Going Public – Sam Peter Jackson on his new play

On the 10th November 2009 my second full-length play Public Property opens in the West End and I am as excited as the child that got the puppy for Christmas, writes Sam Peter Jackson.

Here I am – an ex-actor, who wrote his first play four years ago as a catharsis for an ended relationship and an overflow of amassed one-liners – sitting in a casting suite auditioning young actors with the director and the producer. Even though it's been a while since my career change now, I never seize to be amazed that the people walking through the door have spent their weekend learning the lines I frivolously tapped into my Macbook over many a 3pm breakfast almost two years ago. In the meantime I have written another full-length and about 15 short plays, some of which have been produced.


Commercial outings of new writing don't happen overnight and I have lived, loved and breathed Public Property for so long that it almost feels like this production is a revival.

Today seems like someone has invited me on an elaborately geeky roleplay weekend to act out my X-Factor fantasy. “I'm Simon!” I claim within a heartbeat of sitting down and it takes the two women on my left less than a second to bag ‘Danni' and ‘Cheryl' for themselves.

Despite my flippant approach I feel great sympathy with each actor that we put through this awkwardly artificial process that I once detested so much. And even now my palms get sweaty as I share the pain of every silent minute of bag-packing and jacket-rustling that clumsily happens after each good bye.

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