Every day I seem to realise a little more how much of our lives has moved to the realm of distance connections – even when the distance isn’t much at all. I told you about how our drama school moved all classes and meetings to Zoom, and then there is my mother doing her yoga practice via GoogleMeet, and the Company’s similarly organized cycle of Sepulveda readings… Continue reading
Tax-rolls for the names, the Agas Map of London, rope (or not rope) ferries, lute music, woodcuts and their elements, leagues and miles, Estienne’s Guide des Chemins de France, post horses, ruffs and collars, the (not very long) way from the Quai des Bernardins to the Rue des Anglais in Paris, the right way to take a bow, original frontispieces, light hours in November, and Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day, Cadiz 1596, wives inheriting, Channel crossings, Thomas Platter… Continue reading
So – are we back yet?
A little hard to tell. I mean, theatres are opening again next week. Opening with all sorts of restrictions, as was to be expected – like playing with gloves whenever there are props to be touched, and masks when the actors need to go near each other, and keeping safe distances in the audience, and onstage, and backstage… As I said, nothing truly unexpected, but it will be hard to get used to… Continue reading
I think I told you how, back in December, at the dress rehearsal for A Christmas Carol, we had the benefit of a row of rows, complete with screaming match in the green room between Nina the Director and Mrs. Cratchit. It was explosive enough to scare children, upset dressers, and perplex casual viewers – but, as is the case with most of these things, it evaporated quite quickly, and with little or no visible damage. Continue reading
I think I told you in passing that I parted ways with the Squirrels… It happened earlier this year – around March, actually – and there were Reasons. It was a hard thing to do, after a decade with them, and a much longer time, if on and off, with Gemma the Director – but I had choices to make, and… Reasons.
It was a mostly civilised affair: I explained, and teared up a little, and they were mostly quite nice about it, and some of them actually teared up in turn. So I came away, and exchanged calls and emails with Gemma now and then, but never acted on the standing invitation to go and sit through rehearsal with them – because… well, I’d come away. I’d come away, and I had Reasons, and I didn’t want to tag along unofficially – much less to be dragged in again “just this once”… Continue reading
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…
Eight months and pennies! Where have I been all this time? Where has all this time gone while I wasn’t watching?
The fact is, I had a rather nasty flu just after Christmas, and it took me more than a month to be back on my feet, and afterwards… I don’t know. I hadn’t posted a single line in either of my blogs for the whole of January, and then… and then. It’s the way these things happen, I’m told.
But now I’m back. I’ve wanted to be back for some time – only, it was summer, when a) blog life slows down, and b) bloggers grow lazy… well, lazier. So I thought I’d wait for September, and here I am.
What have I been up to, these past eight months – beside not blogging? Well, I’ve translated and adapted a lot for the Company (I’ll tell you more about this in time), I’ve decided to write a short story every month (and stuck with it so far), I’ve sent Out There my novel and a couple of the stories, I’ve directed two school plays (one in collaboration, one on my own), I’ve gone ahead with a (very) long term project of reorganising my study, I’ve spent three lovely days in Florence with my mother, I’ve had my yearly Reading Week, I’ve enjoyed a good deal of great theatre with the Summer Season, I’ve hunted about virtual bookstalls for Paul Roche’s translation of Prometheus Bound, I’ve put together a special Palcoscenico di Carta/The Paper Stage (happening tonight), and I’m afraid I have parted ways with the Squirrels…
So yes, I have plenty to tell you. The plan is a very straightforward one: I’ll go back to my leisurely ways, and post once a week, on Thursdays. I hope you’ll forgive the long hiatus and join me again for the ride. I’ve missed you, O Readers.
Let’s start again, shall we?
Some twenty years ago, on an early summer day like this, I was sitting in a street café in Pavia, waiting for a friend. I’d just bought myself a book at the bookshop next door – and, anticipating a longish wait, I ordered a grapefruit squash, and started to read.
The book was William Somerset Maugham’s Theatre – quite perfect for me, judging from the back-cover blurb – and so there I sat, very much enjoying the picture: street café, book, summer day… And as I read… Continue reading
It’s taken me a surprisingly long time to become aware of the kind of image you see here on the right. I mean, now that I know, I’m finding that the Internet is a-swarm with them – especially Pinterest, where I spend far more time than is good for me… You type “backstage” or “theatre” or anything remotely related, and up they crop by the dozen.
So far, I’ve discovered two kinds of them: the peacock preening in front of a colourful background, for actors’ problems, quirk, and general lore; a badger against a black and gray background is for the backstage crew. Fitting, isn’t it?* Continue reading