An Experience with Chris Connaughton
On the Tuesday, during Book Week Year 8 had a visit from the author of “The Beltheron Pathway,” Chris Connaughton.
Chris visited us to retell his favourite short story written by Dickens: The Signalman. Already an actor, Connaughton displayed the performance with great confidence, delivery and acting skills. He played several characters at once, yet made it clear to the reader when he would swap roles. The story consisted of three characters; the speaker, the signalman and obviously the ghost who had been troubling the signalman recently. “The story doesn't provide a great deal of biographical information about the narrator,” however from Connaughton’s performance we can assume that he was kind, and patient for many times he would not understand what the signalman was either doing or talking about yet he would still support him.
After the performance there was enough time to ask him a few questions related to both his writing and acting career. One of the most significant questions was, “How do you have the confidence to perform on stage without breaking down?” He replied that despite being a shy boy in childhood he always had the confidence to perform under many eyes. However once or twice he would have the occasional, “butterflies in his stomach,” and to get over his nervousness, he would wait until the curtains were drawn and, use the stored up adrenaline to give a good performance. Another question asked was, “Were you inspired to become an actor? How did you become an actor?” He answered by saying it was his school which had inspired him. At his school there was a small acting club which he regularly joined, when he was 14 years old and ever since acting has been a hobby for him. Later on in his career he became a playwright, and now he has maintained that job and is either asked to write plays or in his own time he writes books.
He also told us when writing plays Chris Connaughton likes to structure it around an already existing drama or novel; he does not often like writing a play from scratch.