Mira Ball Productions

10 Minutes with Elodie Boal – Playwright of ‘Update’

We sat down with award-winning script-writer, Elodie Boal, to chat about her upcoming play.  Exploring the realms of dating in ten minutes, ‘Update’ is a modern love story with a technological twist.

Performing for four shows only, ‘Update’ is set to tackle the Short+Sweet festival this week at The Arts Centre, Gold Coast.  Drawing inspiration on her own dating experiences, Boal, has reflected on these moments in her one-woman show, that focuses on the perils of finding your match on Tinder.

Check out Elodie’s answers to our questions below, learn more about the new piece of theatre and book your tickets now!

Q:  What do you love about your new play ‘Update’?

‘Update’ is extremely relevant to audiences of today.  It’s a contemporary piece of theatre that focuses on the perils of online dating – how it makes us feel, what we go through and why we do it. There’s so much that goes into the process of finding true love and putting yourself out there.  ‘Update’ brings those moments to the spotlight and consequently, the play itself is very relatable for men and women, young and old.  I love the nuances and humour embedded into this show.  It’s very comical and I have a lot of my own experiences in there that I believe audiences will find funny.  I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, so why not write an unconventional love story!

Q:  What can you tell us about the lead character, Becky?

She’s typically stereotypical.  Becky is fresh out of University, has that Arts degree that’s getting her nowhere and she’s alone.  Very much alone!  If it wasn’t for Domino’s super Sunday deals or her ability to take the perfect selfie anywhere possible, she’d have nothing to live for.  And this is where her story begins.  She’s determined – like someone shopping through a clearance rack – to find her one-true love and she’ll do everything, except swipe left, to find him.

There’s so much of Becky in every girl and so many of her experiences have happened to anyone partaking in online dating.  The things she says is relevant to both men and women, as they aren’t uncommon.  ‘Update’ a simple story, about a girl with great hair and her quest for love.  The show says all the things we’re too nervous to say in real life.

Q:  What inspired you to write the play?

I’m no stranger to dating and falling in love.  I guess the story has always been there, waiting for me to write it.  It was the opportunity of Short+Sweet that motivated me to create the play in its entirety.  I’ve never competed on this circuit, so it’s definitely something new.  I’ve composed one-act plays before, but I have never completed a show that has to finished in under ten minutes.  It’s definitely a challenge that came about at the right time in my script-writing career.

Q:  Are there any elements of you in your play – like similar experiences to the lead character?

Absolutely!  I write from the heart, capturing emotions I’ve felt.  I find that if I haven’t been in a situation before, it makes it harder to translate my ideas to an audiences.  Most of my plays always have a little bit of me in there.  If you see ‘Update’, some of the reminders and alerts are stemmed from what’s programmed into my own phone.  I’ve just taken those everyday things I’ve experienced and presented them to audiences.

Q:  How long did it take you to write ‘Update’ – what was the process?

In entirety, I think it took about three days to compose the whole script.  Despite this, it has taken months to trim the script down and package it into a version that’s suitable for Short+Sweet.  When I finished writing the show (after those 3 days), it timed at approximately 20-minutes.  We presented this version at Goleby’s Basement back in May, to see how audiences reacted to the words – kind of like a trial run.  I knew the play was well over the Short+Sweet 10-minute time limit and after hearing what lines made an impact, it was easy to start the culling process.

Essentially, I have had to slice the show in half.   It’s still very funny, just more succinct and to the point.  The beauty of this is that I now have a longer and shorter version of the play.  Short+Sweet is just the beginning for ‘Update’.   I think it has a long life a head of it and I’m eager to share the longer version again with audiences, after this festival.

Q:  Any tips for young budding scriptwriters out there?

Write your ideas down!  I always carry my phone or a notebook with me, as I never know when inspiration will spark.  For my previous play ‘Wondered’, I remember I was thinking about the story line on the way home from work.  I was playing with the characters voices and probably acting like a nutter in the car.  The ideas came too fast and I had to pull over on the side of the road and write them all down.  If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have remembered those ideas later and I’m also not sure if ‘Wondered’ would have had the same impacting ending as it did.

Q:  What has been your worst dating experience?

Oh gosh!  I’ve been on a few dates where they haven’t been great.   One of the most memorable ones was with a boy who parked his car under a tree of parakeets.  You can imagine the state of his vehicle when we returned to it after an incredibly awkward cinema date – yep, completely covered in bird poo.  He couldn’t even see out of the windscreen!  It was just awkward from the get-go and finished with him giving me a high-five.  Safe to say, we didn’t speak again after that.

Q:  What should someone message in their first online dating chat?

Does ‘hello, I’m blah blah blah, nice to meet you’ suffice anymore?  Or do you have to bring a level of wit to Tinder to make yourself come across as the next Dave Chapelle?  My advice and from the words of Doctor Seuss, is to ‘be yourself – because those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter’.  Be you and say what you’d normally say.

‘Update’ competes at Short+Sweet this week, for four shows only – Thursday 17 August @ 7:00pm, Friday 18 August @ 7:00pm and Saturday 19 August 1:30pm & 7:00pm.  Held at the Arts Centre Gold Coast, tickets are $30.00 for adults and $25.00 for seniors/pensioners.  Book your tickets here or alternatively, find more event information on our Facebook page!