Accelerator (new writing) - Skye Loneragan

Photo by Stewart Ennis

I want to write a story in which a young person is searching for ways to draw what she sees, and ways of understanding her Aunt’s way of seeing things, in order to do the best she can for herself.

—Skye Loneragan

Accelerator (new writing) is a strand of Accelerator which will offer producing and artistic support for playwrights to develop new writing for young audiences over the next three years.  After a call out process, the writer we have selected to work with is Skye Loneragan who will work a new idea for teenagers called The Turmeric Trail.

We are working in partnership with the Traverse Theatre this year which means Skye will have the chance to present a rehearsed reading of The Turmeric Trail as part of their new three-day festival of new writing from 7 – 9 November 2019.  She will have time with a dramaturg and professional actors to help in the writing and presentation. 

After receiving feedback on the rehearsed reading, Skye will have some development time with a larger creative team to create a work in progress in early 2020.

Over to Skye.....

The Tumeric Trail (working title)

…a story about the power of our thoughts to create our reality through the eyes of an animal-obsessed teenager whose psychotic aunt comes to stay while she is on the brink of exams she can’t afford to fail.

Through my work directing and devising with children and young artists, I hear a lot of stories that suggest being under pressure and having to manage in-house stresses among that pressure… often stresses that include a family member (or several) struggling with an illness, and/or an addiction. The impetus to care and nurture is so often woven into what aspirations are evolving. And so often ‘life’ gets in the way of what we want. The power of the imagination to not only choose how we react to what is, but to change how we see things, is something that keeps re-surfacing. As does the power of perception to change our reality. Much of this has informed my playwrighting to date and I am struck my how common these stories are in young people’s personal lives but how silent they are on stage.

So, The Tumeric Trail is an adventure in perception really..and it has only just begun. I managed to catch the character’s voice for wee while the other day, and she said:

I’ve already told you about the anti-depression chamber, her room, and how Aunt Jules loves yellow, but now her fingers are always stained yellow and the kitchen benches are constantly stained a blotchy yellow, because she is so obsessed with turmeric. Turmeric root, turmeric fresh grated, in everything, in tea. On toast. Soups. Every single made meal, She says it acts like an antibiotic, and that antibiotics are becoming useless to us and we need to change back, and she’s maybe got a point about all that, but she gargles it. She gargles turmeric. And it is really hard to hide her illness when we go out because she’s made herself so yellow. She even painted her sneakers yellow. When they weren’t. Or weren’t supposed to be.

Anyway, back to George.

One day he will want to eat me. That’s just natural. But it’s up to me to make sure I don’t get near enough for him to stun me into that state where he can eat me.”

Accelerator is supported by the PLACE programme, funded by the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals, and supported and administered by Creative Scotland.