Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation

Recommending: Growing your own vegetables

Critics: dead white men

Nick Hytner seems to have sparked off a debate about British theatre critics by calling them dead white men.

Of course, this isn’t exactly accurate although hints at some underlying truths. There are more older male critics than younger or female ones.

I’ve found Lyn Gardener’s and Susannah Clapp’s comments more interesting.

Lyn makes the point that she goes to see a wider range of theatre than the first-string theatre critics who mainly sees London-centric main shows. This means that a second strong critic has a wider range of theatre vocabulary and importantly, current theatre vocabulary, to draw from in drawing opinions about plays.

Clapp writes:

A Matter of Life and Death, which tells its tale not only in dialogue, but with songs and mime and aerialism, is an example of movement theatre, which until now has been mostly seen on the Fringe, where it has regularly disproved the idea that theatre audiences are always over 40. I’ve had some of my best experiences in the theatre watching it. Over at the Telegraph, Charles Spencer has had some of his worst.

I also believe not only is this newer theatre practise great for British theatre. I think it is flowing through to our young and new (and more established) writers. Both Polly Stenham and Mike Bartlett recently at the Court and a whole host of other writers eg (off the top of my head) Tom Morton-Smith,  Duncan Macmillan and the more experienced Dennis Kelly, Chloe Moss, Rebecca Lenkiewicz are developing, have developed exceptional theatrical voices (and I remain forever jealous at that, struggling with my own writing voice….). With the recent change in artistic directors in some of the new writing theatre, I expect to see still more and from some of our “forgotten” but very much living greats like Philip Ridley, whose Leaves of Glass at the Soho has been a welcome commission.

I suppose I am saying, ever onwards and forwards, not backwards. Theatre and art marches on with its history. We can never truly recreate Shakespeare (although we can reinvent it for modern times). Shakespeare was created in reaction to its time and place, and position in cultural history. We can create a theatre of today, whether dead white men appreciate it or not.

Don’t be boring

I’ve followed Anthony Neilson’s work for a while. Not only did I think it was brilliant by I was intrigued by his method of working as it has almost always had him as writer-director — at least for the play’s first outing.

I think he has once said that the first run of a play should be made in the playwright’s vision. The second or more, presumably, can have the director tamper about more (!) but perhaps I misremember.

When he speaks, I try to listen.

He’s recently done a piece for the Guardian:

“…Unfortunately, despite being pretty sure the next movement will be absurdist in nature, I couldn’t think of a snappy name for it so I gave up on that. Then I thought I’d write a provocative Dogme-style manifesto, but I only came up with four rules, and I’ve already broken two of them in my new show. Then I thought I’d write Ten Commandments for young writers but a) that’s a little pompous, and b) there’s only one commandment worth a damn, and it’s this: THOU SHALT NOT BORE…”


“…The way to circumvent ego (and thus reduces the risk of boring) is to make story our god. Find a story that interests you and tell it. Don’t ask yourself why a story interests you; we can no more choose this than who we fall in love with. You may not be what you think you are – not as kind, as liberal, as original as you ought to be – and yes, the story (if you are true to it) will find that out. But while your attention is taken up with its mechanics, some truth may seep out, and that is the lifeblood of good, exciting art…”

He adds to sub-rules to his not boring rule:

-No poetry

-No long plays

(depending on the comfort of the seats presumably this means plays at the comfy National Theatre seats are allowed to be longer than at a fringe venue, at least relatively speaking)

“…Two asides. One, dialogue: there’s a lot of poetic dialogue around. Sometimes a play is narratively accessible but the dialogue is mannered to the point of incomprehensibility. Some people like it, but I’m suspicious. Poetic dialogue, done badly, leaves no room for subtext. A lack of subtext is fundamentally undramatic. And boring.

And two, duration: many plays are far too long. All writers should be made to visit the venue where their play is to be performed and sit in the seats with a stopwatch. When your arse and spine start to sing, check the watch. That’s your running time. Exceed it at your peril…”

Well, I did have a little bit of poetic language in my latest piece for the Miniaturists, but it was short, it wasn’t boring and I loved my story even though I wasn’t quite sure where it took me. So I mainly passed the test…

Thanks to all those who came along and all those who put such hard work in to the Miniaturists’ organistion. I had a great time.

Drawing and memory

I keep a plain page thought note book. This has evolved from an art sketch book, which I’ve kept ever since Art GCSE, hence the unlined plain pages of my books. Images are still quite important at times to my writing and creative processes.
I know some writers work a lot from images either observed or imagined or torn out — I wonder how important it is for others work. Philip Ridley seemed to have his visual art as a whole other facet to his creative expression but still an important component to his writing.

I still scribble and sketch and some times more.

I met up with the director for my mini, Hannah Eidinow the other day and gave her the first draft of my play and as it’s short she sat down and read it in the cafe. I had my pen out.

Her hand moved from forehead to hair. Was she liking it? Did she think it was rubbish? What does that small smile mean?

Some occasions I prefer to remember. Some I like to write about. Some take a photo of. Some I end up drawing or writing a poem.

I have a little pencil sketch, a face impression emerging from a bed in shadow, of the last night I spent with my Aunt. I watched her sleep. A photo wouldn’t have been right. My memory of it is a little fuzzy. I have a poem, but it’s not of that moment. But this small pencil image, not very good as a portrait, captures for me — and probably only for me — the frailty and poignance of that night. The fragilty of life. What we do in the face of our own mortality.

A lament: Generations, debbie tucker green

It’s perhaps a bit much to go to a lament when you have thoughts of death on your mind anyway. However that is what I ended up doing going to see debbie tucker green’s piece, GENERATIONS at the Young Vic.

It was a beautiful and haunting lament. The piece starts with a dirge (completely immersing you in an other world from the start) which continues more or less through out, as various generations of a African (presumably South African) family play out a domestic scene of cooking and debate over whether one can cook. This scene repeats with the younger generations disappearing after each scene. People have attributed the disappearance to AIDS but I think it could be more than that. The young in Africa have disappeared because of HIV but also because of poverty, corruption and other factors.

Structurally, I felt resonances with Caryl Churchill’s BLUE HEART. In BLUE HEART, a scene is played again and again with various different starting points and scenarios. Further, there is an almost viral lost of language in the second play, where words are replaced with a substitute word – “kettle”. I’m not explaining it very well. You should go and see GENERATIONS and the read BLUE HEART and you’ll know what I mean!

It is on until March 10th and is only 30 minutes long. Go see it.

I’m jealous of debbie tucker green as well. She bursts on to the new writing scene with a powerful and fascinating voice with stories and important matters to speak of. And there am I still floundering away trying to find what my “real” voice is and what I truly want to write about.

Currently, I’m writing a poem. Death seems to do that to me. And yes, it is about my Aunt amongst other things. And I recall something that David Eldridge on his blog has said about the SEAGULL:

“And in the company of Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s Trigorin, I thought of a faded playwright of the early eighties who once described to me the guilt he felt becoming conscious in a moment of immense family grief that he would one day use the material…”


Ok. So I’ve had my head stuck in the sand of the off-line world and seem to have missed a whole shed load of happenings in the online world and more.

This is a mixture of having a full time job, a writing deadline for my radio 4 play; working on two short plays and various ideas, trying to read more, my new flat mate (but only indirectly as it has led me, I claim, to watching more anime – although this is almost certainly just an excuse by me), girlfriend deciding to leave law to pursue more creative ambitions and life in general.

So, this blog is a bit more erratic of late and likely to remain so.

Still, I wanted to make noises of support for David and his blog and also to Fin and his blog, who has staged a recent battleground.

I think David has picked up a point that Alison made about being generous.

My girlfriend keeps a knitting blog and very occasionally “non-knitting” content in the knitting blog world does erupt into flames. But its is VERY rare. Mostly they are extremely generous and helpful bunch of people and their community is richer for it. They encounter problems, they ask for help, people respond with encouragement and advice; ideas are exchanged and their world grows. FOs are cherished. WIPs are encouraged. Stashes are applauded and envied. Yes, non-knitters if you’re interested go find out what a WIP is… (try flickr WIP knitting…)

In fact one of our adventures in 2006 was going to Estonia, where we met up with another knitting blogger and had a wonderful afternoon seeing Talinn through the eyes of yarn and craft shops.

The point of being generous in the theatre world or any world, is that I think on balance, generosity leads to a richer, better world for all. If we could extend this notion to, for instance, world politics. I think we would all be happier – so perhaps if it started out in the world of blogs and continued – perhaps just perhaps, slowly by slowly, we would make the world a better place. It’s not a dead ideal.

Keep going David. Keep going y’all. Your absence makes the world a poorer place.

Happy New Year!

I’ve been ultra busy through December and have a new flat mate moving in too.

Many unfinished-to-be-finished matters for the beginning of 2007.

I have to fill in Chris Goode on the whole of the Philip Ridley workshop and try and match the brilliant thinking on his blog. I have my notes, but collating them together is taking time. One thought I have been mulling over is Ridley’s suggestion that interesting work happens in visual arts first before filtering down to the theatre arts.

I also have to finish my piece on writing for radio for Andrew on his very informative blog.

Then work on final draft for The Places in Between my Radio 4 dramatisation of Rory Stewart’s walk across Afghanistan just after the fall of the Taliban; and two short plays (one for the 7 Sins project and one mini) as well as hopefully gearing up for Nakamitsu at the Gate this year and trying to get from “ideas” to actual plays…
Hopefully some will come through.

Wishing everyone wonderful things for 2007.

Soho Theatre Workshop

Had a good “workshop” at the Soho Theatre yesterday. Often (perhaps like seeing plays) they are mediocre but this one opened some little doors of ideas in my head mainly by introducing a hip hop dance troupe, a puppet maker and designer, Philip Ridley (very inspiring) and a performance artist (for want of a better term).

New Artistic Director, Lisa Goldman also suggested three aspects to Soho Theatre, which perhaps are different than before (in my intrepretation):

A sense of London identity. Work London – as an international and multicultural place and community would be interested in.

New work where new writing may collaborate with other art forms. Not to the exclusion of the “straight play” but to the inclusion of performance art, dance, puppets, site specific, physical….

Work which reflects the (turbulent) changes in the world.

More on the workshop particularly the great Philip Ridley when I have time to digest the day.

Churchill: Drunk Enough to say I love you?

Drunk Enough to Say I love you by Caryl Churchill, directed by James MacDonald
Caryl Churchill is a heroine of mine. She’s genius – whatever genius is meant to be. So, I have to admit that I don’t think I’ve managed to join up all the dots in my thinking or reaction to her new play, Drunk Enough to say I love you.

There’s lots of stagecraft and dramaturgy thoughts, but I can’t as yet resolve the nub of it.

*Spoilers* if you are the type that does not want to know anything about a play before seeing it, then don’t read further yet, I’m not going to detail the whole play but it’s hard to describe some of the themes without revealing some of the theatre behind it.

Two men, one American, Sam, and one British, Jack, speak often in truncated sentences about the atrocities of power. Jack would do anything for Sam. Sam would do anything.

The set is a couch, which steadily rises throughout the play. (This echoes Stephen Daldry’s Machinal with Fiona Shaw, who was also on a raised platform of no escape.)Everything outside the world of the couch appears/vanishes into the darkness (except in certain seats where one can glimpse the hidden). It’s an effective device and supports the sense of isolation (and arrogance?) surrounding the characters.

The language is truncated. This echoes Churchill’s play Blue Kettle in the dual play: Blue Heart (1997). In Blue Kettle words in the dialogue are increasingly replaced by “blue” or “kettle” until the last scene abandons words altogether and the characters communicate by sound alone. Almost a virus in the language. This leaves the audience to have to form an imaginative leap to complete the sentences – perhaps to complete the ideas and images.

However, some of the images are obscure, in my opinion. Perhaps that is the point in raising our awareness. There is also “a detective element” the audience can play. But, should we be rewarded for knowing? I had the sense that when an element was known – there was a “Ha. I get that bit” moment – but it made me feel awkward. Ok, so I know. Will anyone else? Is this a play preaching either to the converted or to those who won’t know, won’t care? I am unsure.

So I knew that neem is a tree in India that supposedly has pharmaceutical properties and the point is Western companies are supposedly trying to patent some of its uses when it has been known as local knowledge for hundreds of tears.

That the juxtaposition of orange grove / Israel refers to Israeli rockets that were meant to hit an orange grove where supposedly Israeli troops saw rockets fired from, but instead hit homes.

That a reference to Afghanistan / goat game / replace human is referring to a Persian “goat dragging” game – bukashi – that was only recently reintroduced into Afghanistan (after the fall of the Taliban) where horse riders compete to grab and control a goat carcass. I’m writing a play involving Afghanistan, so I happen to know.

Will anyone be bothered to find these things out? Is that the point? There must be many more references I didn’t understand.

I’ve grappled with some cousin ideas when I was writing Lost in Peru. Particularly the use of facts and figures to justify acts and the juxtaposition of such statistics to draw up uncomfortable comparisons. However, part of the point is who comes up with the figures and whether they are true / feel true. I do not think I was absolutely convinced. Then again maybe that is the point to try and know what is true or not, when some “body” purportedly claims them.

Many tragedies and atrocities are referred to… some directly, some obliquely often simply by a country’s name. Perhaps the imaginative leap to complete the stories is the point and perhaps it is the glib way the characters discuss the stories that is meant to penetrate to me and maybe there were too many stories I didn’t know.

The US-UK relationship, to some extent was made real by Sam and Jack. That “special relationship” and maybe we are drunk enough to fall into bed with the US and its power politics and the “trickle down” atrocities caused by pursuing its policies.

And perhaps yes, Sam’s greatest need is to be loved “you have to love me me / can’t / love me love me, you have to love me, you “ And that needs is like a country’s need (America?) and so…Jack would do anything for Sam. Sam would do anything.


It’s made me think. I’m trying to join up the dots. I still think Churchill is genius. However, I am left a little cold at this very moment – perhaps it will marinade in time – but maybe I’m not drunk enough. Or too drunk.

Still, you ought to go see it and I recommend you do.

At the Royal Court, Until 22 Dec, 020 7565 5000

Discussion: My Name is Rachel Corrie; Auster

George Hunka, who I don’t quote enough (as I assume most theatre blog readers will be aware of his blog), writes extremely intelligently about theatre matters.

He has a post on Rachel Corrie, which is link back to Mark Armstrong’s (Mr Excitement) report on the post-play discussion between Tony Kushner, David Hare, Robert O’Hara with contributions from Alan Rickman. Makes interesting reading particularly along side David Grossman’s recent speech (in post below).

“…David Hare talked about the rise of documentary theater, of which he called My Name is Rachel Corrie “a distinguished example”. Interestingly, he placed the impetus for the phenomena squarely at the feet of writing teachers “who don’t write plays themselves” and encourage pre-formulated “fictions which are shaped too crudely”. Documentary theater is powerful, he claimed, because “stories take a different shape from the rules dictated by studios and dramaturgs”, which he said favor “rules that are imposed on the imagination rather than truly imaginative work”.


Paul Auster in an acceptance speech for the Prince of Asturias Prize for Letters, Spain’s premier literary honour, spoke about the impulse to write – in his case novels – but I think his passion probably applies to many artists (full article here):

I don’t know why I do what I do. If I did know, I probably wouldn’t feel the need to do it. All I can say, and I say it with utmost certainty, is that I have felt this need since my earliest adolescence. I’m talking about writing, in particular, writing as a vehicle to tell stories, imaginary stories that have never taken place in what we call the real world. Surely it is an odd way to spend your life – sitting alone in a room with a pen in your hand, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, struggling to put words on pieces of paper in order to give birth to what does not exist – except in your head. Why on earth would anyone want to do such a thing? The only answer I have ever been able to come up with is: because you have to, because you have no choice.

Japan and comments

I’ve upgraded to word press 2 and lost my comments ability (this new theme was an attempt to fix the problem). Am trying to get it back (but will struggle while in Japan, I think). In the mean time feel free to email me anything of interest. Thanks to Andrew in pointing this out.

Also…. Andrew writes

I’ve just launched a new blog called London Theatre Blog
which unsurprisingly focuses on theatre/performance in London and beyond. One of the things I’m keen to nurture on this blog is guest writer participation. I’m looking for short 400-500 (or more if needs be) articles to enter on the frontpage ‘feature article’ section, the articles can be about anything related to theatre/performance, it’s completely open….

If you are interested click through to his blog to find out more.

I am currently writing this post in Tokyo half way through an amazing trip to Japan.

I’m hoping to catch some Noh (Andrew yet again has given me some tips) tomorrow at the National Noh theatre.

It’s been fascination and inspiring. Surprsingly, it has not been as heavy on the wallet as I first feared. London prices prepare you for anything it seems.

More on the travels soon.



More minis

I’ve been hard pressed with writing and going to weddings and planting seeds (get a plastic tub, some compost, preferably some bits of broken clay pot for drainage, some seeds – then water and place in sun and it’s amazing! I can now completely understand all those people spending time on the allotment…)

I’ve entered for the Paines Plough wild lunch series, but I expect many will apply so I’m not going to hold my breath.

Still working on the radio plays.

In the mean time, I thought I’d give the Miniaturists a plug as their last show in the Southwark playhouse space is now about 2 weeks away, on Sunday the 20th.

It’s 5 short plays by members of The 50, the writers’ group formed when the Royal Court and BBC Writersroom asked 50 British theatres to nominate a writer of promise.

There’ll be two performances of all five plays, at 5pm and 8pm.

The bill:

by Charlotte Allan (nominated by the Theatre on the Lake, Keswick)
directed by Ellen Hughes

by Daniel Gritten (Menagerie, Cambridge)
directed by Gemma Kerr

by Sam Holcroft (Traverse, Edinburgh)
directed by Rachel Parish

by Ian Kershaw (Oldham Coliseum)
directed by Gordon Murray

by Duncan Macmillan (Theatre 503, London)
directed by Jason Lawson.

The damage: Tickets are all £6 and are available from
or by calling the Southwark box office line, 08700 601 761.


I learnt a lot I didn’t know about Modigliani in this article by Mary Riddell.

He had a very ugly side to his character.

One of the many points raised by Riddell was on the representation of women, which led me to try and think about the roles for women coming out of new writing… and off the top of my head, I’d have to admit that the balance of scales still seem to be wrong in terms of the number of brilliant female characters written as well as the number of female playwrights we have…

Peter Gill on “interventionist” theatre

Peter Gill writes very intriguingly on his view of dramaturgy and writing plays by committee. He is one of the most thoughtful writers and directors in theatre today, in my opinion, and his article is very worth reading. See link here

“…Theatre before 1979 was collaborative. It was also combative and abusive. But it was genuine. It was not mandated by committee or seen as something desirable outside the fact that it worked. One of the problems of interventionist theatre is that it is not collaboration at all: it is autocracy masquerading as collaboration and it is essentially conservative, with all the conservative’s misunderstanding of certain vital facts.

There are no perfect English plays. The battle between the impulse of the writer and the form in which he finds himself has always been awkward. Both Harold Pinter and John Osborne in their first successes, The Birthday Party and Look Back in Anger, follow the form of the conventional one-set, five-character play and find it uncomfortable. They are awkward plays, which is why they are so unsettling and interesting.

What is usually wrong with a play is so deeply wrong that very little can be done to improve it. Most plays need help. But the chatter about narrative and structure, the scènes à faire and metaphor has led us to a lot of unwieldy works with a self-consciously poetic dimension. The cult of originality has squeezed out the competent play with a good part for an actor….”

I do think there’s a lot to be said for writing a play full of interest and passion but not necessarily a perfect “structure”. Hamlet’s “structure” is all over the place….

Writing to time

Have been very squashed for time on various projects. Currently, I’m finishing off the first draft of a radio play and I am trying to get the page count to fit 58 – as this would be 58 minutes or so – rather than the 48 I am currently on.

It is also easier to cutback than to add (I find at least).

Having written mainly for theatre and not tv, having strict time lengths is a different restriction to ones I’ve been used to. However, it does really make you think about whether scenes are unneeded fat or requisite story.

Many plays afoot. I’m seeing the new Stoppard next week (Rock’n'Roll) and hoping to see Market Boy soon, but not sure when as well as many other things.

Typically, I am going to miss the Michelangelo at the British Museum as I do most major art exhibitions. And I really want to make it to Princelet street this week but again I am not sure when. If you are intrigued by an old Huguenot house where also in 1869 the Jews erected a synagogue then go this week, it’s near Spitalfields.

For all the joys of the country, I think I’d miss not being spoilt for choice for everything London has to offer.


I must admit to feeling some how slightly jealous of Nina Raine and Moses Raine. Both have plays on in London at the moment. They are both children of poet Craig Raine – 21-year-old son Moses with Shrieks of Laughter at Soho Theatre and 30-year-old daughter Nina’s Rabbit at the Old Red Lion. Does this happen much? It certainly helps publicity.

Still, I wonder what it really is like to have a brother / sister both writing plays?

According to Mark Shenton the list of thank yous for Rabbit… “stretches from Nicholas Hytner and Tom Stoppard to Michael Frayn, Claire Tomalin, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, David Hare and Parick Marber, and even Gillian Anderson, Kathy Burke and Anne Robinson.” So Nina is certainly well connected and advised.

I haven’t managed to see the plays yet, so I reserve judgment, although the reviews have been generally positive.

Craig, Moses and Nina have also all written for Arete, which Craig edits.

Nina has written some intriguing pieces for Arete. I particularly like the one comparing Stephen Daldry’s version of Caryl Churchill’s A Number to Peter Brook’s version. See here. I only saw Brook’s versions so again can not really comment, but Nina did work quite closely with the Daldry version and this may inform her comparative review – still it is informative about how two unquestionable great living directors take on one of our greatest living playwrights.

It is also fascinating for me because my adaptation for Nakamitsu only runs for about 12 pages and A Number only runs for about 19 pages or so. Thus it is instructive on how to direct short plays….

Her conversations with Peter Gill also worth reading.

Frayn and procrastinating

I have an impending deadline in early June for the first draft of my World Service radio play. Thus I am prevaricating by reading children’s book. This weekend it was The Lionboy trilogy.

I’ve managed to stay away from blogging to try and write but books have got the better of me. Lionboy was good, however I did felt the authors were increasingly inventing “devices” to help them out which were not necessarily organically driven out of the story eg the all speaking, all translating chameleon (who is great) but kind of appears from no where. Still, not a real gripe.

Didn’t get on to the Paines Plough writing group, but they did seem to like the play some what. Obviously, not enough.

Finally, have enjoyed reading this about Michael Frayn – here – I’d like to be able to write in a nice study in Richmond.

New Soho Theatre Artistic Director….

Lisa Goldman. See here.

She was one of my first writing mentors (at the Soho Young Writers). She has always come across to me as extremely passionate on all levels, particularly politically.

I’m still very interested in everything she does and I couldn’t get any tickets to see her well praised Hoxton Story. It will be interesting to see what she does in a building.

She will probably be the most political and perhaps experimental AD in a prominent UK theatre.

It’s a good choice out of a very difficult selection, I imagine.

I wish her and Soho all best luck and wishes. I don’t think they will need but be prepared for a shake up and for more political theatre.

Harold Pinter and Bryony Lavery interviews

Lyn Gardner meets playwright Bryony Lavery, where she talks about overcoming accusations of plagiary.

Pinter in conversation with Billington

MB: …You spoke about the way a play is engendered by a line, a word or an image. Also about the way characters resist you and take on a life of their own. But is there not also a conscious part of you that is organising the action and the characters?

HP: I’m not aware of my consciousness working in that way at an early stage of writing. After it’s got to a certain point, I then work very hard on the text, quite consciously. In other words, I just don’t live in my unconscious the whole damn time. I keep an eye on it. But one of the most exciting things about being a writer is finding the life in different characters whom you don’t know at all. To a certain extent, you’ve got to let them live their own life. But there’s also a conflict constantly going on between you as the writer and them as the characters. Who’s in charge? There’s no easy answer to that. I suppose, finally, the author is in charge. Because, whether the character likes it or not, all I’ve got to do is take out my pen and do that (a gesture of erasure) and he’s lost a line. It may be one of his favourite lines of dialogue [laughter]. But I’ve got the pen in my hand.

Why playwrights get frustrated: money

Just back from Hols but only seem to be passing through London before more travelling over the next 3 weeks.

I seem to have missed a lot of London theatre and the debating.

Have caught sight of this by Fin Kennedy, who argues:

Today’s playwrights are a motivated, opinionated, highly intelligent, politically aware group of angry young men and women. It’s not that we don’t want to write big, demanding plays. It’s that we’re so often frustrated in our ambitions. And why? One reason comes up time and again: money.

“How do theatre directors expect playwrights to take risks when they’re not part of the infrastructure?” asks Jonathan Meth of the support group Writernet. “The reality of their working lives is not part of the risk debate. A playwright would have to write between four and six plays a year to earn what an artistic director earns. Playwrights are taking risks just by writing for the stage.”

And then the response on the GU blogs have started a good debate off.

I’ve got lots of writing and other deadlines to hit soon, so am not as yet contributing to the debate but would love to hear more people’s thoughts.

Fast Trains

I went on a train between Frankfurt and Cologne today.

It reached over 300km per hour and it hardly felt like we were moving at all. Woo.

I’m writing this on a tv in a hotel.

Security at check in was the longest queue I’ve seen for a standard check. Recent riots can’t be helping.

How fast the world. How close the world. How technologised the world.

Crazier and crazier.

Reminds me of the poem… World is crazier… I peel and portion a tangerine and spit the pits…. feel the world being various…

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  • About me

    I'm a playwright and investment analyst. I have a broad range of interests: food, gardening, innovation & intellectual property, sustainability, architecture & design, writing and the arts. I sit on the board of Talawa Theatre Company and advise a CIS investment trust on socially responsible investments.

  • Recent Work

    Recent plays include, for theatre: Nakamitsu, Yellow Gentlemen, Lost in Peru, Lemon Love. For radio: Places in Between (R4), Patent Breaking Life Saving (WS).

  • Nakamitsu

  • Yellow Gentlemen