27 November 2008

Posting this from The Flying Scotsman, approaching Darlington from the south. Dress rehearsal one this afternoon, dress two in the morning, and first preview tomorrow at two. I am dying to see how it looks - Ian Scott is lighting it, Ian lit The May Queen for us so I know we´re in good hands. Also I have not yet seen a single costume in the flesh as it were, on the flesh maybe, as all the fittings etc were done elsewhere, not at the rehearsal space, so you know as much as I do, if you saw the pics in last Friday´s Guardian G2 that is (they´re not on the website, but one of them is on the Northern Stage one). Neil Murray´s designed the set and costumes, he´s having a busy old week is Neil as he won Best Design at the Evening Standard Awards for his work on Brief Encounter. Which is nice. Well done that man.
Looking forward to arriving in Newcastle, now. For one thing, I need some lunch... Nearly there.

19 November 2008

´What have you been thinking about?´ Tom Hodgkinson, idler extraordinaire, suggested we ask this of strangers we meet at parties etc, rather than the time-honoured ´And what do you do?´. Well today, in addition to the seemingly compulsory constant merry-go-round of familiar preoccupations and anxieties with which I will not detain you, I have been thinking about electronic patient databases, my mini play Porno Girl, my big play Hansel and Gretel, Shakespeare and Kemp, and the Baby P case. Porno Girl is due for an outing Friday week in Liverpool, The Miniaturists are taking part in the Cornerstone Festival at Liverpool Hope University. The show coincides with first preview of H&G so I will be in Newcastle, sorry to miss it, but a crack team of Miniaturists are on the case, they will also present Death Of The Small Independent Retailer by Mr Glyn Cannon and The Circulatory System by Mr Laurence Wilson.

Also today I am troubled by the trivial fact that although I correctly predicted the skin on one or both of my heels would break, in these new shoes, and the idea bubbled up that I could do myself a favour by bringing a couple of plasters out with me to work, I didn´t take heed of the insight and so am hobbling around the place in my stiff Doc Martens brogues, a limping admonishment to myself.

17 November 2008

In lieu of any more considered kind of writing, I'm just going to set down that I am very excited about Hansel and Gretel at Northern Stage, they're into week five of a five week rehearsal process, into the theatre next week. I have been visiting of course, working on bits and bobs, ironing, patching, and I will be up again the end of this week to see the last couple of runs in the rehearsal room. But so much happens without me, and when I see the cast again I feel like the uncle who visits every six months and is unfailingly shocked at how they've grown. Also exciting is the research I am doing into a possible Brecht project next year. These two parts of my current existence have only their Germanic provenance in common, and as I have practically no facility with the German language this sometimes seems peculiar. I do have a dictionary, however, and some skills transferable from earlier tussles with Greek, Latin and French. Also I was in love with Mahler's settings of those poems, eg Das Lied von der Erde, and thereby know the odd word.

We did another of those Miniaturists shows last week, and it was a hoot. It was the sixteenth outing, but the first wherein I had not collected all the mini biographies for the programme and shovelled them along on the Friday afternoon to Prontaprint in the Borough for Alan and the team to wrestle with when they had bigger, more lucrative jobs to do. Ah, the joys and sorrows of delegating.

03 November 2008

I am coming back to this, yes I am. I have been having difficulty keeping on top of things of late, being the sort of person who carries neither diary nor wristwatch. And the blog was, I lately realised, acting as a sort of mental carrier bag, holding all those scraps of ideas and contacts that more together people keep about them in other media.
Anyway I am moved to post this second to lament, O, poor Robinson Crusoe!, as my favourite copy of my favourite book is soaked in coffee that leaked from my thermos. Yes, I said thermos. Look I´m 42 in a few weeks, I´m absolutely allowed.