Beer, pigs & vitiligo (not necessarily in that order)

Awww, did you cry? Did you? Even just a little bit? I did. There, I admitted it.

And no, this isn’t the bit where I reveal I am talking about something obscure, I am actually talking about the Royal Wedding.

It was quite a day, first up I discovered I really am an old softie at heart (every time they cut to Kate – sorry, Catherine – or her Dad, or her Mam, or a reveller, or some union jack bunting, or anything really, I welled up). I also found I am quite partial to beer, lucky really as after the nuptials I headed to the Gateshead Beer Festival (surprisingly I had the  afternoon free having not been invited to the reception).  ‘Raspberry Blonde’ was my favourite – I have no other information on it than that, I’m afraid. I picked my beer like I pick a horse in the Grand National, if it’s got a name I like then I plump for it. And so ends the science bit.

It’s all been mental busy of late. But, needs must. I’ve got to put the work in, them there scripts don’t go writing themselves. In the past few weeks of nose-welded-to-the-grindstoneness I’ve done my back in from hours sitting at my desk and my eczema and vitiligo have flared up from stress … sorry, too much information?! Vitiligo is what they say Michael Jackson had, fact fans. Although fortunately that is where any similarity between us begins and ends.

Forefront in my mind at the moment is The Girls From Poppyfield Close that opens in about 7 weeks at Live Theatre …

Over two decades ago, Charlotte set off home from school. She never made it. But now the papers say a body has been found, bones dug up and the case back in the headlines. In the remains of the house they all grew up in, now condemned for demolition, her sisters wait to find out, each harbouring their own guilt and secrets about what happened.

Thurs 23 – Sat 25 June … click [here] to see booking information.

This is my first solo production at Live, by which I mean it’s a full-length play and I am not sharing the bill. On the one hand this has been a long-held ambition of mine and I am super-duper excited. On the other hand, I am as nervous as you’d expect, not being able to share the load and having to carry a whole night. Some people, eh. Never happy. The cast is TBC but the director is Rosie Kellagher who has been there every step of the way as I’ve developed the script from its 30 minute original Blood, and she directed my last piece at Live Clint.

I’ve been invited to the launch of Live’s new Season tomorrow, where I’ll chat about the play. Ha ‘chat’ hark on me, just shootin’ the breeze. Mainly I am channelling any nerves into worrying about what to wear. That said, I’ve just had the schedule through and every slot looks like it has a whole 5 minutes – how far wrong can I go in 300 seconds? … (famous last words) It’s being held at The Broad Chare, a new pub next door to Live, and I hear they have a wide beer selection. So then, I’ll be in my element – what with me being such an expert now.

I’m also continuing to write Dolly Would, my first radio drama. I’ve had the feedback from Draft #1, all very positive and encouraging. I’m  going into Draft #2 with lots of ideas, less worried about getting my head around ‘thinking with my ears’ and able to focus more on the story and its characters. I also have the recording dates which makes it all very real. If I ever feel like slacking, I can think ahead to that recording and the fact that in eight months or so it’ll be on air (gulp!)

  • In other news … I spent Saturday looking up online how to butcher a pig. Suffice to say it was for research purposes for a new endeavour with Forward Theatre Project. I felt a bit queasy and, at the same time, desperate for a bacon sandwich.  Confusing.
  • In other other news … the Rascals are convening this evening to discuss our brand spanking new project … details announced soon
  • In other other other news … my friend Helen Macfarlane is appearing in The Crucible at York Theatre Royal this month. One of my favourite venues as that’s where the whole Tobacco double-bill adventure began. Speaking of which … the Latitude Festival looms ever nearer, and along with it a certain Chekhov/Carr double-bill.
  • And finally … The Royal Shakespeare Company. I’ll leave that with you.