Strangely today has become a day of advice. Met a director friend for lunch who needed advice on a personal problem, then sat on a panel at a Young Vic workshop advising young people about making their own work and running a theatre company. Also in both email and by phone have been asked my advice about a whole range of things both personal and professional. So today I am the Oracle. Cool.
Best advice I’ve ever been given – the advice you give is the advice you need to hear. Actually on all fronts that is true for everything I’ve advised people on today.
I’ve seen lots of plays about dead babies lately, or if not about them then featuring them. Saved at the Lyric is the obvious one, with the famous baby-being-stoned-to-death-in-its-pram scene, but also in their different ways both Bang Bang Bang and Jumpy at the Court. A strange sort of vogue.
In other news – done some more development work on Points of Light and also started writing another play myself, which, now that I think about it is sort of about… a dead baby. Gosh, I’m so on trend.
Also had an entertaining weekend with the Belarus Free Theatre who came round to the flat for some lunch and some advice on crowd-funding. Trying to help them raise several thousand pounds with the help of Laura Wade and some home-made bread. Fingers crossed. For the fund-raising, not the bread. We ate the bread.
Last Friday had a meeting with two other directors about launching an umbrella group to jointly fund-raise for our projects. Hope something comes of it, could be a really exciting new model of working. Then met a potential assistant for the potential Tempest that I’m potentially directing after Arabian Nights. He had a lot of potential…
This week I spent Monday in a barn playing with Loren and Clare Whistler on some physical ideas for Points of Light. Even rigged the strop and did some very low work on that, barely off the floor. It’s a fascinating thing to see circus performed at such a low level. We’ll definitely have to explore how we can change the height of the rigging throughout the show – when we finally get to that point of having a show.
Then yesterday directed a staged reading of a Georgian play – Nicholas Rowe’s The Fair Penitent at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, which was also simultaneously recorded as a radio play. Fascinating because the demands of a live audience and the demands of a microphone are so different. A great challenge for the actors though.
Then today I was off to the Lyric in Hammersmith to meet with Laurie Sansom, from Royal & Derngate in Northampton about the future life of STC – which still looks fairly healthy so watch this space…
Dublin was amazing. I did the sum total of no writing (oops) but I made up for it with lots of trips to art galleries and museums (which are all free in Dublin. Brilliant). And perhaps more legitimately I did also meet a lot of important theatre people through Will working on this show Testament, for the Festival. So fingers crossed we’ll go back there and make some work in Ireland, maybe at The Project, where Testament was, maybe at the Gate (Michael Colgan, the Artistic director was one of the important theatre people we met), or maybe down in wexford where we spent our last day – having discovered several of our friends were working there for the opera festival. So one way or another hopefully we’ll go back, in the not too distant future. Everyone is so lovely, the friendliest theatre community I’ve ever come across. Just lovely.
Now back home…well actually now on the train to Cardiff for a design meeting for Arabian Nights, but home again in time for supper. I think Will’s keen to use up some of the garden produce so that’ll be potatoes, tomatoes and broccoli leaves for dinner. Maybe I should stay in Cardiff…