Giles Terera and Katherine Parkinson share their advice to aspiring playwrights

Tom Horton, PA

Giles Terera has said aspiring playwrights should tell stories they “believe in”.

He made the comment as part of a discussion with actress Katherine Parkinson for the BBC’s Lights Up virtual theatre festival.

Terera, who has starred in the West End production of the musical Hamilton, has written the play The Meaning Of Zong, which is being broadcast as part of the festival.

(BBC/Bristol Old Vic/PA)
(BBC/Bristol Old Vic/PA)

Outlining his advice to people thinking of writing a play, he said: “You somehow have to get to a point where you step out of the way and just let it happen.

“You haven’t get to the point where you say actually if it’s something you believe in and something you really want to tell, you have to find that and then just stick to it and know that you have got a right to tell that story.

“Hamilton is a great example to someone who said, ‘Right, this is the story that I’m going to tell and I’m going to tell it’.”

He added: “Stick to it and tell your story and then you can’t really go wrong.”

Katherine Parkinson interview
Katherine Parkinson (Ian West/PA)

Parkinson, whose play Sitting forms part of Lights Up, urged people not to “judge yourself and stop yourself from doing something”.

The IT Crowd star said writers should remember they do not have to hand in everything they write.

“I kept thinking, ‘I don’t have to give this in, this is too rude. I won’t give this bit in’.

“And then you do and you have to sit and watch it.”