Monday, January 22, 2007


Very kindly and without me forcing arms up backs, the lovely people at Encore Theatre Magazine have added a link to this blog from their fine site. I do worry that I don't, perhaps, waffle on about the theatre enough on here for any fellow theatrical sorts to really bother to read on. There's more telly (I'm not getting out much right now both for economic and creative reasons) and nonsense about my new hat than anything arts-related, although I am prone to give an ongoing account of the Rank play - not to reveal anything just to spur me on and remind me to write it between all those cups of tea and huge lumps of Cheshire cheese that I devour (lager used to be my thing. Wha' happened?). But, yes, thanks Encore, you've made my day.

Having spent so much time sitting in a room on my own over the last six months means that, when it comes to interacting with groups of other people, even if I already know them, I'm never quite sure if I'll remember how to do it. Had a meeting this morning over on the council estate that's north of my house re the return of the writing project I worked on last year. This time around I'll be joined by two mates of old, so I'm envisaging it will be a lot more fun. Still, as I walked in to school (literally - the project's based in a school) I wasn't quite sure whether I'd even be capable of talking in anything other than the shorthand gibberish that M and myself use. Luckily, the old skills of communication came to the fore. I distinctly remember saying things like "Hmngnsff skgsdfi rtgsafgs tgskdfgda sfa young people asdfd rgerguss sfgfgf." See, I ain't lost it. Anyhow, project looks set to start in February, hurrah!

That interaction was a good warm up for next Monday, when I head to the BBC to lead a very exciting four-hour short story writing workshop. I was under the impression, until I made the sensible move of looking in my diary, that the workshop was this Friday. So, suddenly, there's a whole lot more of this week available for writing Rank that I actually thought. Today I am re-reading Alan Wood's Rank biography, Mr Rank. Tomorrow, I will re-read Michael Wakelin's The Man Behind The Gong and all of my other notes, make some final doodlings all over my already in-depth outline and then re-enter the writing proper with renewed relish, penning scene after scene at a frantic pace. Or at least that's the theory. Oh, he just remembered, almost as if to stop that immaculate plan from bearing fruit, tomorrow morning I'm off to watch some actors rehearsing an educational version of Bouncers. I suppose in the interests of keeping sane I still need to get out of the house occasionally.

As I walked through town this morning I thought that Queen Victoria, who sits atop a public toilet, was looking rather good with the sun shining down on her. I passed her en route to the Ferens Art Gallery, where I cast my short-sighted eyes over the Frank Brangwyn exhibition. I knew nothing of him but discovered that, stylistically, Belgium-born Brangwyn (alliteration, yay!) was all over the shop; he was both an expressionist, impressionist and, when the mood took him, a fauvist, amongst other things. While he started documenting life in a very realistic manner (lots of engravings of men at work, men going to work, men heading home from a day's work, as well as depictions of men at war and the devastation resulting from conflict that were the result of his role as 'official war artist') he ended up getting lots of commissions for decorative murals, such as the British Empire Panels commissioned to commemorate the first world war that are now housed here. As part of the exhibition there are some great water colour designs for a proposed vast mural at Hull's Guildhall - never realised due to the economic slump of the 1930s - that illustrate, in a most succinct and perfect way, the history of Hull's working classes. And then, because Queen Vic's fantastic underground facilities are closed at the moment, I checked out the gallery's urinals.

Listening: The Beatles - Across The Universe


Benjamin said...

A great photograph. Hull looks so beautiful on a clear winter's morning.

Dave W said...

Thanks Ben. Aye, I thought it looked better than ever. S'funny wandering around with a camera, it opens your eyes to things you've taken for granted for years.