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News > Arts & Culture > Trainee lawyer shares play writing success story

Trainee lawyer shares play writing success story

Adam Highland (MH 06-11) shares his journey into play writing with 'Type on Paper' which ran for five sold-out nights at the Chiswick Playhouse
Members of the cast performing 'Type on Paper'
Members of the cast performing 'Type on Paper'
Adam Highland’s (MH 2006-11) first play, Type On Paper, ran for five sold-out nights at the Tabard Theatre (now the Chiswick Playhouse) in August 2019.

The premise? A play within a play, but one that’s performed only in the imagination of its writer (Ben) as he’s writing it. That doesn’t stop its politician protagonist (Miles) constantly breaking character to bicker with his creator about the material. After Ben has Miles run for party leader, Ben runs into writer’s block. Ben’s answer is to write himself into the action as a character. But this only makes him fall in love with his other character, Sophie, Miles’s long-suffering aide. Soon the play Ben is trying to finish becomes very different to the one he started.

A comedy with feeling, Type On Paper received several enthusiastic reviews, with Spy in the Stalls giving it 4 stars and praising “a very smart play”, and The Chiswick Herald calling it “charming, creative and hilarious”.

“I came to ‘Drama’ relatively late,” Adam recounts, “a couple of years after university (York) in fact, when I decided I was going to write the next big TV political drama. Needless to say, that script was never produced, though it was short-listed for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Drama Award in 2017. The fun and frustration of writing was the inspiration for Type On Paper. I met the director and cast at a sort of open-mic night where they did the first ten minutes with very little rehearsal, and the audience loved it. We made the decision the next day to put it on for real and were just relieved that people came (not just my mum).”

What’s next for Adam and Type On Paper? Hopefully a transfer to a bigger off-West End theatre for a longer run.  “Get in touch if you know anyone who is looking,” he invites. And for Adam, a stab at writing a second play while training to be a lawyer with the Government Legal Department. “Maybe there’s some good material there.”


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