Saturday, May 28, 2011
Esmé Ellis has finished her new book Dreaming Worlds Awake, an intriguing patchwork of reflections about the elusive but palpable connections between our conscious and unconscious worlds. We use the term 'dream' both for imaginings in sleep and conscious aspirations, and Esmé explores these interactions in a fascinatingly personal way. I'm delighted my poem Jacob and the Angel is included among her fragments of synchronicity.
Zoe Francis Trio playing Gershwin to Frome's glamorati gave a foretaste of sophistications ahead.
Back to Bath again for something very different: 24 Hour Plays at the Ustinov. "24 hours ago", project director Shane Morgan reminds us after the cast have taken their final bows at 10 pm tonight, "not a word of this production existed. In the last 24 hours, 6 plays have been written, learned, rehearsed, and performed." It's an amazing and wholly admirable achievement, and though the writing was understandably variable, the acting by each team of five was superb. The same props - a venetian blind and a suitcase - featured in each play, as did the notion of wind, and there were thematic synchronicities too: motherhood, both surrogate and abandoning, with the end of the world threatened twice. My favourite was Maria by David Lane, both for strongly developed characterisation and pacey direction: all characters on stage from the start allowed Sam Berger to avoid the dozen or so blackouts that fragmented the opening play Tiny Little Lost. Chris Loveless also did well to create a sense of cohesion with his slightly Am-Drammish comedy material Exit Only. And despite any personal nit-pickings, overall this event was an absolute triumph: two hours of engrossing dramatic entertainment, whipped up by six inventive writers and a cast of thirty talented actors. Bouquets all round.