26 July 2008

Liverpool (part one)

Coming to the end of one of the most interesting weeks. I arrived in Liverpool last Sunday and have barely had a moment to stop and think. But here we are on Saturday lunchtime, and I am ensconced in a corner of the FACT cafe with its delicious coffee and free wifi. Here´s a rundown of the week, in instalments. Sunday I was kindly hosted by Suzanne Bell, Everyman´s literary manager and Everyword Festival supremo. First thing Monday I met Flavia at the theatre, Miniaturists producer, and we embarked on an all day technical rehearsal in the space, with hour-long slots for the five plays (see my last entry, below). This went so unusually smoothly that by 6pm Flavia and I were nicely perplexed. But the credit goes to Suzanne and her assistant Lindsay, who worked with us last year and had briefed everyone exceptionally well. I did some props buying in the afternoon and found myself at the Tesco´s checkout with the following in my basket, Take A Break magazine, a packet of ginger nuts and 20 Richmond Superkings. Hey ho. So at 6.40 I was outside the Everyman on my phone, chatting to B about how it was going, wondering aloud about where I might grab a bite before going down to the Playhouse to see Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi. And B says, ´So what time´s your radio interview, have you done it already?´ Ah. I get her to log into my email, check the message from Radio Merseyside, eleven days previous, long enough ago for me to have clean forgot. ´Um, says you´re to arrive at 6.40 to go on air at 6.45...´
6.41 Cab.
6.42 Cab driver taking the mick out of me for poor time management.
6.43 Cab driver calling me a lucky so and so, every light is green.
6.44 Cab driver chuckling at my disappearing hide.
6.45 Reception.
6.46 Calming down, drinking water.
6.47 Remembering sitting in same chair pre-interview last year, May Queen production week.
6.48 Into studio, chat with presenter Lucinda while record plays.
6.49 A little more chat about what we are going to chat about. The slot is an ongoing series of interviews with fifty of Liverpool culture´s ´movers and shakers´. I am flattered and not a little disbelieving, but I am of course very happy to talk for ten minutes about my playwriting. Determinedly shutting out the vertiginous idea that there might be thousands of people listening.
6.50 Lucinda (sitting in for Claire Hamilton) asks me to tell the listeners what got me started as a writer, and off I go.
6.59 What seems like two minutes in, Lucinda uses the immortal ´Í´m afraid that´s all we´ve got time for´.
7.00 Off air, I thank Lucinda for making the whole thing easy.
7.01 I´m back on the street, and on the phone to B. What the hell just happened??


BBC Liverpool08 said...

Hello Stephen,

The tale of your almost-missed radio interview made me chuckle.

We've quoted your blog on the BBC Liverpool08 website - with a link back to your post of course.

It's on this page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool08/

Best wishes

HB, BBC Liverpool08

sbs said...

thanks HB. love the site. by the by, you don´t happen to have a copy of pt 3 of Alexei Sayle´s series that I could borrow? ...