10 Questions with Laurie Motherwell

News 15 Mar 2023

We spoke to playwright Laurie Motherwell about his new play, Sean and Daro Flake It 'Til They Make It, being staged by the Traverse this April. Read on to learn more about how the play came to be, the best advice he's been given as a writer and what kind of ice-cream he would be...

1. What compels you as a writer?

I really like telling stories.

Usually those stories are come from little ‘what ifs’. Then these small niggling ideas take hold, and if they stay in there long enough, they feel like they need to be put on paper to be explored alongside others.

When seeing work I want the sensational. And I love seeing complex characters on-stage we don’t always see. And nothing feels better than when a story rings true. So I try to do that in my own work.

2. What made you write Sean and Daro Flake It ‘Til They Make It andwhat are the themes of the play?

There definitely was a few things that all came together at one time.

I wanted to tell a story about an ice cream van. Because they are great. And I kind of wondered what it would be like to run one. But I’d never brave enough to do it myself. So it made sense for two imaginary pals to do it instead. And that has been generally a theme I think about in my work - the nature of friendships and the roles that they have in our lives. Particularly the friendships we lose along our way.

In relation to this I’ve also been thinking a lot about shaping our own futures. Trying to build something when there are perceptions about how you should be doing that, and when the cards are stacked against you.

3. What has the development process for Sean and Daro Flake It ‘Til They Make It been like?

I started writing the play a few years ago. And over time it has gone through a few different versions. But eventually, with the help of some incredible peers, this has been distilled down into what the show is now.

Then a while back I sent the play to Gareth [Nicholls] who later got in touch asking if it could be staged. Since then we’ve been working alongside Robert [Softley-Gale] getting the script polished. I’ve really enjoyed interrogating the play and opening it up again. And I can’t for the rehearsal process to start.

4. What do you want to leave audiences with, having watched the show?

I want people to have a good time. To get caught up in these two boys story. And I would love for audiences to leave feeling hopeful. That they can take on the world.

5. If you had to describe Sean and Daro Flake It ‘Til They Make It in 3 words, what would they be?

Fun. Sweeties. Love.

6. What are you looking forward to most about seeing Sean and Daro Flake It ‘Til They Make It on stage at the Traverse?

I’m excited to see Sean and Daro come to life. I’ve been living with them in my head for so long. Having Sean and Cameron bringing their own energy to the characters will be unforgettable.

7. Are you more of a Sean or more of a Daro?

I’m definitely more of a Sean, who wishes he was more of a Daro.

8. If you were a flavour of ice cream, what would you be?

Strawberry. But it has to be that kind of good strawberry ice cream with those big bits of strawberry in it.

9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as a writer?

Don’t be boring.

10. The Traverse has been with you along the way of your development as a writer, how does it feel to be back and have your script taking to the stage?

Having a play on at the Traverse has been an aspiration of mine since I started writing plays. I’ve been involved with a few different writing groups, had readings there, and was a member of the young writer’s group.

I’ve seen some of my favourite plays at the Traverse. So being able to continue my own journey as a playwright here is an absolute dream.


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