All the writers - there are thirty of us - drew random coordinates to find our dramatic locations and then dashed off in pairs to find inspiration and make videos of the area. I drew just off Portway next to the motorway, a largely-deserted street of unimpressive modern houses. And a rook, flapping low and slow over wet grass. "It can be anything from a specific siting to a feeling of emptiness" Alison says. Hm. I'm currently pondering outsiders... strangers... I'm-leaving-home-bye-bye.... Then a very jolly feedback session as everyone shared their impressions and pledged to get started on their script submission, due in just over a month... eek!
Participating in rehearsals is an amazing learning process for any writer, so I'll be driving into Bristol as often as I can until we preview in Frome on May 25th before opening night at the Alma on Tuesday 29th!
Madam Butterfly, a spectacularly sumptuous visual extravaganza immaculately performed by ENO. I say ENO in this casually familiar way but actually I was so unaware of the role of English National Opera that my initial response to the barman's logo was to think how nice that a posh place like this could let an ambient music fan wear his own teeshirt... But no-one, not even the most recalcitrant culture-vulture, could fail to be moved by how exquisitely the story is revealed, especially by the delicate creation of the child-puppet for the final scenes. The emotion lingers long after the final chords, and I woke next day with music in my head ~ not Puccini actually but Sonheim saying much the same thing: when love comes so strong, there is no right or wrong, your love is your life...