Monday, February 12, 2007

New moon, Hare moon, and a week of highs - (Venus at the movies, 7/10 I'd say, would be more but for sentimental longwinded ending; sunny walks; shards of snowdrops) - and lows (24 hour lurgi...yucch).
Big buzz to find Howard's put a track from our DVD on YouTube. I give it max. rating and add it to my favourites. Wish someone else would. Son No.2 thinks it "too weird" his mum is in a pop video, and I can see his point.
ps Thank you, Luke Wright!
February 13th is "Valentine Vices", a Poetry Cafe night after a long gap. A great night. Our guests - Rose Flint and Gordon Egginton - are fabulous. And we have David Johnson, of Bristol's 'Paralalia' and Dave Angus from Bath's 'What a Performance' nights... and 15 other poets, all sharing authentic, moving, funny, outrageous experiences with us. Debut reader Tracy Wall won everyone's heart, and one of the awards, with her gymnastic musings. I feel humble and immensely proud as I hand out the donated gifts: a red rose, theatre tickets, books, candle and scented sachets. Valentines Day may have been snaffled by commercial cynics, but there's still a chance to reappropriate. With words.
On Thursday I went with Emily & Ben to Theatre Royal Bath for the National Theatre production of The Seafarer. It's only on till Saturday, or I'd say GO. It's stunning. No sea, although a strong sense of lone voyage. Conor McPherson, who directed and wrote the play, has a skill with script that makes the programme note that “He writes dialogue as if he has found it in the mouths of his characters” read like humble truth. This is a play about redemption, really. There is failure and human frailty but in the end redemption comes through ordinary dysfunctional things like family and friendship, and accepting ownership of your life. Here, hell is not other people, but having no-one to love you. This is an extraordinary story, from the celtic tradition but as uptodate as mobile phones and Miller Lites... and timeless as the devil himself.
And we’re doubly lucky: there’s an after-show talk giving insight into the process that has created this powerful piece of theatre. The actors made contributions during rehearsal time, though now it’s all nailed down, Jim Norton says. ”We try to give the impression of extemporising, but it’s all exact - like jazz”. The other men nod. “He’s a good director.” “He’s the best.” They quaff their drinks. Once again they seem like their stage characters.

A good end to the week with the first session of the newly-formed Frome Self-Help Writers Group - perhaps we should have found a title like Frome Readable Oddities Group Self-helping People All Writing Now which would give us a better acronym - ably and elegantly led by Alison Clink. Small group, good atmosphere, great range of work. And rounding the working week off nicely, convivial supper and then great music (Tessa Bickers my favourite) at the Acoustic-Plus.

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