The Role Model- run up
2001-05-28 20:53:46 (UTC)

Peter Keeley Page 2 5/16/01

It was after winning “Flip the Script” three times in a
row that John McGrath (Artistic Director/ Chief Executive)
at Contact-Theatre introduced me to Contacts writer in
Residence, Lemn Sissay. They were the first people to see
something in a thing so small that could be made in to
something so much bigger. When I first wrote “The Role
Model” in 1998 It was a six-paged monologue. John asked
Lemn if he would help me to develop it.At first it
was hard to do any new work at all because I had written it
as a monologue. I didn’t think it could ever be a play.
Thanks to both Lemn and John the play had a foreseeable
future beyond the six pages that I began with. Being only
16 at the time myself this would mean I would have to
balance both the re writing of “The Role Model’’ and my
G.C.S.E.s. Because my last year at Abraham Moss High School
needed to come first, I left most of the writing until
after my exams had ended but still found time to write some
of the new scenes. I have had many problems along the way,
for example I was able to dictate the script into a
Dictaphone but as you probably have guessed actors cannot
learn a script off a tape. Back when I did “Flip the
Script” I had a lot of help from the support team at
Abraham Moss, also friends of mine were able to give some
help. As this was no longer an option. I needed something
else so I looked at voice-activated software. At firstsight
this was not something I thought would work but I gave it a
go. It started to work, but not fast enough, all we are
able to do with the time we have is pay a scribe to write
any notes on my behalf. I am also a member of Lemn Sissay's
writers’ workshop, which takes place every Tuesday Evenings
at 6pm at Contact-Theatre that has been, you could say the
engine to my wheelchair (It keeps me going). Being Disabled
myself I know how hard it can be to get away from all the
issues that surround you. But people must remember that the
disability is a very small part and the rest is just the
person. By thinking like this, it doesn’t make it easy, but
it makes you feel better. If you would like to read more
about Lemn Sissay feel free to go to his web site. He is at or if you know of anyone who, or if you
yourself, might fancy the writers workshop see previous
page to see how you can hook up with