Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Realised last night that my days, or rather my nights, as a reviewer/critic are drawing to a close. It's been getting increasingly difficult for me to write about other people's work knowing that I'm so much better than them :-). I filed my review at around 11pm after a fair bit of umming and aahing over what The Stage would allow me to say.

The longer I continue to work as a crit, the harder it will be for me to persuade other people that I should be taken seriously as a writer. So the writing's on the wall (instead of in a reporter's notepad). Quite how I get out of it is another matter. For one, the income is quite important - especially given the recent demise of two other lucrative freelance gigs. And, secondly, once I make the call and shy away from a life of scribbling in the dark, there'll be no going back. But that's the way it has to be. But until then, I have to head back to the dress circle tonight to endure The Pocket Dream, a play within a Shakespeare play by Elly Brewer and Sandi Toksvig that promises to be a painful test of endurance. This will be the ninth day in succession that I have entered a theatre and, with Blockheads stuff, the 16th show (and 17 if you count the one I was in). Not quite an Edinburgh Fringe-type diary and nowhere near the levels of indulgence that I once enjoyed (hardly any alcohol at all, in comparison) but heading that way. Funny how life turns out when you don't plan anything, eh?

*And just as I finished penning this, The Stage emailed me to ask if I can make it to two more plays. Hurrah.

posted by dave - 10:59 am

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Humber Mouth fun and games this afternoon will be a trip to see Hijinx Theatre, who produce work for people with learning difficulties. Their production, Into My Own, about a girl separated from her mother, sounds interesting...

...Stage duties this evening will see me heading out to see Nick Lane's Derby McQueen Affair, which has been getting a panning from other critics. It'll be a tricky one, because I know Nick, but I'll be telling it like it is. I want it to be good.

So far, though there's time yet, nobody trying to capitalise on the birth of a baby has phoned me up dictating what we can and can't print in the paper.

Tune to fall asleep to: The Streets' Dry Your Eyes

posted by dave - 9:57 am

Monday, June 28, 2004
An evening off from Humber Mouth-related and any other kind of reviewing, which is just as well given my current frame of I can't take anything else in mind. Instead, we'll be heading into the centre of York for a stroll and sneer at the Betty's-frequenting tourists. We may even trip some of them up.

Ah yes, it's back to work all right. Some ******** phoned up to complain that a press release he'd sent in hadn't been repeated word-for-word, showing little understanding of how newspapers work. I showed little interest in what he had to say because I couldn't give a flying fuck. The story was, I thought, a nice little tabloid style piece of nonsense about a 'miracle birth'. A couple believed that some magnetic bracelets they had been given played a part in the conception of their child. The guy, who was the child's grandparent, is also a salesman for the bracelet company. Naturally, trying to avoid making it all a big fucking advert, I'd left a lot of that stuff out. The ******* ******* said that he won't send us any more of his PR led bullshit again and will deal with other newspapers from now on. Good. And fuck off and pay for an advert next time. Yes, Ron Newman and ecoflow plc, I'm talking about you. What a fine democratic tool for spreading the truth the internet is.

posted by dave - 4:26 pm

Sunday, June 27, 2004
Not much sleep last night. Some 'orrible chest pains and shooting pains and tingles up my arms and legs. I thought, oh dear, I've had my day and now it's all over. Made it through the night, though, and felt quite happy to face today, despite feeling like a 90-year-old.

I've seen some interesting things in my time but not that many compare to the demolition of a tower block. Cheap entertainment for three children it maybe but it's also a surreal experience that I'm glad I indulged in. Hull's Orchard Park Estate won't miss one of its high rise flats but there's enough of the things still standing to consider doing more of this. A quite wonderful spectator sport. I can see it on Sky Sports, I really can. A few seconds after the "get the fuck out of there" warning there's a massive bang, which scares the living daylights out of all the birds perched on balconies. Then nothing....then the whole things comes crashing down, like a little toy. We quickly legged it to avoid getting caught up in the hugh clouds of dust that were flying through the air. There's now a massive gap where several hundred people used to live.

For the seventh day in a row I returned, along with Danielle, Scott and Sam, to Hull Truck. We discovered how to break into a safe at a fine, funky little show called Illegal Engineering. So, if the playwriting amounts to nuthin', I can always turn to a life of crime.

All in all, a damn good week.

posted by dave - 10:06 am

Saturday, June 26, 2004
The day after the night before. The comedown. Didn't sleep much last night for re-living much of what went on at Hull Truck. And was up relatively early. Hence, as M keeps reminding me, I look like a bloodhound. Chat in the kitchen with M's mum , who told me she'd enjoyed it. My voice has gone all weird and croaky, so it's a damn good job I wasn't doing a long run!

On reflection, there were a few problems. I didn't hear the intro music (Don't Believe The Hype) that was to usher in the start. Ran out of music doing a Pick of the Pop style top ten of Worst Seats. A psycho who I'd once written something about joined me on stage in a moment of Mark Chapman-style madness. Certainly more plusses than minuses, though and, unless everyone's having me on, it was quite good. Jack did a great job and I think he was happy with how it all went. We're having a meet next week to discuss stuff and work out if we can do anything else with it.

Never one to have any spare time headed back to Truck to review Mersey Poet Brian Patten, which Sam loved and chuckled all the way through. Poor Scott had to endure John Gray, an interesting enough gent and Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics no less. But not really designed for 11-year-olds.

posted by dave - 9:53 am

Friday, June 25, 2004
Yay! It worked! Who'd have thought that I'd sell any tickets, never mind get a respectable amount of people in to watch me sat in my Worst Seat in the House? A show about being a theatre critic attracting people into a theatre? Holy shit! People laughed. People tell me it was good, that they found it interesting. Yippee. Thanks to everyone that came.

Post show fun at the Lamp. Was planning on a big night out but was struck down by exhaustion just a few pints in. Great night though. Keen for more.

posted by dave - 11:27 pm


If nerves were a colour, they would be brown.

posted by dave - 9:27 am

Thursday, June 24, 2004
Utter havoc trying to get all the audio I need for The Worst Seat in the House onto a PC and then off again and onto a theatre-friendly chunk of media. Now panicking that there are too many potential technical disasters. It might not be funny. But it's too late for all that. Quick run-through later before chilling at mum's prior to missing the football to show support for fellow Blockheads prior to hitting the A1079 in the dark again and winding back to York before filling a plastic box full of props prior to collapsing in a heap, falling to sleep and missing the whole of Friday, waking up on Saturday and realising it was all a dream. Three plays to go in the world series of love that is the Blockheads new writing festival. It's been a good little mini-festival within a festival. Turnout was high again yesterday. Tonight will reveal whether theatre lovers love England more.

posted by dave - 3:49 pm

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
I am suffering from post-one of the best nights of my life comedown. Yet today I feel, for possibly the first time in my life, like a real writer. What a night. Loads of people in Hull Truck and Trolleys was very, very well received. The audience laughed, out loud and heartily, in all the right places. The cast did an outstanding job. All of it just perfect, really. It was all beyond what I hoped it would be. Martin, Rob, Louisa and Lee did me proud. Onwards and upwards, I'd be a fool not to extend the play into a full length piece. I am lucky enough to live with another writer who also had an exceptional night. Her play was the business, very moving and very intense. We both have a right to feel very proud and happy today, because the ups when you write are few and far between compared to the downs. Now, of course, I am also free to start worrying about Friday. AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!

Simon Crump tonight at The Lamp. I hope to make a hasty exit to go and show my support to some fellow Blockheads who are having their big night over at Truck tonight. Thursday will be tough for three other writers, who are clashing with England v Portugal. No football for me. I shall be there to cheer some new writers on. Fingers crossed that plenty of other people do the same.

posted by dave - 11:27 am

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Off Their Trolleys tonight! (Hull Truck, 7.30pm)

Humber Mouth got right underway last night, with Geoff Dyer's reading in Pave. Pubs to the left and to the right of Pave were showing the football but, although a regularly updated scoreline ticker behind Geoff's head would have been welcomed, I felt quite refreshed knowing that I didn't get embroiled in cheering Wayne Rooney on his way to two more goals. There were enough people doing that. Dyer was a single man up front but he played a blinder and the passages he read from Yoga For People That Can't Be Bothered To Do It were very funny. The review is now up on the Humber Mouth website. I keep meeting previous festival critics. Last night Di Dubois was in Pave. At the opening Jackie Goodman. Perhaps another of my predecessors will be there tonight...

Tonight...the nerves are starting to jangle. Will anyone turn up? What will Danielle make of it all? Will mother stay awake? John Godber was, like us, in the Goose and Granite at lunch, taking a breather with the cast from rehearsals for Up & Under. Saw Martin, who's directing Trolleys but is also in the cast, legging it up George Street looking a bit harassed. I imagine he'll be quite stressed as tonight and the next two evenings are a chance for him to demonstrate how good a director he is. Should have shouted over to JG to make sure he was popping in an appearance later but didn't have the bottle to do it. Will he be there???

France did me the honours last night and booked their place in Friday's quarter finals, thus ensuring that I'm not clashing with an England game when I take to the stage. Phew. Running dangerously short on rehearsal time.

posted by dave - 2:40 pm

Monday, June 21, 2004
Just one day to Off Their Trolleys!

The excitement about tomorrow is being balanced by the panic about Friday. Thus, all feelings are cancelled out and I am just awash with a sense of "oh, what's happening?" Got a call from my Uncle Pete today, confirming that he's coming along to see the play tomorrow, which was cool. I told him it's all his fault I dabble in writing, because he thrust Mad magazine collections and Goon Show scripts into my hands when I was younger. Not sure he believed me but that's really how it was. I learnt to type by re-typing the ramblings of the God-like Spike Milligan, pretending that I had penned the latest Ned Seagoon adventure. It took me a long time before I understood what the light programme and home service actually were. And it was about five years before I heard any of the old audio recordings of The Goons. By then, I'd made up my own voices for Min and Crun and Mgr Bloodnok and Grytpype-Thynne. How different I would have been if I'd not been introduced to The Goons. Just that one moment, the handing over of those books, shaped my sense of humour forever. I hope he likes Off Their Trolleys. Cheers Pete.

posted by dave - 5:44 pm

Sunday, June 20, 2004
Two days to Off Their Trolleys!
Much of today was taken up by rehearsals for The Worst Seat in the House. It's coming together surprisingly well and now just hope that we'll have a few in to see it. Originally, I didn't think there was anywhere near enough material. But even after some necessary wading through the script with a scythe there's plenty to play with. We're about there - which is just as well as Jack's rehearsing his play now. The beauty of most of it being delivered by me is that I can now spend the rest of the week reading it. Loads to remember though and a to-do list to cause some serious stress. I have a job interview on Tuesday, which only adds to the burden and frenetic, bunged up schedule I'm faced with. I shouldn't complain, though, because I'm at the dawn of one of the most exciting weeks of my life. Have 200 fliers to distribute to publicise the show and intend to offload some tomorrow night amongst Hull's many literature lovers, when my reviewing role for Humber Mouth commences. Yes, that's right, tomorrow night. While sensible types are looking forward to England booking their place in the quarter finals, I'll be at a book reading and will have to make do with listening to the match on the long, winding drive home. My prediction is England 2 Croatia 1, while France will turn the Swiss over 3-1. I've just spent 30 minutes looking for the tickets for the Geoff Dyer book reading. For some reason I'd buried them at the bottom of a back pack. I'm going through a Nana Moon spell of misplacing everything I own. Had to get M to phone my mobile yesterday so I could find it.

For fathers' day Danielle, Scott and Sam gave me a Yorkie mug crammed with 3 Yorkie bars. The mug is tucked safely in the cupboard for future use. The chocolate on the other hand has been digested. Mmmmmmm.

A Lucozade advert has just been on, with Michael Owen staring into the camera. The voice over asks, "are you ready?" Should they have added, "to be dropped?"

posted by dave - 10:30 pm

Saturday, June 19, 2004
Ooh! I've made it into the Guardian's Review section. Just a tiny plug for The Worst Seat in the House in the events listings (page 39!!). But I'VE MADE IT INTO THE GUARDIAN!!! (Dave falls over).

The Humber Mouth 2004 launched last night in Hull's bar for pseudo bohos, Pave. Lots of free drinks and leaflets plugging the various shows flowed. And we are now the proud owners of two posters of Ian Killen's fine piece of art (he asked loads of people involved in the festival to provide a word that contained, somewhere within, their initials. I came up with the rather disappointing Darwinism. Why didn't I suggest dew? My full initials? D'oh!). This will be framed and hung above the fireplace. During the festival I'll be reviewing Geoff Dyer, Simon Crump, Brian Patten, Straw Dogs/John Gray, Tim Hunkin and Ruth Padel. And, I imagine, one or two others. And all that between worrying about my own play and appearing on stage myself. What have I done???!!?

posted by dave - 8:23 am

Friday, June 18, 2004
There's nothing like a bit of live radio first thing in the morning to wake you up. Especially if you're on it. Bit of a panic driving in in the torrential rain as it looked very unlikely at one point that I'd get to Hull on time for Carl & Gloria's morning shindig on BBC Radio Humberside. But make it I did, joined quickly after by an enthusiastic Martin Barrass. If you're going to stumble through a radio interview I can recommend taking a professional actor with you. They're very good at covering for your deficiencies. M heard it and said we sounded good and even used the word eloquent. Made a point of mentioning the other writers whose work will appear at Hull Truck next week as part of the all-things Blockheads festival. And, although we talked mainly about Off Their Trolleys, got a plug in for The Worst Seat in the House too. Never fail to be impressed with radio broadcasters, who effortlessy shift from just having an off-air chat to their on-air personas. After that it was off to Trolleys rehearsals to watch the run through. We agreed that a (confusing) scene needs ditching. It's looking good. People laughed out loud. Won't see it now until the evening it is performed.

Karl, one of the actors involved in the festival, had seen a piece publicising the writing festival in a weekly newspaper and laughed about my self-declared status as a "genius". But I am! Big day for self-publicity. Had a nice piece and a piccie in the HDM. Hope people read it and buy tickets...

posted by dave - 3:41 pm

Thursday, June 17, 2004
A day to remember. Wonderful time in rehearsals for Off Their Trolleys - the cast contributing some terrific ideas and Martin weaving his magic. I had misgivings about bits of the script but they have restored my faith. It's weird laughing at your own stuff and I'm sure there must be some theatrical law against it - keep telling myself that I'm laughing at the top comedic performers and not my own drivel! Then came England beating Switzerland 3-0 (and thus winning me a bet with 8 pints and a curry at stake). Ended up in the same pub as Martin, Rob and other people involved with the Hull Truck writing fest. Between chants of "Rooney" and to the tunes of a trumpeteer, Martin told me that the first run through of Trolleys got a really good reception - though it came in at 55 minutes (rather than the necessary 40). I was only able to watch the first half of the game as rehearsals for The Worst Seat in the House began. And they went remarkably well too, Jack really helping out with some wise advice and opinions. I was beginning to panic about the show but I think that it might actually be....good!

posted by dave - 9:43 pm

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
All systems go tomorrow night for The Worst Seat in the House rehearsals. Jack brought some good ideas to the (public house) table today and I'm now feeling really good about it all, although there'll be a fair amount of tweaking. Just spoken to Ross Noble's press people. It's an office full of people called Ben. "Ben's not in at the moment," Ben told me. He's on holiday, with some other Ben. My diary is now officially full until July 4, when I intend to suffer a nervous collapse, stop shaving and live as a recluse. Or, perhaps, write a new play.

posted by dave - 4:13 pm

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Hearing the words you wrote coming back at you out of the mouths of actors is a traumatic experience. Did I really write that nonsense? It's curling up into a big shell and never coming out again time. The three actors are great and Martin the director moves like poetry in motion and appears to be really into my play. They're eeking out laughs from parts that I didn't think were funny and Mart's got a great sense of the absurd. It's fascinating to see the process unfurl before my eyes but I feel like a casual observer of something that doesn't really involve me. It's all very surreal and not helped by the fact that my mind is currently being forced into several places at once. Keen for the torture to continue I'm back in rehearsals on Thursday, where I'll be presenting, ooh, four new lines of dialogue that it became apparent I needed to write. I am enjoying it.

posted by dave - 9:51 am

Monday, June 14, 2004
There appears to be fewer flags of St George flying from cars today. Which, depending on your view of that flag, might be a good thing. Like a herd of sheep, off they all popped to Tescos and Asda to buy them, only to discard them at the first sniff of defeat. England will almost certainly qualify as runners-up in group B as Switzerland and Croatia lay down and die. Perhaps now we'll get some respite from the xenophobia, the raging Sun-style puntastic passion and the excitement about Wayne Rooney until the quarter finals? Football really is a game of two halves. Uneven halves. One lasts 89 minutes.

Rehearsals for Off Their Trolleys start today. I'm sooooooo excited!

posted by dave - 11:38 am

Sunday, June 13, 2004
How many times can an England team self-destruct? Good result for The Worst Seat in the House, disaster for the nation. France 2 - England 1.

posted by dave - 10:51 pm

30,000 gambling fruitcakes descended on York Racecourse yesterday and we were amongst them, dressed like a pair of toffs and throwing money away like we've actually got some. We flaunted our access-all-areas County Stand badges and joined the poor people in the middle of the track during race 5, to see how they lived. And, we agreed, they were having a lot more fun than the stiff, puffed up arseholes in the good seats. Omens suggested that we gamble all we owned on the two horses running in race 1 that contained my dad's name. Suffice to say, they're both still charging up and down Tadcaster Road trying to work out what racehorses are actually supposed to do. They let us down badly. A nice patronising woman in the Co-op asked us if we'd travelled far when we called in for some drink at the end of the day and we laughed in her chatty, friendly face before revealing that the racecourse is all of two minutes from our house. It is, they say, the sport of kings, although we didn't see any. Did think I saw the former Ireland footie manager Mick McCarthy at one point, although his appearance on the BBC's Euro 2004 commentary team over in Portugal just an hour later made me have a rethink. It is now just a little over two hours before England play France and I can only hope, for the sake of The Worst Seat in the House, that Henry and Zidane have their lucky boots on. F**k patriotism. I have pre-match nerves like never before. The state of this nation is that everyone who drives a Renault Scenic, a Mitsubishi Shogun or a Vauxhall Astra has to have two St George Cross flags flying from their cars. Noticed that Daz, a professional football hooligan who I bumped into in town at the end of the working week, was proudly wearing his England pin badge. Sadly, he was sent back home after trying to covertly slide into Lisbon. Such is the chore of a worldwide banning order come a major footie tournament. Vive Le France indeed.

posted by dave - 5:16 pm

Saturday, June 12, 2004
Butlins Filey...flourescent clips and cycle....roses....building an igloo....blazer with an 'EJ' initialled badge....learning to drive....Austin 1100...Morris Minor....Austin Alegro....Mini Metro....Philips tape 40 on way home from dance competitions....chasing gang of kids that pushed me down a hill at the Boulevard....plonking me on the perimeter fence at Boothferry Park....crazy golf....complicated card game at sister's birthday party....the smell of oil paint.....adverts for Lord Line.....Derringham Street....shirt and tie.....unfinished art work on easel.....artist's studio.....Treasure Hunt....cramming disco equipment into small red car.....jumping up and down when Ross Lambert scored the winner in the Benson & Hedges semi-final.....thinning hair.....checking he's in neutral and the hand brake's on....push along lawn mower....ballroom dancing.....scrambled egg sandwiches in Charlie's Angels ad breaks....laughing out loud uncontrollably at Comic Potential....not being able to find two cars where he'd parked them....walking across Ilkley Moor.....AA road atlas.....that set of red Readers Digest encyclopedias....painting posters....being quiet....sitting with his leg over the chair arm.....driving me to Dansom Lane.....throwing Michael Bogg out the house when he'd left an Action Man-style scar on my face after throwing a piece of cardboard at me....Miracle Maid....model railway.....Wembley Arena for Heineken fun.....Hull v Rovers....drunk and needing looking after on my stag night....Glen Miller.....78 rpms.....Spongeomatic record cleaner.....sardines on toast....boiled sweets....keyboard skills....proud granddad.....looking after mum.....holding my hand and slowly letting it go....saying goodbye.....

Is it really a year since you died? Miss you dad. And always will.

posted by dave - 12:39 am

Friday, June 11, 2004
This Ask Jeeves thing is insane. The latest person to drop by was asking the Jeevemeister the three random words non-question "pagaents are sexist?". Why are you asking Jeeves that? And if there was a definitive answer surely asking such a closed question would only result in either a "yes" or a "no" rather than something along the lines of "pagaents are perfect fodder for paedophiles and are a microcosm of the good ol' twisted U S of A." If I had the time and the inclination I could head out on a Dave Gorman Googlewhack-style adventure, coming up with increasingly crazy questions that brought me back here. Ooh, what a fun idea....

It was the Holly-in-law's birthday yesterday and we ate Thai-food in celebration at Hull's tiny confusing discount offers Rayong restaurant. Later, he added to try and force the Holly-in-law to leave a comment, she returned home and ate her birthday cake all to herself, leaving her poor housemate to scramble around for the odd crumb.

People who I would quite like to shoot: Press officers; blinkered managers who think they get more out of you by tying you to a desk; rooftop snipers (if you can't take it, don't dish it out, motherf**ka).

posted by dave - 10:14 am

Thursday, June 10, 2004
I found myself inviting Alan Ayckbourn along to The Worst Seat in the House today. What else would you do at the end of an interview but say, "I don't know if I've ever insulted you in a review, Alan, but if I did and you'd like the opportunity to redress the balance, come along to Hull Truck to see me." He found the whole idea amusing, which I saw as a seal of approval. "I'm sure you've not upset too many people," he insisted, "but there'll always be someone demanding to know why you savaged their Hamlet."

posted by dave - 4:35 pm

I love the fact that someone Asking Jeeves "Are you more likely stand a chance winning on a scratchcard than doing the lottery?" was directed to this blog. The internet is a wonderful, absurd world. Go on, you ask it. Killing Time is right at the top of the hit list! I now imagine some poor soul, desperate for the answer but left bemused has, instead, gambled his Ford Fiesta and his children on a horse.

posted by dave - 12:30 pm

Wednesday, June 9, 2004
Lots of moments...

In our office we have windows. In our office we have air conditioning. We have been told that, no matter how hot we might be, we cannot open the windows anymore because it has an adverse affect on the air con. If we feel the urge for a breeze we now have to phone through our request.

My swansong for Artscene will be an interview with Alan Ayckbourn. Things seem to be going full circle at the moment - one of my first Big Issue interviews was with Ayckbourn. His new play, Private Fears in Public Places, is a 'straight' one. Will have to wing it as there's no info about the new play yet, although he has finished writing it.

Despite asking me my name at least three times, an Australian receptionist at the Stephen Joseph Theatre put me through to the press officer by telling her I was called Bear Windows, which threw her into a fit of hysterics.

Met with Maggie Hannan, who's responsible for pulling Humber Mouth 2004 together, for a chat about what I'll be reviewing during the festival. She's picked out a good mix of stuff. Suggested my Humber Mouth page links to this very blog so people can see my random thoughts as well as my official review ramblings.

I asked Jack if he had any special technical requirements or essential pre-show riders for The Worst Seat in the House. Just a blanket and a glass of water, he said. He is a man that shuns glamour.

Had to explain to mum that my play and the show on the Friday are not the same thing (cue puzzled expression). She was delighted to hear that I am to be interviewed on BBC Radio Humberside by Carl & Gloria. Had to stress that she needs to invite all the relatives she knows to both shows, not just the ones she likes!

Belinda, one of the actors who'll be in the new writing festival plays, looked rather scared when Jack and myself introduced ourselves in the pub last night. Keen to intimidate, big Jack refused to sit down. The guy is massive. I also made it clear to Belinda that I am the best writer in the group and that if she disagreed there'd be no more good reviews for her in The Stage. This was a joke but it might have sounded like I was being an arrogant twat.

Hull College told me that I cannot be a VIP guest at the opening of their new theatre and media block. I can, instead, attend as press (which, I think, means less free food and drink and that I have to pretend to write things in a notepad). Do they know who I am?

posted by dave - 4:23 pm

Tuesday, June 8, 2004
Just found out that the Big Issue in the North will be taking all of its arts, music, culture and general features from the London mag. No big deal, you might be sat there thinking. But it's a sad day. They gave me my first journalistic break. Sean Smith let me run amok on features when I didn't have a clue. He gave me my first regular gig. But, as with the content, he's on his way, along with Ally Fogg. Two fine upstanding gents if ever there was and I've got a lot to thank 'em both for. It doesn't matter to me that I won't get the few quid every month. It matters that I won't be able to work on a magazine that's quite special and different from anything else out there. And that I won't have much contact with Sean and Ally from now on. Everything changes, eh? Feels like the end of something big and important...

posted by dave - 1:46 pm

Monday, June 7, 2004
According to one of the many bollocks press releases we have to suffer everyday, a major survey of over 1600 people has narrowly tipped France to win the Euro 2004 Football Championships, with England voted as most likely tournament runners up. Which is good news for me, providing that France progress by topping their group, thus leaving Friday, June 25 free for my magical theatrical stylings. Meeting with the Humber Mouth organiser to discuss progress on The Worst Seat and my role as critic this week. And I'm also interviewing myself for a magazine article. Is it time for the panic to start? Is that adrenaline I feel pumping through my body whene'er I think about walking onto the stage? Have to talk to Hull Truck's stalwart tech-head Dave re my technical requirements. Oh, I dunno, a microphone and a bucket to be sick in should do me.

posted by dave - 2:51 pm

Sunday, June 6, 2004
Only a self-obsessed creature like myself would notice that The Stage have credited me as David Windass on all of my reviews that exist on their www2 archived website. How dare they? Or does it sound better than Dave Windass, do you think?

posted by dave - 10:01 pm

I'd just like to thank the man who drove into the back of my car today; a man who decided that giving way at a roundabout wasn't for him, a man that didn't respond to the sound of my car horn before impact, a man that then drove off before I realised that my car had suffered damage. What a bastard. A bastard in a silver Ford Mondeo.

I noted that a pub in a village near York 'celebrated' D-Day yesterday. Surely you can't just move pivotal events in world history around on the calendar just to suit your Saturday evening trade? Lest we forget the date after eight pints. Still, as Wilfred Owen once wrote...."I am the enemy you killed, my friend/I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned/Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed/I parried; but my hands were loath and cold/Let us sleep now...."

posted by dave - 6:37 pm

Saturday, June 5, 2004
Life is just so exciting at the moment. Headed along to M's play rehearsals this morning and was blown away. Then we found out that some postcards and posters promoting the new writing festival were ready and went to pick some of 'em up. It's the first time in ages that I've had a buzz out of seeing my name in print. But it's there, in black and white (unless you're looking at the reverse side, which is red, white and various shades of orange). Off Their Trolleys by Dave Windass looks soooooo good to me. After a time out at an open air music festival organised by our tiny chum Will, we headed off to South Cave for a couple of beers with the director of M's play, who amused us with tales of a rucksack-fixated actor before a member of the bar staff dropped three empty glasses on me. If only life was always this much fun.

Overheard petrol station hilarity: "Have you got any toilets?" "Yeah," says dopey blonde girl, "They're at the back." Man heads off in search but starts to look baffled. After much mooching about he comes back to the till. "Where are they?" "At the back. The toilets are at the back." "No," he says, "I said Twiglets, not toilets."

No sign of the additional hits that the two words jail babes promised to bring me. Times are tough when you can't even attract low-life pervs to your site. At this point I'd like to invite any low-life pervs that have made the effort to attend both Off Their Trolleys and The Worst Seat in the House.

posted by dave - 9:09 pm

Friday, June 4, 2004
Have updated the front page of my website and I'd like you all to visit to see how handsome I can look when I put some effort in (ie, getting a proper photographer on the case!).

posted by dave - 8:10 pm

I just read on another blog that the words Jail Babes brought in an additional 65 hits. I just wonder...

posted by dave - 12:34 pm

Have just been to the scene of the (as yet uncommitted) crime to have some publicity pix taken. The thrill of it all. I managed to position myself in an uncomfortable pose that covered the arm rests of four of Hull Truck's finest chairs. Photoshop will be used to remove a bit of red eye (cue long snapper's monologue about the problem of using direct flash under flourescent lighting. I dunno what it meant, you just have to agree otherwise they go psycho). They might be able to shed a chin or two as well.

Martin Barrass turned up fashionably late for our meeting. He was quick to explain, clutching a Jacksons carrier bag, that he'd been to Jacksons for some medication. An instant chat about supermarkets broke the ice. We selected a quiet pub for our writer-meets-director head-to-head, York's Fox & Roman. Trouble was, hundreds of other people had also chosen this pub for their meetings. It was rammed. Lots of chat about Hull KR, acting, criticising and play-stuff. He was, unnervingly, full of praise for Off Their Trolleys. It's difficult to handle. Two of us like it, then. We just need to persuade several thousand others and I got it made. Martin said that the hunt is on for a few shopping trolleys to use as props. We wondered if Tescos would insist they had veto over the script if we arranged to loan a few from them. Aldi, low life den of iniquity that it is, might be a safer bet. Four pints later and Martin headed off on his push bike (the only way to travel in the fair city of York), the pair of us somewhat wiser about each other (Martin doesn't enjoy wearing underwear). I'm now very, very confident that the sans-pants one will do a great job.

posted by dave - 12:02 pm

Thursday, June 3, 2004
The gravitas of being in my own show, a show that's currently a lot of scribbled notes awaiting further attention and several days of rehearsals, is beginning to dawn on me. Last night I discovered that the Humber Mouth brochure is complete and lives on their website in .pdf format. Naturally, I had a look and found myself looking at a pictue of myself looking at me. With dates and ticket prices and everything. It's really real. We were up late writing press releases to ensure maximum coverage and these will be banged out to all and sundry this weekend. I'm very excited about all this. But, yes, these are nervous days and much angst lay ahead, methinks. I really want the place to be rammed for both the show and the play. If I had the choice, The Worst Seat in the House could die a death if it meant that people enjoyed Off Their Trolleys. I feel like I'm at the end of the line with theatre criticism and this could be a good way to bow out. Though that might be high levels of stress talking. Meeting Barrass down the pub tonight to talk about Trolleys. I have every confidence that Martin understands the play and has an inkling of what's going on inside my mind. If not, I'm sure a few lagers will make things much clearer.

posted by dave - 11:44 am

Wednesday, June 2, 2004
It took the length of Salt n Pepa's 1993 classic Very Necessary to get to work this morning. I forgot how funny those laydeez used to be. I'm sure they didn't write it with a journey along the long and winding A1079 11 years later in mind but it was perfect listening for a sunny morning. Talking of 11 years, 11-year-old Scott came with me to see Be My Baby last night. He learned that babies don't come out of belly buttons. I learned that Scott's thirst for bottles of Pepsi Cola knows no bounds.

posted by dave - 9:22 am

Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Groan. Returning to work after a holiday shouldn't be allowed. Still, I have Be My Baby to look forward to tonight, a new play about 1960s gym slip mum's forced to give away their babies. So that should perk me up. Spent most of this morning trying to make sense of my diary, which is rammed this month, setting up a meeting with Martin Barrass, who's directing my play at Hull Truck on June 22 and with Jack Brady, an actor and writer who's helping me out with The Worst Seat in the House. The latter was essential cos otherwise I'll never get round to committing any of the scrambled mess of notes and assorted research I've got into any kind of script. Now, at least, I know it has to be pretty much finished by this weekend. Still looking forward to getting up on stage but panicking I'll run out of cash before I can buy a new shirt.

posted by dave - 9:07 am