Lemn Sissay's Challenges

Day 28 – A Mundane Conversation


Today’s challenge is from Jenna Brook! 

“Hello! My name is Jenna. I am 39 years old and I live in Shropshire. I am a Clown Practitioner, and a Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at Glyndwr University. I LOVE mini challenges because they give total creative freedom with no expectations -but they can also lead somewhere exciting! This challenge was inspired by working with improvisation in workshops. I challenge participants to slow down by making the scenario as boring/mundane as possible -suddenly the most fascinating tensions begin to appear!”


Write or dictate a short two person dialogue and aim to make it as boring or mundane as possible. Don’t look at the second part of this challenge until you have written something!

Now, read it back – but imagine what is not being said. What are these characters avoiding talking about? Or what are they waiting for an opportunity to talk about? Did you have an idea of their gender, race, age? What happens if you drastically change this? If your characters were in their 70s, what happens if you imagine they are very young children? 

You can spend as much or as little time as you like on part two. This can be a 5 minute mental exercise, or you might want to share your discoveries and ideas with others.

“We all have defaults in our work, coming from our own perceptions and experiences. Try imagining these characters as people from outside of what is usual or familiar to you.”


How did you find this challenge? Did your story surprise you?


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