juggling and short plays

It’s much maligned but I do rather love the short play form – true it doesn’t allow you the depth of a longer piece but I love how well and simply it can work as a form to capture the heart of an idea or character. And in this age of micro-blogging with Twitter and Facebook status updates it feels an apt form for those with limited attention spans.

Aside from our forth-coming collection of short plays – Arab Nights – which opens at Soho next month I also saw a production of 5 short plays by Will Eno – Oh The Humanity – (also at the Soho) the other week . A beautiful, tender quirky evening full of humour and pathos and exquisite acting. Gorgeous. And having written my own 20 minute play Box – which was given a few readings earlier this year I have since started a second short play Gift as a sort of companion piece and as of this very night – formed an idea for a third – so new it doesn’t even have a title yet…maybe Eggs (?) It’s about juggling. Maybe juggling eggs (literal and metaphorical). Who knows, I haven’t written it yet.  So hopefully before the year is out I shall have completed that small trilogy. As you can see I’m fond of mono-syllabic titles!

In the mean time still juggling the writing of Flicker – which has a few days of R&D coming up next week at ETT – and tour booking for next year – and motherhood – and of course prep for Arab Nights including my first interview with The Stage this afternoon – we covered everything from poo (naturally) to peace in the Middle East.

Also learning Arabic. It’s a busy time, but I think I am becoming pretty adept at juggling (hopefully).

as we liked it and the meetings train

So September rolled by in a blur of Shakespeare, nappies, meetings, meetings and more meetings. Though I’m not allowed to talk about nappies any more – official directive from the Arab Nights Marketing and PR team – no more tweeting about poo.

Rosalind and Celia dreaming of love (or cake)

Moving on then… As You Like It was a roaring success – the great citizens of Wirksworth deemed it even better than last years Midsummer Night’s Dream – (hooray) and I was really pleased with it. Also having played the space before meant we could really create a show that played in every nook and cranny of the garden. And we were even relaxed enough to take time out to have a cream tea, and wander the art trail that makes the festival so famous. Almost like some sort of holiday!!! Also celebrated our two year wedding anniversary with an anniversary breakfast in town, while various cast members looked after Noah back at the ranch. It was lovely…we did mostly talk about the set design for Arab Nights but we have since come to terms with our work-aholism, so that’s ok.

Back to London and it was full steam ahead with the meetings train. We’ve been accepted onto the Arts Council’s new Creative Industry Finance Initiative and had our first business mentoring session at the East London Small Business Centre. Noah joined us, of course, and yes we did have to have an emergency ‘tea’ break mid-meeting. Enough said. But that’s all very exciting and good to be thinking about all things Metta with a business hat as well as an artistic one.

Had a great meeting with Aurora Orchestra who are collaborating with us on our opera Flicker, and possibly some future projects involving circus and flooding an entire stage with water. Exciting, and a bit ridiculous (possible tag line for our lives at the moment). Flicker is going well though, and have just been interviewing the patients this last week – some of whose words will end up in the final libretto. It’s a long and intense process though, as for many of them it can take up to 30 minutes to type/communicate one sentence through their assistive communication aides. Also juggling the scheduling of those interviews with child-care can be tricky but am embracing ‘Noah Club’ on facebook where I palm him off on whoever replies first to my last minute plea for babysitting across various parts of London.

Then a flurry of meetings to move forward with the Monkey & Crocodile tour. The Egg in Bath, Polka and Barbican in London, Bikeshed in Exter and hopefully Oxford Playhouse are all looking like potential partners in circus-theatre crime so that’s go go go (for summer 2013, that is).

Houda and Natalie dreaming of stories (or cake?)

And of course Arab Nights preparation continues apace – had a wonderfully chaotic music workshop with Bushra and the cast, and starting the ball rolling with production meetings and press & marketing meetings (hence the poo directive). Also had a pre-production photo shoot with our two beautiful women Houda Echouafni and Natalie Dew.

And Noah had his second board meeting. He enjoyed it. He’s getting quite chatty in meetings now though (he’s now four months old – so not saying actual words…yet). I’m not sure how much longer the whole baby-in-meetings thing is going to work and aside from rehearsals my entire life is meetings so… I’m thinking about selling Noah on e-Bay and using the proceeds to fund the next Metta production. Or maybe ‘Noah Club’ on Facebook will become a lot more popular…