For a while now I’ve been really interested in developing an episodic web series. But what subject? How many episodes?
In July 2018 a meeting with Face Front Inclusive Theatre led to what would be a 6 month project telling the online and on-going story of Jay and Em.
The project was commissioned by MENCAP (in association with Stratford Circus Arts Centre, Face Front and Blue Sky Actors) to support the work they are doing with their user groups around relationships and sexual health.
Each episode was given a clear subject area to explore. In episode one Jay and Em meet and start their relationship. The challenge was to layer everything MENCAP wanted us to cover in each episode, without making it preachy. Did I mention that each episode would only be 1min 29 secs?
I worked very closely on this with Ray Downing (Face Front) and Sarah-Jane Wingrove (Handheld Arts). We shared writing and directing duties. Which meant that we spent a lot of time locked in a room with flip chart paper, mapping out the storylines, working out dialogue, reversing out of narrative cul-de-sacs until we had storylines that we felt would tell Jay and Em’s story.
Well here are the five episodes. Each quite different in tone. Wonderfully acted by Jess, Faizal and Ellen from Blue Sky Actors. Will there be a happy ending? Watch and find out.