Seldom does a new play immediately make you value one of your senses more than you did before you went. A N Zakarian's A Thousand Yards did that for me at Southwark last eve.
It's a cracking piece about a picture editor losing her sight, and investigates the effect of the mind on the body's reaction to stimuli. I found it quite absorbing. The lead character Lucy filters out the more horrific images that arrive at her desk from front-line photo-journos (including her former boyf) and crops and selects the pics for public consumption. So she has a growing database of hellish scenes in her mind. Her mind, therefore, is starting to dim her sight, because it can take no more. In the play, Lucy visits a therapist who helps her address all this. These scenes reminded me of The Singing Detective, The Sopranos also. Formidable forebears, and the writing doesn't reach their heights (it's only her second play, I believe), but there's plenty enough to engage and involve us. Plus the superb Gerard Kearns (off of Paul Abbott's genius Shameless series) as the teenager Lucy befriends.
Sadly, the audience was thin. I served about five glasses of wine and a few cokes and coffees. Good on the people who came, but the play deserves better. Here's the Times review.
I've booked in for my check-up at the opticians.
In other news, I have shocked myself by starting to organise a show. Five fifteen minute plays, five different writers (one of them's me). It may happen at Southwark in late September. We have a provisional green light. So watch this space, as they say in the producing business, or at least I imagine they do. Any tips on avoiding production disasters very welcome...