newcastle

Last week I spent a gorgeous few days up in Newcastle shadowing Erica Whyman, Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Northern Stage. What an inspiring woman – she’s who I want to be when I grow up. Gosh it was tiring though – they literally none of them take any kind of break all day, so it was 10am-10pm straight through each day (because we also ended up watching shows in the evening) which is pretty heavy going when you’re seven months pregnant. That said when there’s so much going on in a building and so much energy and passion you don’t really feel tired (until you get home in the evening after getting lost on the Newcastle Metro…every night!!!)

This week is shaping up to be equally interesting. Have set to dramaturgical work already on our big project for the autumn – Arab Nights – a series of short plays by writers from across the Middle East and North Africa. Mostly stull unwritten apart from the play from our Palestinian writer which is already, excitingly, in its second draft – possibly becoming its third as I type. Also launched a crowd-funding campaign for that and have already raised 15% of our £3000 total so that’s looking positive.

Today I’m off for a meeting with the Gate and then going to a touring forum run by ITC now that Metta are ITC members. And then tomorrow I’m meeting with an Iraqi actress who might be a part of either Stories from 1001 Nights or Arab Nights, or both!

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developments

Spring is a time of things developing. Devoted & Disgruntled was as inspiring as ever, as was last weekend’s Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre – both planting lots of creative seeds that I hope will develop into bigger things over the next year.

Had a meeting at the Royal Opera House about developing a puppet opera there, and also met with a brilliant Puppet designer & maker – Mandarava – with whom we might collaborate on it.  Also been meeting many many writers, a brilliant young Lebanese Composer called Bushra El Turk, and the British Council about a project we’re developing for the autumn which I hope to announce soon.

Last Monday I helped develop a piece called Fragments of Her for my dear friend Loren O’Dair at the Theatre in the Pound scratch night at the Cockpit Theatre. And I’ve also been developing – or rather reviving – my acting career as I performed (naked and 7 months pregnant) for the Belarus Free Theatre and Fuel at the WOW Festival at Southbank this weekend.

Then today had a rehearsed reading at ETT of a new play/project we’re developing – Stories from 1001 Nights – which will hopefully have a life this summer.

So lots of things developing, as well as the baby too of course. I’ll keep you posted as it all…develops.