The launch of The Ideas Foundry was held in the Livery Hall of the Draper's Company in Throgmorton Street, right behind the Bank of England. Oak panelled rooms always make me feel like I'm back at college, ie dumb and daunted. But the event was really very enjoyable. Sarah Berger introduced me to Jean Marsh and Ned Sherrin, and then to the Ideas Foundry chief, Joe Harmston. There was a presentation for potential investors, and I don't know whether this is standard practice or highly original, but as one presenter, say, the marketing director, wound up, a performer entered stage right and went into an extract from a musical or play that The Ideas Foundry has ready for production. I found this all thrilling, and admired the chutzpah of the performers, as ever - luckily I have no money otherwise I would have thrown it straight at them. It was also a thrill to meet the writer and actor Robin Chapman afterwards. He told me about creating the role of The Hostage in Brendan Behan's play. How Joan Littlewood propped up Behan, literally and generally. I also talked with a writer called Sebastian Baczkiewicz, who's writing a play about the CIA for BBC radio, so we gassed about all things spooky, JFK etc. Great fun. (Sebastian's convinced the Mob did it, I'm still not sure.) The food and wine was lovely, and I wandered about looking at the royal portraits. I also snuck into a room elsewhere in the building where a table was laid for a supper for eight, under a rather good picture of QE2. As things wound down, I had a chance to chat with Andrew Whelan, the artistic director, who was amiable and funny but clearly also on the ball.
So all in all I had a very nice evening.
New fridge-freezer arrived today, looking like a white version of the monolith from 2001. Only thing is, our silver falling-apart one won't come out - the kitchen seems to have been built around it. So now I have to take the kitchen doorframe off to extract the old one and get the new one in. Cripes.