cambridge

Quite a relaxing day. Went to Cambridge to talk about some shows that might go to the arts. Watch this space… Then off to check in with the show. Now the back log of emails that I should have dealt with on the train – why dies the train to Cambridge not have plug sockets?

hair cut

Today I got a haircut. That has little to do with directing but hey. Then I met a writer who wants me to direct a play he’s about write about mental health issues, with puppetry. Totally my kind of thing.

Then went to Peter Mumford’s studio in Bethnal Green, where Will is working at the mo, and caught up on some emails. Then down to the Young Vic for another director designer workshop, then a mad dash to Riverside to meet Nathan Curry, from the Bush for post show drinks.

Pretty tired now. It was the haircut that did it I reckon.

happy monday

Started the day with some happy early morning emails, then jumped on the tube to meet my agent at the Soho, with a seventeenth century farthingale (like a proto-type tutu) slung over my shoulder. As you do. Filled her in on my various exploits – it’s all changing so quickly at the moment, I think she can hardly keep up.

Then met up with a potential stage manager for STC who jumped on the train with me and accompanied me to Loren’s aerial training (that’s who the farthingale was for) and also induction at The Hangar. So she can officially practice there on her own now (after just 5 lessons) because she is that hardcore.

Spent the weekend working on the latest draft of STC – some massive dramaturgical changes over the weekend which I’m desperate to share with my dramaturg, but he’s out of bounds this week as he gets married on Friday. Still, I think he’ll be pleased when he sees the latest version – I’ve basically done all the things he’s been trying to get me to do all along. And the play is so much better for it. Damn. Why didn’t I listen to him earlier!

Also found out over the weekend I’ve been nominated for an Off West End award for Best Director for Gotcha.  So a pretty good weekend all things considered.

ups and downs

A morning of phone calls and lots of meetings scheduled with regional theatres – my agent will be pleased! Then a meeting with a writer about putting on his play – after Gotcha I’m suddenly interested in making more naturalistic/realistic work – who knows maybe I’ll even direct some Chekhov one day! Then some less good phone calls in the afternoon – the landscape of productions that I’m directing this year shifts at an alarming rate! But whatever happens is the right thing, and all that.  It’s all a good lesson in letting go.

Then off to the Young Vic this evening to start work on the project I’m still keeping under wraps – but I will say it involves puppets and opera and am working with a great new composer – Isobel Waller Bridge who I met at Mark Ravenhill’s brunch last year.

the day of revelations (in a barn)

Spent all day in a barn in Sussex. What a wonderful day, a day of revelations and resolutions. I feel so inspired, so energised and so healed by that space. The space, the air, the view, the silence, have clarified so many things for me, in my art and in my life. What a wonderful refuge. What a powerful place to germinate ideas and have conversations that unlock everything. I want to come back again and again and again.

Clare Whistler, my movement director for STC, is artist-in-residence there, so we sat and had a conversation about STC – which I’m now about to re-draft again in a major way (finally understood – or ‘heard’ what my dramaturg had been banging on about for ages about the nature of storyelling and dramatic action). Also feel much clearer about the direction of Points of Light too. And life. And the world.

Then had a great conversation/phone meeting on the train home with Layla – my aerial choreographer for both those shows. Again lots of revelations, resolutions and clarity. Hurrah.

I think the barn might actually be a little bit magic – visit it. Everyone.

on the meetings train again

Sat in Riverside bar, wanting to blog before midnight. Just discovered several people actually read this….so hello fans! All five of you. Hooray, I have five fans.

Had a great meeting with Stephen Unwin at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, about directing something there next year.  What a beautiful space. Then a meeting with Heather and Leo over at the Young Vic, about STC, then a quick dash up to highgate to check out a cafe for the London leg of the Flower Man tour.

Then off to riverside to see the show and be on the panel for a post show talk, with Barrie Keeffe, Phil Davis (the original kid), Jake Roche (our kid) and Dominic Cavendish. Great debate. And my dad is up from the West Country to see the show, so he’s now holding forth at the table while I catch up on this. Better get back to the debate…

a great day

Spent all day at the Young Vic – in the daytime having a workshop/audition day for STC – brilliant fun, amazingly useful and just a great chance to play. Had Clare in doing movement work and Jess doing music, and Kate came in the afternoon to observe a bit in terms of costume – I love my team, I love this show. And the actors were terrific. Triple hooray! Also today is International Women’s Day so it was great to be surrounded by strong brilliant women all day! Yeah!!!

Then in the evening Will and I ran another workshop for directors & designers – also brilliant.

Totally positive day. Now the backlog of emails and phone-calls I’ve been neglecting all day to plough through, but I’m still smiling!

not so quiet

March was meant to be my quiet month! Spent all weekend working – had a technical meeting on Saturday to look at the video/animations for Sexing The Cherry, then battled the elements to get to Riverside and check in on the Gotcha cast. Then Sunday spent most of the day working on a proposal for a new project – too top secret at this stage to name (oh the intrigue) in between cooking sunday lunch for Mark Ravenhill, who is an utter delight (and Will is working with him at the moment) but I find inordinately intimidating. Hopefully he couldn’t tell.

Then today more work on the proposal, then off to Riverside to sort out a table (what?!!!) and then some script work with the supermodel on the one-woman show. Then back to Riverside, hopefully in time for the show, and definitely in time for Nimer’s post-show play reading, and then some important schmoozing in the bar with some important audience members…

Desperate for a day off, but I’m going to sit in a barn in Sussex on Thursday (with my Movement Director for STCClare Whistler) so that will probably do it. No idea how to get there yet but am sure all will be revealed.

All very cryptic today, isn’t it?

press night

Press night was a blast! They gave a great performance, and the press seemed to enjoy it. Riverside is a funny place though – because of all the filming they do – it’s a tv studio as well as a theatre – there’s always an absurd number of celebrities and paparazzi hanging around. So I was just giving one of my cast some notes in the corridor and Olly Murs just casually walks past, and the day before that it was Rory Bremner. Last night of course, was Shane Ritchie (his son Jake is our lead actor), wonder who’ll be around next week?

Then home to a plate of chips and bed. Nice.

Now catching up on emails in bed with a large mug of camomile tea and Will’s laptop. Off to meet a young graduating director in a bit, then going to Cambridge to catch up with my favourite conductor – Carlos Del Cueto and then catch The Seagull at the ADC.

getting there

Great second night – really beginning to fly. Hope tomorrow night continues in the same vein. Saw Nimer’s incredible trailer for the show as well – he is a genius.

Also great to get back on the email train after what feels like an aeon of being in the ‘opening a show’ tunnel. Everything else is ticking along nicely though – the tour for The Man With the Flower in His Mouth is shaping up nicely and other projects are rolling steadily forward.