Wednesday, February 03, 2010
"Just Write" was the title of Alison's workshop in Frome Library, and two dozen people squeezed around the table to follow her injunction: No procrastination, no excuses - and not much elbow room, but a highly successful session.
There's something about the Bath Theatre Royal that always makes me feel like a footballer in the wrong terrace... or perhaps at the wrong game entirely. Lacrosse, maybe.
My Wonderful Day is Alan Ayckbourn's 73rd play and his trophy shelf groans with past awards; the acting was impeccable and the lighting was memorable, cleverer than anything in the script in fact. The characters comprised a philandering TV presenter, his dippy blonde mistress, angry wife, hanger-on chum, loquacious cleaner and her daughter Winnie. And before you take that short step to the conclusion they're all last-century clichés let me tell you that 9 year old Winnie is a biddable child who prefers writing to watching television and speaks French all day on maternal demand, a device necessary for the plot: that Winnie unobserved can chronicle various previous and present infidelities in her notebook. Ayesha Antoine - unbelievably 20 years older than her role - is brilliant as the child who follows every nuance of the adult action with eyes like sucked gobstoppers, but despite rapturous reviews of this play off Broadway, in the chilly stalls of Theatre Royal Bath it was a long two hours.
And now I'm bailing out on February - UK February anyway: on Friday I'm off to Chiang Mai. My host, Dr Stephen Whitehead, tells me not to pack any woollies for my stay.. I'll be thinking of you all, speak later....