What are the themes of your play?
Black Masculinity, Sexuality, Trapped/Escapism, Aspiration, Ambition.
Why did you write it and why now?
There was a writer’s course I wanted to apply for and it required a 5-minute duologue as part of the entry requirements. I remember it being a day before the application deadline for this course, I hadn’t written anything and I also had to leave home for work pretty soon. Under the pressure of all this – almost like a stream of consciousness, the 5-minute version of No Strings Attached happened. Fast-forward to the present, No Strings Attached became my first ever full length play. As I developed the play from the 5-minute version, the ‘why’ became much stronger and clearer. I saw within my family, friends, but most prominently within myself the corner societal, familial, and cultural constraints had backed me into. And through being in this corner, being ‘trapped’, vices and different ways to ‘escape’ began to form. Within these moments of escape is where I believe our true selves, even for a second are revealed. All of this happened to manifest itself in the way that it did as No Strings Attached. Where MAN, who feels trapped by the commitments in his life, finds refuge in his car, at the dead of night where he meets BOY, a young rent boy.
I think the idea, along with the themes I wanted to explore, were always unconsciously there, it just needed the right moment/situation for it to materialise. No Strings Attached became that moment.
Which playwrights are you influenced by and in what way?
The first ever playwright I came across was Roy Williams and still to this day his work has a profound effect on me. Through his work I understood and felt what it meant to truly explore the intricacies of people, and of identity. Reading his plays was the lynchpin into me knowing where to even start when it came to writing. In fact, it was one of my first introductions to the world of theatre.
What do you want to achieve as a playwright?
For me as a writer, expanding my horizon to other parts of the world, and being part of the process that helps other stories to be told beyond the western world would be great. I think also, now more than ever, being able to write what I genuinely want to write about without any inhibition, to stay true to my voice, while allowing my voice to evolve and grow as we, as humans do, would be a pretty great achievement too.