KINGSWOOD: One Year On

Courtesy Sicnag at Wikimedia Commons
An Holden Kingswood HT stationwagon

I know. I know. You and I know what kicked this venture off, don’t we?

How hard could it be to write about four friends driving from Auckland to Wellington in a Kingswood stationwagon?

I have friends. We’ve had some adventures. We’ve fallen out and reunited. Some friends I’ve known for more than half of my life. No matter the physical distance or the years between catch-ups, I love them because they’re virtually family — the difference between them and blood relatives is that we chose each other.

So how frickin’ hard could it be to write about a bunch of friends travelling long distance in a classic car?

Harder than I expected. I first wrote it in a skeletal beatsheet form, rewrote it with some bits of dialogue and action in it, took it apart, reassembled it, rewrote it with more dialogue and action, pimped it this time last year, rewrote it, disassembled/reassembled/rewrote it, threw my hands up in exasperation, sulked, got over myself, rewrote it to a full and complete draft, then, despite vowing never to revisit it, revised that draft and…the first proper draft is finished. It’s currently with readers for their consideration.

What took so long? I hear you ask. This play took longer because it has much more of me in it than I bargained for: writing about love and friendship and history and forgiveness required an honesty that no amount of imaginative tap dancing could hide. It was exhausting.

I’m thoroughly sick of this play and hope to never see it again. But should a rehearsed reading be arranged and I get to hear and see it interpreted by people who have no agenda other than Let’s pretend, don’t be surprised if I think to myself, How hard could it be to revisit ‘Kingswood’ just one more time?

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