day three and readthrough

Still a hard slog, but worth it. And this evening we had a readthrough with five of the six cast, and Will reading in the dog woman – I can’t think of a less likely casting for him! But great to hear the play again since our January reading at the Young Vic – I think the structure is finally there (touch wood) so from here on in it’ll hopefully just be minor re-writes. Phew. And we had a lot of fruit to see us through the readthrough – seeing as it’s all so integral to the piece – so now I feel very tired but a bit healthier.

aerial week

This week I’m at Jacksons Lane exploring the aerial choreography for both Stc and Points of Light. Very exciting but also very demanding. The good news is the aerial work seems to be really supporting and releasing the text – which is a great discovery, and appeases my greatest concerns that the words would be fighting against the physical narrative. The less good news is it’s just massively painful (physically) and tiring work. Luckily Loren is hardcore, though it’s still going to be a tough week…

affirmation

Today was pretty brilliant. After five years of applying we have received Arts Council funding for the fiesta time, for our tour of The Man With the Flower in his Mouth. Hooray. Now I can pay the mortgage again, at least for a few months. And on a more philosophical level it feels like a real affirmation of the company and of the work.

Also our Crowdfunding campaign for Stc is going well and we’ve raised 18% of our 2k total, just in the last week. So today is a great day for receiving. I’m hoping it might carry on til tomorrow and I might have a little flutter on the Grand National (not with our Arts Council money, obviously)!

sitting with it

Sat on the train to Cardiff where I’m having a meeting about hopefully directing a show for Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

I love the opportunity train journeys give you to just sit with your feelings for a while.

David Lan was rather inspiring last night – and he said something which makes sense of the whole Young Vic for me – throughout the building they try as hard as possible only to use positive words and language in their signs. It’s a small thing but I think has a profound impact on the atmosphere of the theatre which is one of the most welcoming and open arts buildings/theatre spaces that I know. I’m going to try and incorporate it into my practice as an artist from now on. Semantics do matter.

busy again

After the gentleness of Monday yesterday and today have got a bit busy again. Yesterday had a phone meeting with Layla, followed by a costume meeting with Kate in her amazing studio – so much more exciting to play with fabric in three dimensional space than simply move lines around on a page. Then met up with Nimer for a double whammy of dramaturgical chat about Stc and also Pursuit of Love, which he’s hopefully adapting. Then we had some process time in the Young Vic exploring the initial ideas for that with some actors, some music and a very early draft of a potential scene that he’s written. Massive inspirations about how to do an adaptation of a novel – which of course I’m grappling with on a daily basis. Coupled with all of Nimer’s thoughts on my latest draft meant a very late night for me as I scribbled another draft until 2.30 in the morning. And between the young vic session and the late night writing I squeezed in another meeting with the other directors for the Young & Late project.

Phew. So today was marginally less busy. Spent the morning writing up my changes from last night – I always write new drafts by hand in pencil over the old drafts (that folder is getting pretty fat now). Then off to a meeting with some producers to talk about the supermodel project…all very exciting. Though the meeting carried on into the tube, to the extent that I went all the way out to Richmond to carry on the conversation. But it was a great conversation so totally worth it. And now on the tube back into town where Will and I are having a meeting with the Young Vic about running some more director/designer workshops and then we’re both staying for a Q&A with David Lan.

Tomorrow things ease off, thankfully…

pootling along

Today is a sort of pootling along sort of day. Did a bit of work on my secret puppet opera libretto. Thought a bit about Pursuit of Love – which we’ve got some development/process time for, at the Young Vic tomorrow. Hopefully will direct a version of it in the autumn and then a full production next year, for Jagged Fence. Sent some emails. Ordered some aerial equipment for STC…actually that’s a lie – it was stressing me out too much (I don’t know what kind of karibenas we need, or what size swivel?!) so I got Will to do that.

Then Heather’s coming over in a bit to have a production meeting for Flower Man and this evening I’m pootling on down to the Young Vic to see Terminus.

Ho hum…

stc day

Well all my days are STC days in some way at the moment, and I suppose will be for the next three months. But in particular today – been going through the STC mega-document/spreadsheet in advance of tonight’s dinner party/meeting for all the creative team. Then in between a bit of food prep (there’ll be ten of us!!!) had a phone meeting with Layla to chat more about the aerial choregraphy, bit more food prep, and then Nimer for a bit of dramaturgical chat. This is a good day.

In Will’s absence (he’s in tech for Mark Ravenhill’s Coronation of Poppea at the King’s Head) I’ve also rigged an amazing model version of the aerial equipment in the model box, greatly aided by a coat-hanger and our living room mirror. Pictures to follow…