29 July 2005


What to report.

I went to Soho with Rachael to see Rebecca Lenkiewicz's play, Shoreditch Madonna. It was very entertaining, she writes like a dream, beautiful turns of phrase. Some lovely performances, too. Leigh Lawson especially, playing a devious old soak of an artist. The character reminded me a little of Nick Nolte's in New York Stories.

I lost my mobile on the way back from Devon.

Am devouring news and comment programmes, like a frightened child listening to the storm at night.

One of the bombers arrested today was living in the road opposite Spike's playgroup.

On Sunday I braved the tube to go to Southwark for a reading, The Body Snatcher by RL Stevenson, adapted by Ellen Hughes and her friend Sally. Lovely to hear that 19thC lingo. It's a promising project, though as Ellen says, the density of RLS's writing is tough to adapt.

On telly, Peter Taylor's three-part series for the BBC, The New Al Qaeda, is scaring the crap out of me. But there's another view here.

Really really enjoyed and admired the adaptation of William Golding's 'Sea Trilogy'. Fantasised about having that job for years, but of course they did it brilliantly. Very saddening that one of the key writers, Leigh Jackson, died before the project was completed.

I didn't read a word of the books I took on holiday - Conan Doyle, Proust vol.3, John Burgess's book on classical drama (though I've read most of the latter, brilliant). Took the plunge and did several sudoku puzzles, and even got two of them right, but the rest imploded near completion, leaving me with the horrible sinking feeling of self-reproach I remembered from my teenage failures with the rubik's cube.

The day before the IRA's statement on dumping arms, B was at a day conference on terrorism and political engagement at the Royal Court, and heard paramilitary-turned-politician David Ervine give a fine speech. Ervine leads the Progressive Unionist Party and is absolutely key in persuading unionists to embrace change. B got to go as she's currently working for an NGO called Conciliation Resources. She's doing admin for her cousin's husband, who's the director of CR, and is making sure she gets to see how the place works. I'm trying to persuade her to guest-blog about all this, but she's shy.

On the play front, I'm happy to report that Micheline Steinberg Associates are helping me and encouraging me, though I haven't signed anything formal to say they're representing me. Which is fine, in fact. I've been tinkering with scene 10 of The May Queen, and I think it's done now. I've sent an incomplete version of the play to the Liverpool Everyman, emboldened by v positive response from its first (apart from the missus) reader, a respected writer.

Talking of those, my friend (and girlf once upon a time) Elizabeth Kuti has sent me a book and a cd - her plays The Sugar Wife and The May Child respectively. Excellent.

So there we are. Sort of up-to-date, but in London these days, you have to keep checking the news every five minutes to see if things are still standing.


Jane said...

The IRA's timing is intriguing. Why announce this decision while the press is preoccupied with the London bombings? Is this "a great day to bury bad news"? But it's not bad news though, is it? You'd think that the IRA would want maximum attention for this move. Or would they? (That's enough questions.) I need to read up on this a bit more to make a judgement. Perhaps they just genuinely think it's time to move on, given recent events. An interesting one, anyway.

Ova Girl said...

hey sbs,can't provide any insight into what you are living with or coping with. Feel simultaneously lucky and fearful that we are next.

But I can offer you this: the KEY to solving sudoku. It's NOT cheating but once you have read it a new world opens up...

come a little closer...


(*rubs hands together ala Mr Burns*)


sbs said...

yes, Jane, the timing was a bit awkward, but the process seems to have been leading to a midsummer armistice.
have a look at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4631961.stm

TB put his foot in it with the unionists by more or less saying "Al Qaeda are worse than the IRA ever were, the IRA just wanted to scare us, this new lot want to kill us"...


o.g. thanks for comforting vibe. and don't be fearful. it's hard enough to live in a metropolis without thinking every bag on a bus conceals a nail-bomb. we all need to keep our cool, keep society open and keep on integrating, interacting, talking. let the spooks and the coppers do their thing, but the rest of us have to stay free, active, and democratic.
pulling out of Iraq wouldn't go amiss, either.

and thanks for the tips... i'm now all set to become a whizz at the thing by, ooh, 2009...