31 August 2006

Still Ill

Does the body rule the mind
Or does the mind rule the body?
I don't know

26 August 2006

Another day inside, sleeping, dicking around on the internet (as Richard Herring calls it) and listening to footie commentaries. Everton won up the road at Spurs for the first time since a certain Gary Lineker scored the winner, 21 years ago today.

Interweb dicking-around unearthed a couple of amusing things: a comedy of errors at Television Centre (follow-up story here), and a little treat for Larry David fans.

25 August 2006

I've only just noticed, sluggard that I am, that Nicholas Wright has done a new version of Therese Raquin for the NT, from Zola's dramatisation of his own heartstoppingly cruel novel. Can I wait?

Reminds me, haven't been to Exiles yet. I've been busy but also some of the cringe-making reviews ('deadly' - Kate Bassett) have rung truer than the kind ones ('neglected landmark of modern theatre' - Billington). But best go, and hope the kindly ones are right after all. Don't yet want to let go the idea that the young Joyce could have mastered the Ibsenian stage play before moving on to the small matter of Ulysses. But might have to.

Worth recording a link here to Philip Hensher's piece on novelists and playwrights, rightly lauded by Encore.

Still feeling lousy, but Spike has his noisy friend Isobel over for the duration today so I'm at the library, thinking about The May Queen. And blogging, obviously.

24 August 2006


Lordy, it's been a ripe old past week or so. Revisions to the new play, prep for Miniaturists 4 on Sunday, the day itself, and then Tuesday and yesterday reading through Everything Must Go with the cast of thousands (well, twelve at the last count). Most of this with a weird and debilitating bug. Temperature erratic, really low energy. Today the first day since it started that I can actually stay in the flat without badly letting the side down. That said I've had to cancel a first coffee with a Quite Renowned Writer I really like.
Through all of this, by the way, I've been treated with infinite patience and humour by CG, who's handling this multitudinous last show at Southwark Playhouse with good sense and flair.

15 August 2006

Managed to catch Simon Bent's Under The Black Flag just before it closed, and had a terrific time. It's a magnificently rumbustious beast and filled the dank Bankside air with gales of laughter to go with the squally weather. My first show at the Globe and in spite of a cold nose, numb bum and hilariously Restricted View I enjoyed myself very much. From my seat - fifteen quid - the stage was intersected by a squat pillar, reducing visibility by around fifty per cent. I came down and stood with the groundlings for a while in the second half, until the rain made my seat an attractive option, pillar or no pillar.

So Everything Must Go has gone. I've enjoyed the writing, but had to work very hard to get it done, as the time pressure bit. Now it's in the hands of Charlotte Gwinner, who will see to the direction. The play is essentially a family comedy, about a couple in their sixties splitting up and getting back together.

08 August 2006

An elegant bespectacled Japanese lady is sitting opposite me in the British Library restaurant. I'm guessing she's in her fifties. I'm eating my salad, reading the G2, when out the corner of my eye I glean she's pointing her cameraphone at her lunch. She notices me notice and with a shy laugh of embarrassment tells me in halting English that she's sending a photo to her family, to show them what she's eating over here. I thought I clocked cabbage, potato salad, tomato and baked beans on her plate. It felt impolite to study it too closely.

I wrote a half-decent scene for Everything Must Go yesterday, but coming to work today I can find absolutely no trace of it on my computer. Though I'm not wildly well organised this has never happened to me before. It's disorienting and mildly upsetting. After what seemed like hours scouring the hard drive for the scene, I must now try and recover it from the soft drive of my brain.

02 August 2006

I Wish I Were Cleverer

Because if I were I could dash off this little play I'm writing for Southwark - Everything Must Go - while keeping abreast of the international situation, forging ahead with Zadie Smith's On Beauty (started it in the IOW and I think it's delightful), plotting and planning my next May Queen rewrite, starting research for the two plays after that (Robinson Crusoe, and a comedy about astronomy and witchcraft), while at the same time keeping on top of the Miniaturists planning (next show August 20th, our last at Southwark), spending qualidee time with the family, catching up with friends, putting up pictures in the sitting room, and even, even going to see one or two things at the theatre. Hope to get to Under The Black Flag on Friday. What else is unmissable?