It's with some degree of shamefacedness that I acknowledge and accept the award of an E For Excellence plaque from Ova Girl. Since I started blogging almost three years ago I've been through some ups and downs, some lean patches and some purple. But I have been less than prolific for some time now, and marvel at the consistent brilliance of the likes of The Whingers, Helen Smith, etc, and of course Ova G herself. I still like posting, though, still get a buzz from getting the odd comment and I shall endeavour to make myself a tiny bit worthier of Vanessa's accolade. Onward!
The kids musical comedy version of Aristophanes is up and running. It's at the Riverside Studios this week and got itself a nice little review from Daily Info when it opened in Oxford last week, at the North Wall Arts Centre. I was very taken with this new-ish theatre (after an initial feeling of being trapped in a world of brown, my eyes adjusted, and under the theatre lights - as opposed to the working lights - the brownness is transmogrified into a comforting, warm browny hue). I saw two dress rehearsals on the Tuesday in Oxford, and was back for the Thursday perf, which was attended by Professor Oliver Taplin (who helps run the Onassis Programme with director Helen Eastman) and his daughter Charis. Charis is just about the target age, so it was a huge relief that she seemed to have enjoyed herself a lot.
Daily Info by the way is an Oxford institution - when I was a student at the university you'd see it pinned up in every caff or bar or common room, the ubiquitous daily digest of Oxford student life, an A3 version of Time Out, and its theatre reviews were widely read and influential. Well like the rest of us it's gone digital - can anyone tell me if the A3 version still goes up? I have half a feeling I saw it in my old college when I wandered through, but that could just be the nostalgia playing tricks on my aged brain. Incidentally my first play Mahler's Unfinished was favourably reviewed in Daily Info and the bullet of pleasure I got when I read it posted up somewhere is lodged in my heart forever. It was actually my second play as I'd worked with my friend Michael on an adaptation of The Picture Of Dorian Gray in 1989 that played at Balliol College then went to the Edinburgh Fringe. I wrote about that elsewhere in the blog, I realise. Must try not to repeat myself. But here's something new - starring in both Dorian Gray and Mahler was Claire Hoult, and in true blast from the past fashion Claire reappeared in my life at the Riverside Studios on Monday, she is now Head of Classics at a school in Oxfordshire and was bringing a class of her pupils to see Cloudcuckooland. Wonderful to see her.