People I Like
This is going to be a bit of a reductive post, but it’s a Sunday, it’s the end of April, and I’m sitting looking at the rain out of the window with the heating on and a soggy cat under the bed.
I’d like to take a moment to share with you some connections I’ve made over the last few weeks and months. People, some of whom I was vaguely aware of in a Facebook-type way, and some of whom I hadn’t met at all. Connections that wouldn’t have happened if this Festival wasn’t taking place. People whose outlook, skills and sheer enthusiasm for theatre in all its shapes and sizes have inspired me and spurred me on to make things better.
Phoned me up out of the blue in February, having never met me before, seen our script call-out and said “this looks great -how can I help?” Co-Director of Ovalhouse in London, she’s exactly the sort of person who should be running a venue. Open, engaging, you get the feeling she’ll bust a gut for the people and work she believes in. Her biog sums it up: “her work is full of stories and big ideas and she wants theatre full of magic and contradiction that might just change the world”. Oh, and her next project is called The Sluts of Sutton Drive. ‘Nuff said.
I know Nick primarily as a film-maker from my previous incarnation at Script (RIP). Stupidly enough, I didn’t realise she was a theatre director too. Which came in handy when one of our writers (sean burn) was looking for someone to direct his play calyx. With very short notice, very few resources, and boundless enthusiasm, Nick has thrown herself headlong into the project and has been an absolute pleasure to work with. Really happy that sean’s play is in such good hands.
Interestingly, Hannah submitted a short play for Capital’s first life in November 2010. We kept in vague touch afterwards, which mainly comprised of her sending me invitations to her increasingly successful shows and me promising to come, but then realising they were happening in Plymouth. I came across a recent blog post/ rant against the limitations of script reading – how existing structures don’t cater for writers working outside “traditional”, mainstream playwriting models. Her arguments delve right to the heart of what I’m trying to explore through this Festival – looking at writers as self-determined theatre-makers. But she says it much more articulately than I could ever hope to on a rainy Sunday afternoon, so I’m just going to link to her earlier blog.
I feel like the geeky kid who, against all the odds, has made some very cool friends. So, naturally, I’m keen to show them off. With that in mind, I’ve invited Rebecca and Hannah to take part in a panel discussion on New Writing vs New Work (is there only one way to find out?) on Friday 25th May at 4pm, alongside playwright Fraser Grace.
Nick will direct sean burn’s play calyx, which will be performed on 24, 26 & 27 May (various times) at mac.
So if you want to be enthused, entertained, enlightened and engaged by people at the very forefront of new theatre, then come along, meet the gang and share your views.