Monday, June 06, 2011

LAST WEEK OF ANNA KARENINA AT DUNDEE REP.

Last Saturday was the most extraordinary day.

In the morning I went for the readthrough of my new version of The Cherry Orchard. It’s for Theatre Alba, who I worked with last year, and it was a pleasure to gather in the Scottish Storytelling Centre with so many friends

it’s a massive work, emotionally; I think Charlie, the director, wants to lodge it in the actors’ imaginations at an early stage.

I was pleased with my work: a few errors aside, it’s very sound. The right length and everything.

I had to leave right afterwards to go and see my Anna Karenina at Dundee Rep. I told everyone I was off, on the railways, to see another part of Russia.

Which I was: and which gave me so much pride and pleasure.

A really good house for a matinee; and a real change in the performance, too. The actors totally at home in the play now, completely firm in it, and so able to invest it with a new confidence and pleasure.

I was less tense, too, and so able to appreciate the work better. It moved me profoundly.

Some one I had never met before came up to me in the interval and fervently shook my hand. He said it was one of the best pieces of theatre he had ever seen. Tears in his eyes.

Such tributes mean so much.

I was working on the book of God’s New Frock on the train. The aim is to expand it and Jesus Queen of Heaven into a single book of about two hundred pages and God’s New Frock is almost there.

I realised I should probably also been working on my Tree of Knowledge which open at the Traverse later this year. it’s about time to start the rewrites.

Work seems to be pouring out of me. In fits and starts, it’s true, and with the usual frustrating blocks and breaks. But coming out with an urgency and pressure that must be connected, I guess, with the profound urgency of the political crisis we are living through.

And which so few people seem to have any awareness of at all.

Dark times.

A deep sense of urgency: so important to try to shine a light.
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