OffWestEnd talks to Jade Winters, writer and co-director of The A Word which premieres at King’s Head Theatre on 3rd March
Jade Winters is an author and award-winning filmmaker who recently made the transition to theatre with her debut play The A Word. With over thirty lesbian fiction novels under her belt, two feature films and thirteen short films, Jade is constantly looking for new and exciting ways to bring her ideas to life. After working with the charity SafeLives in 2022 to produce a short film about domestic abuse in the LGBT+ community, she wrote The A Word to bring these important issues to a live audience, with all profits going to the charity. Jade is co-directing the production with award winning filmmaker/actor Tippy Elgar.
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What first attracted you to the theatre?
After spending many years writing novels and film scripts, I recently began looking for opportunities to bring my stories to life in a more dynamic and immersive way. This led me to write The A Word – a play exploring domestic abuse in the LGBT+ community. It has allowed me to express my creativity as well as highlight important issues through dialogue, characters, and scenes in real time. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to connect with a live audience and see the immediate impact of my words and ideas.
If you could pick any one person or theatre company to work with on your next project, who/which would it be?
Working with the National Theatre would be a dream opportunity for me. The scale and quality of their productions is definitely something I aspire to. It would give me the opportunity to work on challenging and innovative productions and collaborate with other creatives.
What is your opinion of Off West End theatre, in general?
I think it’s a great resource for both theatre companies and theatre goers alike.
What was the most inspiring performance you have ever seen? Why?
It has to be The Lion King musical. I loved the elaborate sets, costumes, and innovative use of puppetry to bring the animal characters to life. Not to mention the memorable songs that seem to be ageless. As with the film, I think the show’s message of hope and redemption is very inspiring.
What piece of work are you the most proud of?
My debut novel One Four Three which I made into a feature film and released last year.
What makes a really good character?
Characters that are relatable, where the audience can connect with them on a personal level, and understand their thoughts, feelings, and motivations. It was really challenging to write seven characters for The A Word. Not only are the characters complex but also the friendship dynamic between them. The story charters Brooke’s journey as her loving relationship quickly develops into an abusive one. It was important to write Brooke’s character in a way that showed the insidious nature of domestic abuse.
Are there any actors/actresses you would like to write a play for?
Vanessa Redgrave as I think she is an amazing actor with a wide range of skills. Added to this, I think she’s an actor who connects with an audience no matter what role she plays.
What play do you wish you’d written?
The Father and the Assassin. Writing about a historical figure would be a challenging and rewarding experience. As a writer I would have loved to have delved into Ghandi’s life and bring his story to the stage. I think Anupama Chandrasekhar did an extraordinary job of exploring the motivations and mindset of Nathuram Godse in the lead up to Ghandi’s assassination.
Can you tell our readers about what you’re doing now/next?
I’ll be moving away from theatre to return to the world of filming for my next feature film One More Lie, after which I intend to tour the UK with the The A Word. I will also be releasing the 3rd book in my Ashley McCoy crime series later this year.