Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Ben Tagoe. I’m a screenwriter and playwright, originally from Scotland but now living in West Yorkshire. About eleven years ago I moved down from Edinburgh to study a creative writing degree at Bretton Hall, which was part of Leeds University.
How are you?
I’m doing reasonably well at the moment, although life as a writer is often a bit uncertain! I’m currently focusing on a speculative TV project while I wait to hear back about my next theatre or TV commission.
Tell us about your work
My work varies in tone, but most of it has a dark comedic slant and a lot of it is about culture clashes or social issues. I’ve also written on some of the big BBC dramas like Eastenders and Casualty, which has given me experience of prime time TV.
Do you express yourself through creativity?
I like to think that I express myself through creativity. I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else for a living. Writing can be a tough and lonely job at times, but when it’s good, it’s the best job in the world.
What was the last thing you created?
The last thing I created was my latest play ‘The Thing about Psychopaths’, which comes to the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays on 18 and 19 April as part of a national tour. It has been a long process and I’ve worked on other projects during that time.
What has inspired you as of late?
In terms of recent inspiration, I watched a documentary last week about the footballer Laurie Cunningham. He was the first black footballer to represent England at any level, so a real trailblazer. That documentary gave me an idea for a stage play about another footballing trailblazer. It’s all a bit hush hush at the moment. But it has already attracted a bit of interest, so fingers crossed!
What are you currently reading/writing/listening to?
At the moment, I’m reading a book called ‘The Road to Lisbon’, which is a novel with two linked stories about Celtic’s 1967 European Cup victory in Lisbon. One of the stories is about some fans on a road trip to the match via London in the swinging sixties. The other story is from the perspective of the Celtic manager at the time – the late, great Jock Stein. I’m also watching House of Cards – an American political drama which has Kevin Spacey in the lead role.
Why do you get out of bed?
I get out of bed in the morning because I love what I do. I love telling stories and I feel that I have a unique perspective on certain things. But then so does everybody I guess.