Thursday, October 15, 2009

Paradise by local writer Nell Leyshon developed from her work with Vita Nova: a Bournemouth-based theatre group of recovering addicts. The Salt factory (tagline "stark visual landscapes and restless text") production features charismatic Lee Hart and Celia Meiras as ex-junkies falling backwards through their story to refind their love. Jay Kerry's lighting is stunning and the minimalist set, Nell says, was designed around the dimensions of the tour van.

Lots of personal stories at the Merlin too, in a full-house foyer performance of STAGE WRITE last night.
This was the culmination of the 7 Ages of Shoes creative workshops aimed primarily to encourage those who've never written monologues for performance before, and was hailed a fantastic success.
Accolades buzzed round the bar like bees round buddleia, and verbal bouquets were still ringing around the group this morning. Many congratulations and thanks to everyone who stepped out of their comfort zone to share such a wide range of wonderful stories: our writers Anna Britten, Alison Clink, Jo Day, Rosemary Dun, Rosie Finnegan, Jeremy Gibson, Gordon Graft, Peter Macfadyen, Angela Moss, Magnus Nelson, Howard Vause; thanks to our actors Jo Hole and Annabelle Macfadyen, and to Howard for the visuals. The project - my co-organiser Niamh and I are both determined - will continue...

And One-and-Other has finally ended, with the descent on Wednesday of the final human artefact, leaving the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square empty again.
But was it art? Anthony Gormley reckons so: "It's asking how art can be experienced.. if there isn't a bit of contention it isn't worth doing." It was fun, anyway, as I reminisced on a radio look-back at the one hundred days of plinthing. Had my experience led to anything? the interviewer wanted to know. Hard to quantify how standing 28 feet above London for an hour shapes a life - but one direct outcome is another outing for The Frock when I'm the curtain-raiser act for Innua Ellams when he brings his award-winning poetry play The 14th Tale to the Merlin next month...

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