31 December 2007

New Year's Eve. Aside from watching 24 through my fingers during the gory bits, the only excitements I'm signed up for are checking in on RandomActs as he reports in from the frontline, Trafalgar Square and environs. I've been reading this exceptional blog on and off for a while but have been too effing lazy to link to it myself, until now.

I've just sent Buzz off to La La Land. Spike and Becca are out a-visiting.

It's been a good year for yours truly, lots of interest and excitement, we're a sickeningly happy little family and I've had a great deal of luck with getting work on, two shows for two great theatres, and things lined up for next year - the tour of CloudCuckooLand of course (inc stints at Riverside and Greenwich) but also something I've not mentioned here, I've been asked back by Northern Stage so will be writing a Hansel and Gretel for them next Christmas. Yay for that.

Here then, as has become customary for me to note, are some of the shows I loved in 2007.

devised by Katie Mitchell and the Company (2006)
from the text of Virginia Woolf's novel, The Waves (1931)
Cottesloe, National Theatre
Breathtaking work, formally daring and exquisitely beautiful. An experiment achieved with consummate style.


by Philip Glass (1980)
words by Constance de Jong
directed and designed by Phelim McDermott, Julian Crouch and Improbable
Improbable bring their poetry to bear on Glass's meditative epic.


The Caretaker
Harold Pinter (1960)
dir. Jamie Lloyd, des. Soutra Gilmour
Tricycle Theatre
Pinter's purgatorial masterpiece, David Bradley magnificently Beckettian.


Antony and Cleopatra
William Wotsit (?1607)
dir. Gregory Doran
Novello Theatre
Sex, and the classical world conjured before your eyes - what more do you want?


Dying For It
Moira Buffini (2007)
after The Suicide by Nikolai Erdman (1928)
dir. Anna Mackmin, des. Lez Brotherston
Buffini's riotous reimagining of the funniest play about the Stalinist nightmare.


The Emperor Jones
Eugene O'Neill (1920)
dir. Thea Sharrock
Olivier, NT
The Little Play That Could. O'Neill and Sharrock get expansive.


All About My Mother
Samuel Adamson (2007)
after the screenplay by Pedro Almodovar (1999)
dir. Tom Cairns
Old Vic
Touching, intimate, rude and sweet - in the Old Vic? Yup.


Mustapha Matura (1982)
dir. Dan Barnard
Arcola Studio 2
Caribbean history, tradition and food explored in wry kitchen comedy.


Mojo Mickybo
Owen McCafferty (1998)
dir. Jonathan Humphreys
Arcola 2
The Irish Troubles as child's play.


Yael Farber (?2004)
after Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus
dir. the writer
Oxford Playhouse
Heart-stopping and extreme. The war between Electra and Clytemnestra played out before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


Robert Lepage/ Ex Machina/ Culture Industry/ Northern Stage/ Theatre Sans Frontieres (2007)
Northern Stage
Lepage marshals extraordinary forces in work-in-process exploration of the human voice.


11 December 2007


The last two or three weeks have been fun, fazing and full-on, with a radio play going out on the 3rd, a Miniaturists show on the 2nd, a press and guest night for A Christmas Carol (pictured) in Newcastle on the last day of November, turning 41 on the 9th (a prime number again thank goodness), marking 15 years of my attachment to B on the 10th, and Spike's first school play last Tuesday (Whoops-a-Daisy Angel). Also: workshop days on Cloudcuckooland at St Gabriel's Boys' Club in Pimlico, in the shadow of the block where B and I bought our first flat; Lucy's production of Moira Buffini's play Gabriel at RADA (absolutely spellbinding), and an early evening drink with two senior playwrights beforehand; preview of Much Ado About Nothing at the Olivier (highly enjoyable, with possibly the funniest coup de theatre I've ever seen).

So now here I am at the library on a Sunday afternoon, for the last time in the long year. I'm mucking about with some lyrics for the Cloudcuckooland songs. It's going to be a bit of a riot, this show, if all goes to plan. Slapstick, scatological sing-a-longs, and satirical cameos by the likes of a football WAG and our dear Prime Minister. But let's not get ahead of ourselves! - back to work. Meanwhile I'll note my random iTunes playlist as I go. And if I get the chance later on I'll try and give a bit more detail about all the above. It's been quite a whirl and I've felt the lack of regular blogging, not that I'm under any illusion that there's a public out there hanging on my every word, emphatically not, it's just that I'd like to diarise for myself and also for those friends and family and other bloggers and colleagues who I know do look in from time to time.

Any Colour You Like, Pink Floyd

Rock Star, N.E.R.D.

Titanium, Kraftwerk

Protest (from Satyagraha), Philip Glass

Cups, Underworld

Room 208, The Future Sound Of London

Psycho Killer, Talking Heads

Anarchy In The UK, Sex Pistols

(Jung Neys) Antidotes, The Fall

Can't Get You Out Of My Head, Kylie (Soulwax Rock Remix)

Dig Your Own Hole, Chemical Brothers

No More Tears, KLF

Standing In The Way Of Control, Beth Ditto / Soulwax