Reginald Blake’s dream woman turns up at his house. His wife opens the door and lets her in.
A harmless fantasy that once offered Reg a brief escape from his troubled marriage now threatens to pull it apart. Porphyria is a black comedy that proves there are some dreams you don’t want to come true.
The writing process for Porphyria effectively began three years ago. The first draft, completed a few months later, remains locked away in the confines of a dusty folder somewhere at the back my laptop’s hard drive. I opened it recently to take a look and swore never to do so again. It was over 24,000 words long, had ten characters, a number of page-length monologues and it finished with the helpful stage direction ‘Exeunt Omens.’ It was more like a novel and not a good one. A bit like Literotica without the sex.
Luckily, the Edinburgh script is a very distant relative of this original draft and the only thing it has inherited is the basic idea of a married man’s dream woman turning up at his house. It now has just three characters: the man, the wife and the dream woman. There are no droning monologues, no pretentious stage directions and the run time is about 45 minutes, rather than the three hours the original draft would probably have taken to perform
Even the title has changed. Innocent Infidelity was the original name but, unlike the other 23,998 words in that first draft, it hasn’t disappeared completely. In March 2012 I directed a play of the same name at The New Theatre, Nottingham. It too was extremely different from that initial script but was based on the same premise.
So, three years and about 100,000 discarded words later, I have two plays. The full-length Innocent Infidelity and the one-act Porphyria. Having seen the first of these on stage and having canvassed opinions from a number of audience members, I made several alterations to the Porphyria script, which I had been working on since the end of 2011. The scripts of the two plays are entirely different from each other, mainly because I found writing a 45 minute play from scratch far more enjoyable than streamlining a two hour one.
I’m now very proud of both scripts and particularly proud of Porphyria. I think the three years spent writing, editing, re-writing, deleting, crying and screaming have been worth it and, if you see the show, hopefully you’ll agree.
Book tickets now for the Edinburgh Production.