just a lovely happy day

What made today so brilliant? It was no one thing. I have a bad cold and it’s been raining nonstop and yet I’m full of joy…as well as snot. Had a wonderful meeting with Jacksons Lane, followed by a productive morning of email on my phone in a cafe, followed by a quick chat with my friend Rachael (assistant producer at the Gate), followed by a very long chat and two coffees with the great young writer, and my dear dear friend, Nimer Rashed.

Then this evening went over to Jess‘s for a musical jam session with the actor-musicians for the STC Young Vic reading tomorrow. Brilliant, inspiring and hilarious.

Just a lovely day.

stories and the future

Started with a meeting at the Gate where their rather beautiful (don’t tell Will) and incredibly generous producer of Gate Outdoors (James ) gave Heather and I the low-down on touring site-specific work (aka The Man With the Flower in His Mouth).  Such a great and positive meeting that we’re now thinking much wider than just our little regional UK tour – it’s all about the international festivals and cracking America…I feel a bit like a rock star.

So then Heather and I wandered around Notting Hill and then the Cut, down in Southwark, to look for quirky little cafes into which Flower Man might fit for a few London previews…so watch this space.

Then a production meeting/model showing for Gotcha, which went well but our poor designer Libby always goes away and sneaks more stuff back into the model and then as soon as I see it I take it all out – no one wants a box set full of realism! Or at least I don’t. But she takes it very well and I have to remember I’m not working with Will (the king of minimalist sets and dark lighting) Reynolds.

Then a mad dash back to the flat, in the pouring rain, to audition another actor for Gotcha – I do love my Lamda boys – but still a few more to see over the weekend so we’ll see…

Then…phew…a three hour one-on-one session with Sam (Collings) – the star of all Metta shows this year, pretty much – to work on Sexing The Cherry in advance of the Young Vic reading on Tues. He is a joy. And it’s so good grappling with it – the stories are just brilliant and the language is lush lush lush, but it’s still a tricky beast because it refuses to be put into the box labelled ‘play’.

Now some gnocchi and an early night. I’m quite glad it’s the weekend, it’s been quite a full on week!

stratford

On the train back from Stratford upon Avon, where I have spent the loveliest of days visiting my old year-out course director Deborah Moody, and doing some workshops with the current students. An utter delight, and a reminder that it’s the best possible way to spend your gap year, if you’re at all theatrically minded.

Then to top it all off one of my oldest and dearest friends – Tom Richards (artistic director of horror theatre company ‘Theatre of the Damned‘, who also did the Year Out Drama course the year before me, rocked up, having been to see the RSC‘s Matilda, so we had a great catch-up too.

All in all a day of reminiscences and happy happy memories.

money

Had a very illuminating day sitting in on the Metta financial planning meeting where all the producers for the next four or five Metta productions got together and hashed out budgets and revenue streams and other such phrases that I don’t fully understand. Then a quick phone meeting with Jacksons Lane about Points of Light, hopefully we’ll do some more development work for it there in April and maybe June.

Now at the Young Vic for another workshop on aesthetic/design. We have almost no clue about what we’re going to do – as ever Will is super busy so we haven’t had much of a chance to sit down and plan properly – but I think it’ll be great.

And finally sorted our last actor for the STC reading next week, so all in all a good day.

a lovely day

Had a bit of a lie in after last night’s post-reading champagne fuelled evening. Today just catching up on admin and an evening full of meetings to look forward to. Just got off the phone from Jeanette talking about the plans for STC in July – she’s so lovely and so humble and so generous…oh I love her.

This evening off to have a design meeting for Gotcha in advance of our model showing on Friday, then a meeting with the Director Deborah Paige for a bit of mentoring/advice on life then a meeting with another two directors about this Shakespeare rep season/project I might be a part of (directing Tempest) then a quick dash back to Fulham for a Metta meeting with Heather and Will.

aesthetics

Met a wonderful actress this morning called Jasmine Hyde – going to work with her on a reading – lovely lovely lovely.

And the Gotcha auditions yesterday were great – if a little shambolic because of late trains and and late actors. Met a brilliant young actor called Jake Roche – getting him back in for recalls next week – so all in all hooray for great actors!

Today I’ve been writing up the physical score/synopsis for Points of Light – possibly all still rather unintelligible and just a series of adjectives and nouns…well mostly just adjectives, but it’s a start.

Then this afternoon we’re having an aesthetic meeting with Will and Jack Bedeman (our illustrator) to talk about the video-scape for Sexing the Cherry. And just got off the phone with Layla, our aerial choreographer for that, to chat about the aerial equipment and how that will be a part of the aesthetic. So lots to mull over.

a lovely man and some hopefully lovely auditions

Off to Jerwood Space again today to meet with Simon Godwin, Associate Director of Bristol Old Vic. Time to get some work back in the old west country I reckon. He’s lovely. So finger’s crossed. And their cafe is lush.

Then Gotcha auditions to look forward to this afternoon – sigh – but we’re not seeing too many people so should be ok. Then press night of Doll’s House tonight – shall I dress up? Hmmm…

actors and victoria station

Hilariously made the same Victoria station mistake again and merrily sat in cafe ritazza with one producer, waiting to meet another who was sat in the other cafe. However, through the wonders of modern technology eventually we found eachother and had a very good and productive meeting about the future of Cocteau – which will be lots of touring we hope!

Then off to the Jerwood Space to meet a few lovely actor musicians for STC. Then swung by Theatre Deli in the vain vain hope of seeing my husband for 30 minutes…I’ve been here 4 hours and still waiting. Also realised I don’t have a free evening til Feb 3rd and he’s now working days so lots of passing-like-ships-in-the-night to look forward to. Sad times. But happy times for the mortgage at least.

gotcha

Off in to town this morning to meet my LD for Gotcha, the lovely Gary Bowman. Still very strange though, for me not to be working with Will. Good though, it’ll be a whole new kind of creative process, involving no kissing (hopefully, for Will’s sake!). Then back home to chat costumes for Gotcha with my set/costume designer Olivia Altaras – we trawled through the Metta store and found some wonderfully hideous 70s items for our lead actress to wear (here’s hoping she doesn’t read this blog).

Now about to have a cup of tea with a young writer who’s sent me his first play. It’s rather brilliant but totally unlike anything I’ve ever directed – very straight, very Peter Gill, domestic and subtle and a bit heart-wrenching. So we’ll see where that leads. I always like to do different things so who knows.

Then off to the Factory tonight for another Odyssey session, while over in Bond Street it’s the first night of Will’s Dolls House. Break a leg Theatre Deli.