“As for Shirley she’s still there, tucked away in a little place in my mind. You never know, her day might come.”
When we started the project the first thing we worked on was creating characters. Paul told us early on that by using improv we could ‘play.’ We could experiment, try stuff out, anything that didn’t feel right we could change and that ‘nothing is wrong.’
My first character was Shirley. She was a shy character, an only child who had issues with confidence and self-esteem. She was bullied by her husband and put up with everything. She so wanted to stand up and say ‘No’ but she just didn’t have the nerve. I quite liked her as a person. She had a good heart and put the happiness of others before her own. She could be quite comical in a moving sort of way. I wrote a short monologue for her. It was a one-sided conversation, her at work answering the phone to her husband, after she had picked up both sets of keys by accident and her husband was unable to lock the house and drive to work.
After my piece the group asked questions about Shirley. By that time, we had decided that our characters were all going to become embroiled in a ‘crash for cash’ insurance claim and Paul asked if Shirley would get on the bus. I said ‘No she wouldn’t.’ She’d never get involved in something like that, she’d be far too scared. I knew at that moment that she was not the character I wanted to take forward into what we were creating.
I spoke to Paul and he was like hell yeah, if it doesn’t work for you, change it. We talked briefly about ‘Shirl’ the landlady of the local pub and she was born. I’m not going to tell you about ‘Shirl’ other than she did get on the bus. So, if you want to know more about ‘Shirl’ and the rest of the motley crew then join us for the ride. As for Shirley she’s still there, tucked away in a little place in my mind. You never know, her day might come.