Blooming Violet by JS Jacklin

by | Jul 17, 2023 | Author, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Jan Jacklin is the ‘J’ in JS JACKLIN. The ‘S’ is her husband Steven, who she has been collaborating with for over 40 years.

Their background is in stage theatre, however, Steven has always been a writer. Jan jumped on the writing bandwagon when she discovered, through her past 13 years as a theatre producer and artistic director, that there were very few meaty lead roles for women over the age of 50 (except for the typical forgetful granny or crazy great aunt ). So she ventured into the world of writing scripts for the stage that featured strong, lead roles for women — 7 of which are available for performances around the world.

With the joy of becoming grandparents in the past 4 years (currently 4 grandchildren and counting), the duo leaped into writing picture books that would appeal to their grandchildren. However, early in 2023, the realization that Jan’s mother would have turned 100 in November (she passed in March, 2010) Jan was emotionally moved to change direction and do something to mark this special occasion. The journey of writing “Blooming Violet” was born.

With stage writing being her strong suit, Jan began documenting the stories she could recollect of her mother’s upbringing in England.

Needing to fill in gaps, she looked to her older sister and her mother’s 2 younger surviving siblings to provide their own recollections. Flushing out the story with more personal incidences and events, Jan was left to her own imagination – example: the night her parents made love for the first time. “Boy, that was a doozy” says Jan. “But it was a necessary element of my mother’s story.” All names were changed except Violet Macdonald’s to allow such scenes to be written by a
blushing daughter. As tough as that scene was to write, the most challenging scene was the last. It needed to satisfy! It needed to move an audience! It needed to complete the story even though it ends with a new beginning! Once the final scene was written, it needed to be tested.

With the story taking place in Yorkshire, Jan was fortunate to know 4 English actors who agreed to do a reading of the script so Jan could hear if there was enough meat to the story.

The actors did not disappoint! They loved it! The characters — the story — there was much laughter and tears. “Blooming Violet” was ready for the general public, both as a performance on stage and as a hardcover read. For the stage, this period piece script offers 11 characters which can be played by 11 or 4 actors (it is written specifically to accommodate doubling of roles for 4 actors).

Readers who enjoy books about British history in which their grandparents or even parents lived, will be intrigued with this true story.

Although it takes place during, between and following WW1 and WW2, it is not the battles on the fields that defined this generation, but the ripple effect back home. In stagescript format, the reader is immersed through only dialogue, putting their own bent and interpretation on a character as they see it – a different experience for most that brings the reader fully into the story through participation, albeit in their head.

Although “Blooming Violet” is available around the world in hardcopy for the general public.

We will be focusing on sending the stage script out to the U.K., U.S.A. and Canada for theatre companies to consider for future productions. Meanwhile, close to home, Jan and her husband Steven will be mounting a professional staged reading in August. This is when actors stand behind a music stand and read from the script. But they perform the reading in full character with vim and vigor. No technical, no set, no costume, just the words on the page, brought to life by talented actors. Jan’s sister, who is referenced as Rose Maureen in the book, will be the guest of honour.

To encapsulate the general story, the synopsis is as follows:

With the homeland under German fire and the mortal coil wound tight, the true story of Violet Macdonald is revealed. It tells of how this young woman from north east Yorkshire rises up from the strife of daily life, to find her way to a place that she never believed possible. Violet’s story, told through character dialogue, is not so much about an extraordinary life, but of an ordinary, working-class, Yorkshire-woman experiencing extraordinary times from 1916-1952.

JS Jacklin are members of The Playwrights Guild of Canada and Lake of Bays Arts. They live on a 10 acre
homestead in Muskoka, Canada.


Link to Hardcover Book: BLOOMING VIOLET: Two-Act Play (based on a true story) Although this is a script written with the intent to be performed on stage, the story told through the characters’ dialogue is just as meaningful and poignant. by JS Jacklin, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)


Link to digital Stage Script: Blooming Violet by J.S. Jacklin – Canadian Play Outlet

Link to JS Jacklin’s website: https://jsjacklin.com

Attached is Jan’s headshot, a photo of Violet Macdonald and the front cover of “Blooming Violet”. Photos are submitted with permission to be used with this article.

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