the park, motley and soho

This morning I went to look around a new theatre in Finsbury Park, called The Park. Amazing that anyone can build anything at the moment but they’re doing it, and it’s going to be an amazing space I think (200 seat thrust stage in the main house, with a 90 seat studio). Exciting. I wish we had a building. Do I? If it had a cafe I could get free chips, but I’d probably spend most of the time bogged down in meetings about toilet rolls (no pun intended) and have no time to make theatre. Anyway, we might do the Tempest/Winters Tale/Pericles project there…watch this space.

Then met Will for a quick whiz round the latest (and possibly last) Motley graduate exhibition, which was beautiful and inspiring. And then an even quicker lunch before I dashed up to the Soho to meet with our STC producer for a bit of a de-brief. Then home for an afternoon of phone calls to regional Theatres in a bid to make this STC tour happen. Let’s see who bites…

an epic scandinavian meeting

Today we had a Metta meeting in Scandinavian Kitchen – that’s as Scandinavian as the meeting gets – the contents was typical Metta fare, and we also met with a new prospective board member – the wonderful director Deborah Paige (who used to run Salisbury Playhouse and Sheffield). Though we did eat a lot of Scandinavian food as we were there for five hours. Must get better at having shorter meetings.

phone meetings

Just had a phone meeting with the Arts Council – phone meetings are a bit like phone radio interviews – you could be naked or in the bath (you probably would be naked if you were in the bath) and they’d never know. So that was good – getting lots of advice for future funding applications and general critical feedback. I wasn’t naked, just so you know.

Now to get stuck into a bit of twenties research for Dream – I’ll start with some twenties novels and work my way up.

And tonight off to see Will’s latest – a post-apocalyptic promenade production of Vignette‘s La Boheme which he’s lit, directed by Andy Staples – the acclaimed young tenor, and indeed star of our own 2009 Boheme which we did in Palestine for the Choir of London.

Dream continued

Greece was wonderful and a lovely rest (though I did eat my own now-significantly-heavier body-weight in calamari and dolmades). Now back to the Dream grind. Spent all day auditioning (also managed a sneaky audition in Athens airport because my sister-in-law’s boyfriend is an actor – surreal experience waiting to check-in with someone whispering Shakespearean verse in your ear) and then had a meeting/dinner with our composer for that – we’re setting it in the twenties (the era in which I set everything) so hopefully will have a bit of jazz in there, maybe even some Charleston-ing!

Also got back from Greece with an offer in my inbox to direct Arabian Nights for Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for their Christmas show – hurrah! And it’s the Dominic Cooke adaptation so hopefully he’ll come and give me a job at the Royal Court. Double hurrah!

circus and dreams

Last night went to Circus Space to see the second year ensemble show, which was also a collaboration with Tamasha Artistic Director Kristine Landon Smith. Some beautiful moments, particularly where they combined text with circus. Prior to that had a meeting with my agent in her car while she drove round hoxton square. Oh the glamour.

Today I’m off to riverside studios for Midsummer Nights Dream auditions – I fly to Greece on Sunday for two weeks so hoping we can see everyone we need by the end of today. Fingers crossed…


So Jeanette came on Saturday and loved it. Bring on the UK tour – hooray. Now just winding down from the excitement and intensity of the last few weeks.

I can’t quite believe what we managed to achieve in such a short space of time. So proud of everyone. though also lots to change so planning to spend today getting stuck into rewrites.

In other news – I’ve been asked to direct an outdoor production of A Midsummer Nights Dream up in Derbyshire. We start rehearsals in a month – last minute but brilliant.

sexing the cherry

We have opened. And already its time to close. It’s always sad saying goodbye to a show but sadder still when you’re only doing four performances and you’ve been building up to them for over five years. I’ve probably shed more tears over this show in the last week than any other. But I’m so glad we made it happen and so proud of what we achieved. Fingers and all other appendages crossed that we have a future life for it next year.