A Cup of Tea with Georgina Burns

Posted on 17 August 2022.

Posted in: Hampstead Downstairs

A Cup of Tea with Georgina Burns

We caught up with Ravenscourt writer Georgina Burns to talk writing influences, crucial life advice and Sherwood... 

In your own words, what is your play Ravenscourt about?
The messy collision of an unstoppable force (Lydia) and an immovable object (Ravenscourt Psychological Services.).

What inspired you to write Ravenscourt?
Over a decade working in the mental health system as a therapist and an awareness of growing polarisation in society.

What or who are your artistic / writing influencers?
It's a long and eclectic mix of playwrights, novelists, screenwriters and songwriters who have seeped into my unconscious over the years. This is just a few in no particular order;  Edward Albee, Sarah Ruhl, Alan Bennett, Arthur Miller, Lynn Nottage, Aaron Sorkin, Sally Wainwright, Bruce Norris, Kay Mellor, Sarah Waters, George Orwell, Tim Lott, Nick Drake, Tony Kushner. Paul Abbott and the late, great George Michael. 

How did Ravenscourt come to be opening at Hampstead Downstairs?
Hampstead Theatre's literary manager saw some promise in my work so invited me to apply to take part in the 2020-21 Inspire Programme. With the support of the literary department and the artistic director, I wrote Ravenscourt, then Hampstead decided to put it on Downstairs, and here we are! 

Any advice for first time writers?
As a newbie myself it seems a bit presumptuous to be giving advice, but you have asked, so...
Be brave, be naughty, don't lecture your audience, stay alert for clichés, read Stephen Jeffrey's book on playwriting, listen to music when you're stuck on a scene, write down all your ideas even random lines of dialogue, stay open to constructive feedback and give yourself time to find your voice, it may take a while. Oh, and you're never too old to start writing. 

What do you hope audiences will take away from Ravenscourt after watching?
A cathartic experience and a renewed appreciation for stress balls. 

What play/film/TV show have you seen recently that you’ve really enjoyed? And why?
Sherwood by James Graham. I love crime thrillers and this one was absolutely gripping. I had to rush back from Tesco so I could start the next episode.

Where is your favourite place to write?
In the bath.

What has been your highlight as a writer so far?
Getting the yes from Hampstead Theatre for Ravenscourt. I was very excited but I don't think it fully came across on the spontaneity zapper that is Zoom.

What’s the best piece of advice you've been given in life?
Whenever I get nervous in interviews or during public speaking, I always remember some advice I read somewhere to, 'slow everything down.' When I speak slower and take a breathe it really does calm me and I can think and talk more clearly. I think slowing down is good advice for all of us, unless you're running the 100m of course. 

Ravenscourt plays Downstairs from 23 September.

BOOK NOW

Back to top
Latest from Twitter:

KEEPING YOU SAFE AT HAMPSTEAD

1 Social Distanced 1

RESPECT PERSONAL SPACE

2 MASKS REQUIRED 1

FACE MASKS ENCOURAGED

4 STATE OF THE ART VENTILATION 1

STATE OF THE ART VENTILATION

5 ENHANCED CLEANING 1

ENHANCED CLEANING

7 CONTACTLESS TICKETS 1

CONTACTLESS TICKETS

8 HAND SANITIZING STATIONS 2

HAND SANITISING STATIONS

9 CASHLESS PAYMENT 1

CASHLESS PAYMENT