When Wendy Bain was just a school girl, her favorite subjects were English and Literature. From a young age, she was immersed in reading, growing her vocabulary and discovering the most eloquent way to portray her feelings. As a child, this meant writing short stories and joining the drama club to delve into the arts. Now, however, she has emerged as a leading script writer, and her love of words is the foundation of her passion for what she does.
Despite working on many successful projects in many genres, Bain is known for her talents as a comedic writer. She perfectly captures the situational humor in real-life scenarios, and connects with her audience. Stephanie Laing, an eight-time Emmy nominated and two-time Emmy award winning producer/director known for her work on HBO’s Veep, Vice Principals, Eastbound & Down, and Divorce, says Bain’s work is crucial to the work she does with her production company, PYPO Inc. The two are currently working on the first of many projects together called Clean.
“Wendy is essential to this project as she created this television series. I’ve known Wendy for over a year now. She has a distinct voice that taps into the zeitgeist of American comedy,” said Laing.
Despite such success and accolades, Bain considers the highlight of her career as writing the play Charlotte Davies Is to Blame for Everything. The play was selected for a new playing writing festival at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in Islington, London in 2012.
“Charlotte Davis is to blame for everything came from a very bad, wet week away in the midst of the Welsh countryside in the United Kingdom. My husband, Sam, had seen an article in the Telegraph newspaper about these luxury cottages in Wales and, knowing how much I love Wales and luxury, thought I’d like to stay there,” said Bain.
Similar to Bain’s experience, when her character Charlotte decides to go away with her husband, it does not go as planned. Charlotte’s wildlife documentary maker husband, Duncan takes Charlotte on a job with him to film the red squirrels in Wales. The cottage that is hired for them by the BBC is in the middle of nowhere, and unbeknownst to Charlotte, it is owned by her old nemesis, Lesley Irwin.
Things go from bad to worse when Charlotte sees that Lesley has married her ex-boyfriend Dewey. Meanwhile Lesley wants to sell the land the red squirrels live on to build more holiday cottages. Charlotte’s sure that Duncan’s still cheating on her. Dewey can’t believe the love of his life, Charlotte Davies, has returned after thirty years.
Severe flooding prevents Charlotte from leaving. The couples become trapped in the cottage together and all the truth comes out.
“It is a comedy based on my experience. I was horrified to find out the owner of the farm cottage we were staying in was my old frenemy from my teenage years that took my boyfriend off me,” Bain joked. “We just pretended not to know each other but the memories about her stealing my boyfriend, and how a close female friendship can flip into a vicious rivalry, came flooding back. I couldn’t wait to get out of cottage and back to London.”
Bain ended up injuring her knee, and like Charlotte, was trapped at the cottage and left to think about her old friend and the unresolved issues. The weekend, although displeasing at the time, provided Bain with the perfect inspiration for her play.
“When we got back to London I told my husband the real reason, as I had exaggerated my injury for us to leave sooner. He still finds it amusing. I found a great premise for a play and a way to process those old feelings,” she recalled.
The play was shown at The Rosemary Branch, Islington and Tristan Bates Theatre, Covent Garden in London. Upon its premiere, Bain was hailed as a ‘promising new playwright at a time when comedy wasn’t as popular as social issue lead drama in London.’ As Bain also has experience in acting, she played the lead of Charlotte Davies and the laughter from the play could be heard from corner of Shaftesbury Ave. Film critic Catherine Bray a follower of Wendy’s talent said on Twitter it had some of ‘the best one liners she heard in a while’.
“The script is laugh out loud funny and hits hard nail of truth with an anvil. Charlotte’s vain and witty has married the wrong man and that man has married the wrong sex. It’s a naturalistic comedy that leans towards farce at the end,” Bain described.
Bain is now bringing the acclaimed play to America. The name of play has changed to Old Frenemies, and will be put on at the Hollywood Fringe Festival next year. Although it is based in the countryside of Wales, Bain says it is more about an old friendship gone wrong. There’s also the added romance line of Charlotte and Geffen, who were childhood sweethearts and split apart by Lesley’s lies. Thirty years later they see the result of their choices from those teenage years. Charlotte also is dealing with the affairs of her closeted gay husband, portraying common marital and friendship issues on the stage.
“When Geffen says the sad line ‘The thing I loved the most about her was she reminded me of you’. It rings the end of a hollow marriage between him and thoroughly dislikeable Lesley,” Bain said.
In Old Frenemies, old and new secrets unravel about who did what to whom? Ending with some hilarious revelations and proving the old adage ‘it’s never too late’. Make sure to check it out at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018, and keep an eye out for more of Wendy Bain’s upcoming work.