I Can’t Get Started is a study of the complicated relationship between the writer Dashiell Hammett and the playwright Lillian Hellman. It is set during a time in Hammett’s life when he was suffering from crippling writer’s block and was attempting to break free of the detective genre, which he himself had practically invented. Haunted by the presence of hard-boiled detective Daniel Webster, whose story must yet be told, Hammett finds himself trapped in an imaginary world of his own making.
This production debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1990 before moving to Project Arts Centre in the same year and going on tour at the International Festival in Stony Brook in 1991.
The production was awarded the following:
1990 Stewart Parker Trust Awards: Major Bursary – Declan Hughes