14 May 2008
These past few weeks I have been gorging on some fine writing. Three plays by Henrik Ibsen, for a start: two in vivid versions by Frank McGuiness (A Doll's House, The Lady From The Sea) and one very strong one by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (An Enemy Of The People). Then there was Fram of course, with Tony Harrison at his eccentric best, and round the corner, Simon Stephens's soulful Harper Regan. Martin Crimp's play The City had the quality of a nightmare and resembled, for me, the darker work of the great Paul Auster. At the Bush, I enjoyed Lucy Kirkwood's sweetly insane Tinderbox, and next evening over at Soho I loved Static, by Dan Rebellato. Today I saw the wonderful (and unexpectedly touching) big splash debut by Polly Stenham. I've already written about Jonah and Otto here. What I didn't tell you is that I attended a recent rehearsed reading of Robert Holman's Rafts And Dreams, that knocked me over. Then at last Sunday's Miniaturists there was fine work from Christina Balit, Rachel Barnett, Declan Feenan, Hilary Bell, and a debut from Paul Chadwick (our first professor). I make no apology for citing the writers alone here. Needless to say, great work was done on all the above by directors, actors, producers, designers, etc. But I'm wanting to big up the people who dreamed up and wrote down the words, the scenarios, the blueprints, the rubrics - hell why don't we call them the scripts and be done with it, for these life-enhancing, spellbinding entities and say, hey, thanks. And respect.