Thursday, November 26, 2009

Back from a weekend at Cotswold Conference Centre, where views were sumptuous peachy autumnal colours despite November dankness. Nine writers, combining an abundance of good humour, generosity, enthusiasm and talent, produced a delightful diversity of work: lively discussions were frank and frequent. With better weather - and less demanding course commitment - it would be pleasant to walk for hours in this exquisitely landscaped estate, but the inventive range of writings shared was simply wonderful. Thanks all, especially for Saturday night's stories and poems - including a rewriting of Shakespeare's 18th sonnet as a lipogram minus the vowel 'e'.
As the bard himself would surely say, how cool is that?

Always enjoyable to visit the Rondo, Bath's smallest theatre, where their own local theatre company this week performed Jim (Little Voice) Cartright's first play, Road. It's Under Milk Wood, but set in an unspecified Northern town in 1987 with scally Scullery to take us into the hearths, hearts, and minds of those who live there. A brave, as well as largely entertaining & occasionally moving, production, which the 15 cast members clearly hugely enjoyed too.
Much of the speech is monologue, a dramatic technique I find fascinating as the audience is no longer voyeur but directly engaged and by inference implicated. Top moments for me were Tim Thornton's Skin Lad, and the strange, sad, savage dance to Otis Reading by Rob Dawson and Marc Delangri (I think, it's hard to decipher from the inscrutible grey programme). Oh, and the interval, with outrageous DJ Bisto (Tim Thorton again) calling the audience up to dance... how could we resist?

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