"Precious time of imagination" - Morna Young on the Peggy Ramsay Foundation / Film 4 Bursary

News 5 Jun 2024

At the start of 2024 writer Morna Young began working with us in developing a new play with support of the Peggy Ramsay/Film 4 Bursary. We wanted to check-in with Morna and give you an update on her work over the past few months. Read more about her experience below.

Morna Young, who has seen success with productions including her recent adaptations of Sunset Song and The Snow Queen, has been working with the Traverse since the start of the year to develop a new play exploring themes of "obsession, feminism and mental health" also incorporating elements of "magical realism and contemporary fairy tales".

She reflects that "it has been a joy to follow the rabbit holes" of this new story, with it being a rarity to savour the moments of creating and truly let oneself explore in their practice. Having worked with Traverse Artistic Director, Gareth Nicholls, to create a schedule "including reflection, research, development and the writing of drafts" and map out the prospective "connected opportunities such as meeting other Traverse writers and members of the Artistic Team", Morna set out on a period of initial reflection so that she could approach this process with clarity and rigour about what she wanted to achieve through writing this new play.

Morna told us how her experience working with the Traverse this year has been "rich and rewarding" in giving her space and time to consider her work more deeply; "I wanted to take a moment to pause and to invest time in deep thinking. This period of inward reflection provided space to ask questions about who I am as a writer now, to consider where I want to focus my professional development goals, and to delve into the themes, questions and ideas that I want to integrate in my work".

"What drives me to keep writing plays, to keep going forward?", are the questions she found herself asking as she's been working, keen to take this time to "really return to the core of my passion for playwriting."

This ability to freely reflect and explore opened up intrigue into the practices of other writers, as Morna sought to learn about the way that her peers worked and what this could offer her in her writing. She told us, "I’m seeking to connect to writers who work and develop their ideas in different ways, and I hope to take inspiration to explore how these different methods might help me consider or view my own process in a different light."

Wrapping up, Morna tells us that this has been an "incredibly precious time of imagination ... to let myself dream freely and openly. That is an utter gift, and I wish every artist could be afforded such a chance". We look forward to seeing Morna's progress as the year continues and her new play continues to take shape.