The Miniaturists show this Sunday gone was tip top. Thanks very much indeed if you were among the very discerning, appreciative and distractingly gorgeous audience. The plays took us on an even more varified tour of Storyland than usual, from the playfully disturbing nowheresville of EMBODIED (Glyn Cannon), to an adolescent's eye on the world in FROM BOMBAY TO SANTA FE (my contribution), detouring into a land of grief and sibling intensity with KIND OF DARK (Lance Woodman), before popping in to the twistedly funny REASONS TO SETTLE FOR LESS (Nancy Harris), then finally grabbing a hotdog and a grandstand seat for the almost illegally hilarious MATCH PLAY (Frederic Blanchette).
So many people to thank, as ever. Sarah Jane Shiels and George Dives were last minute recruits to the tech crew and were faultlessly on it. Marilyn and Roger from Arcola beavered away behind the scenes. Tash and Ruth, legendary SMs. Suzanne Bell did terrific work with Lance's play, which was satisfyingly dark and had echoes of Electra (my favourite nasty story). Team Woodman were a joy to work with. Director Elgiva Field took to Miniaturism like the proverbial thing that goes quack, as did her writer Nancy, whose piece, like all the best shorts, was a complete tale in itself but reverberated long after the blackout.
Glyn put together an unusual little number, a ten minute audio piece at the top of the show that begins with the ringing of mobile phones, in the way of those little warnings you hear in theatres to turn off your own. Then an announcer speaks. And away we go. I happened to be sitting next to an Arcola person for the first show, and their momentary disorientation when they heard the ringtones was priceless: 'Is this ours?' As for my play, what can I say but cheers to Lucy and the actors (especially the newly cast Stephen). It was supernice to have another go at it after Liverpool, I made a few tweaks here and there that seemed to work, and I'll be damned if playing in the round at Arcola didn't help our little story get told. Frederic Blanchette's Match Play brought up the rear and was quite simply, to borrow a favourite Stephen Fryism, bowel-shatteringly funny. Lucy (yes her again) did a wonderful job, it was beautifully performed (take a bow Gareth, Ben and Robin), it brought the house down. Job done. It was also a great relief to me personally, finally to see the thing staged. Chris Campbell sent it to me aeons ago, whereupon I showed it to Lucy, who snapped it up and then became too busy to direct but refused, quite understandably, to let anyone else have it. So Chris has had to be the soul of forbearance, for which I thank him, over and beyond the thanks owed for a smooth and witty translation.
And not least. Thank You F.
(Besides running the whole thing with me Flavia took some fine pics, some are over here - click a pic for a gallery view - and there's this one of the writers below... O yes that's right. This is what some playwrights look like. And before you start with any pc musings, we've only had a 4m/1f combo once before, and the last time I wrote one - Miniaturists 3 - I was the odd man out...)
l-r, Lance, Nancy, Glyn, me, Chris