Bridget Keehan 

Bridget Keehan has been working in the arts for 25 years, primarily in theatre. She is the founding Director of Papertrail / Llwybr Papur, a theatre company that specialises in developing new writing for non-conventional theatre spaces. Prior to establishing Papertrail, Bridget wrote her PhD on the practice of theatre in prisons, a subject that arose from her experience of working in prison as a writer and theatre maker. Aside from academic writing, Bridget has written short fiction and texts for performance. She has been a runner-up in the Rhys Davies short story competition and her prize-winning short story was produced for Radio 4.  

Read Bridget’s creative response to her time on Representing Wales below.


When I began the Representing Wales programme I had some characters and a few scenes, but what I didn’t have was the overall story. Thanks to the input of my mentor, Kerry Hudson, I’ve been able to build the structure for my novel. I’m now writing with a much clearer sense of my characters’ journey.

Here’s a snippet that gives a sense of what my novel, Identity Theft, is about.


I hear Dad’s key in the lock and I’m downstairs even before he’s managed to pour his nightcap of Bells.

‘You should be in bed.’

‘I can’t sleep. What did you think of the play?’

‘Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep. It was good. It was awful long, but it was good.’

His nose is red at the tip, and he smells a blend of booze and aftershave. He winks at me, then gulps down a mouthful of his amber addiction before sitting in his armchair like a King. I plant myself in my usual spot, on the floor by Mam’s chair. Wonder if he’s drunk enough to let me turn on the gas fire. I’m freezing, but don’t want to hear yet another long speech about how much it costs to heat the house. Figure I’ll shiver it out, pull my knees up to my chest and stretch my nighty over my shins. Clasp my arms tight around my knees. Dad is oblivious to the chill, swears the whiskey keeps him warm.

‘Your Macbeth wasn’t up to much was he? Meant to be a fighter but couldn’t punch his way out of a paper bag. I should have got up there, shown him how it’s done.’

He pulls a half-smoked cigar from the inside of his jacket.

‘Why didn’t you wait for us?’

‘Give us the ashtray there.’

I lean over to the coffee table and pass him the heavy glass dish, pilfered from the local pub. He balances it on the arm of his chair next to his whisky.

‘I’d told Nevil the Devil I’d meet him at nine, and it was pushing on and I couldn’t let

him down. He beat me at snooker last week, so it was my turn to demolish him. I was Hurricane Higgins himself.’

‘What did you think of my acting?’

‘You did a fine job. You’ve a talent alright, you get that from me. Mind you, I was drifting off by the end, but you weren’t in it much then.’

‘Mr Lamb thinks I’ve the makings of an actress.’

Dad strikes a match and holds the small flame to his cigar drawing deep until the stubby end burns bright.

‘He says I should stay on do A levels, apply for drama school and he’ll coach me for auditions.’

Dad lets out a sigh and with it a stream of wood smelling smoke that makes my eyes water.

‘But what does he know? He’s only a teacher. And why should you be treated any

different from the other kids?’

‘I’m not saying I should… it’s just Mr Lamb says I have potential.’

‘They were all stood on their own two feet by sixteen. Are you asking for preferential treatment?’


‘Now listen to me. You don’t do something just because someone comes along and plants a daft idea in your head. Where are you going to live if you stay on at school? You won’t have any money.’

‘I can keep working at Pizzaland evenings and weekends and give you and Mam

money for my keep.’

‘Here’s a better idea, enrol on my course of how to make a million. Once you have a few bob you can do what you like, move to London, pay for acting lessons, perhaps get a little part in a film. That’s where the money is. But you can’t do any of that stuck at a school desk. How much do they pay you at this pizza place?’

‘One pound eighty an hour.’

‘And do they let you use the till?’


‘And how much money do they make on a busy day?’

‘The manager says they take over a grand on a Saturday.’

‘Well, I’ll show you a fool proof way of topping up that one pound eighty an hour wage and helping yourself to a bigger slice of their pizza.’

Dad gets up and opens the drawer beneath the drinks cabinet then pulls out his black attaché case: a not to be touched container of his most important paperwork. He places it with care on the coffee table and releases the snap lock to reveal various compartments containing envelopes, a row of bic biros, and a mountain of disputed bills. From a large white envelope, he takes out two credit cards.

‘See these, accepted at all major retail outlets.’

‘Are they yours?’

‘Well, you could say that, in a manner of speaking.’ He hands me a Barclay card.

‘Now, here’s an acting job for you. How would you like to play the part of Miss Scott?’

He laughs at my confused expression, then I twig, the name on the front reads: Miss C A Scott.

‘She used to rent the top flat here, but she’s moved to Spain and someone clever applied for this card in her name. See the strip on the back? All you have to do is sign.’

I stare at the blue and gold piece of plastic and think of of all the new clothes I can buy. No more sneaking out of shops worrying that a store detective is going to leg it after me.

‘And the real beauty is how you can use this card to get cash. You’ll be on that bus to London in no time at all’.

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