Here's a little piece about the inspiration for my new play, PERFECT MATCH. On in rep at Watford Palace Theatre from Sept 19th to October 19th...
‘Some time in 2009 I read about a rather odd experiment. Scientists had put a few dozen strangers in a room, let them look at each other but not speak, and then asked each participant if they had found themselves attracted to any of the others. And when these scientists analysed the DNA of the participants, they discovered people tended to be attracted to people who were quite genetically different from themselves. Apparently this makes sense, in evolutionary terms – it means we’re more likely to breed with people who don’t share our bad genes.
The thought that there might be a scientifically analysable basis for the magical moment when eyes meet across a crowded room stuck in my head. Because if science can figure out what makes us fall in love with someone, then doesn’t that mean it could figure out exactly who we’re going to fall in love with? And say that happened. Say scientists crack the code for love, and can tell each of us who we’re programmed to love. Great news if you’re single – but what if you’re already with someone? And what if – like most relationships – yours isn’t perfect. You fight. You wind each other up. You maybe, once in a blue moon, wonder if you picked the right person.
Ordinarily you might have carried on, content enough with your less than perfect partner. But say that changes. What if the chance is there to find someone exactly suited to you – what do you do? Soldier on with second best – or brutally dump your partner, and try to find your perfect match?
Once I had that question, I knew I had a story. Because I think a question is always the best place to start a piece of writing. A story needs tension and suspense – moments of genuine doubt about what’s going to happen next. Even if I know roughly where things will end, I think my writing is much more alive when I don’t know exactly how I’m going to get there. When it’s an adventure for me, as much as for the characters.'
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