
Jane’s office at Northumbria while she’s on leave
Surrounded by boxes in our front room, train set snaking under the chair, the Metro rattling by outside
On a bench by the river

I have always thought of playwriting as a piece of work that is tied to a place. I’ve rarely written anything without an audience of people in mind, in a particular theatre or town, bringing something of the world right now in with them. I worked for eight years at the Everyman and Playhouse theatres in Liverpool and not a day went by where I didn’t feel I should try and be useful – in the best, creative sense – to the city I worked in. To the times we are in.

We live here in northeast now and I belong and I don’t belong – that’s a good position to be in as a writer, I think (I hope). To be part of the world you describe, and be able to stand a little outside it too.

Rendezvous Cafe, Whitley Bay (hello Julia, again)
On the hall stairs, rocking the pram
The Hancock
The Dog and Rabbit
Right now, at home, by the radiator

So I write at Live Theatre and Northumbria University, and everywhere in between. In libraries and pubs and on trains. Trying to write to say something about here and now. Writing to be, I think (I hope), a useful part of the world.

Turns out a writer can be resident anywhere. I’m glad I’m here.

Linsday Rodden
Writer in Residence


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