31 March 2005

To Pyrenees then, with the McGill sorority. Both very accomplished writers and great company, so a good evening guaranteed. The Chocolate Factory is growing on me, though I wish it wasn't quite so close to my beloved Southwark. I worry they're hoovering up some of the SP's business.
It was the first preview of David Greig's play so I shouldn't have been surprised, but it was a baggy affair, and I was disappointed. I've liked DG's stuff since One Way Street and Airport in the mid 90s. I was living in Edinburgh at the time and he let me join the Traverse writers' group, a grace I repaid him by spending the meetings in shy silence. The premise is simple enough - "Man" loses memory in medical emergency in mountains, and we meet him trying to piece himself back together aided by a consular official. The writing is as ever droll and insightful but also ever so slightly cruel, which is no bad thing. What lost me was the languid pacing, and the lack of forward movement. I felt sometimes there was a farce in there trying to get out but DG wanted to write a piece of "slow theatre" and that idea won through. I don't want to give things away (there are reviews of the Glasgow run on the web if you want more of an idea of the story), so enough.
To say I preferred his earlier, snappier stuff would be as misguided and annoying, surely, as the commonplace about Woody Allen, you know the one, about how he's not done anything good since his early, funny stuff. Because with people like DG and WA, you never know what's round the corner.

I think it was Kate Bassett sitting in front of me scribbling away. I did briefly try to sneak a look at the notes (only the once, and I'm sorry Kate) but nothing doing.

4 comments:

Ova Girl said...

Hey SBS just a thought. When you are working on a new project (like say...portrait) and you go see a new play(like say...pyrenees) do you find your mind ticking back to your own work? finding connections or points of reference - maybe textually or physically- or can you just immerse yourself in the play, a night off from your own writing so to speak?

sbs said...

interesting question. at Pyrenees i kept thinking about tangents he might have taken. as i hinted , i wanted it to erupt into farce. but yes, because the thing i'm writing (Empress) is faster and madder (not, i hasten, better), perhaps i'm a poor audience for a slow wry philosophical piece.

Ova Girl said...

saw Faustus the other night and while watching, am ashamed to admit, I actually thought...yeees, that's what my play needs...some latin.

thankyou for putting me on your blogroll. will do same when I have figured out the technology (hey! only just worked out photos!)

sbs said...

i once lifted bits of the invocation of the devil from Faustus for a play... worked a treat. highly recommended.
i really liked your post about the nephew accident. so glad it ended the way it did.