By Chloe Davidson, 87 Miles participant

So we’ve had playwright Gary McNair, songwriter and band member of Del Amitri, Andy Alston and now the lovely Jo Clifford! I’ve had an amazing time so far. It’s been great catching up with old and new friends every week and trying something different too.

It’s also given me some great ideas for a play which I intend to write and produce for my Gold Arts Award this year. I think I’ll ask for some of their thoughts on it, as other future writers. The playwrights (and Andy!) are so encouraging! If I’m having a really bad day or I feel like I’m not good enough to be doing this sort of work, they smile and tell me “everyone’s writing is different and you’re never wrong”. I think I’ll live by those words for a long time.

However, I’m not really one for teamwork but 87 Miles is placing me out of my comfort zone and for that I am grateful – otherwise I’d probably spend forever hiding in a corner working away. I’ve found that everyone in the group has different opinions, and some are polar opposites! Everyone has their own way of working and inventing. I won’t always agree with every piece of advice I get but every bit of advice is crucial and will help me later in life. To me, Toonspeak is all about originality and doing something different that’s outside of what’s normal.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to working with Cathy Forde and Tam Dean Burn. It’ll be great to get an actor’s perspective on 87 Miles! Maybe we should all do a bit of research about them, just so we’ve got ideas on questions to ask them about their work. I’d especially like to ask if they’ve worked with people long distance because I do wonder about how we’ll work and collaborate with the other group from Stranraer. Will we share the same ideas or will they have something completely different? Will it be a collaboration or something entirely new?! I have no idea, but I’m so excited for it and for our performance next summer.