It's been a funny old couple of weeks. I've been working a lot, which is great - it's always a comfort when you're a freelancer to see a few pennies rolling in!
I have found the time for a creative venture or two, although unfortunately no writing. I have spent a large chunk of my day today critiquing the work of fellow writers on the forum I'm a member of - it's been fun, and hugely interesting, to read so many pieces of great writing, so many individual takes on everyday ideas, and so many unique ideas turned into clever stories and moving poems. I feel very honoured to be able to share my work with such a talented group of people. Not that I have any to share so far this month! Perhaps tomorrow I will find some time to sit and write something of my own.
I went pottery painting last week - it's a lovely way of passing an afternoon. There is a small and friendly farm shop near my home, where I'm now something of a regular. They set me up with my little table and my paint and brushes, supplied me with some marmalade on toast (an excellent source of energy when painting), and away I went. I have taken photos of my finished items, but they're a present for someone, so I shan't post the pics until the present has been given, just in case I spoil the surprise! I met and chatted with some nice people during the course of my afternoon, as when folk pop in for a cup of tea, they invariably wander over to take a look at what you're working on and conversations ensue. One lady I spoke to was a self-confessed Bloomsbury addict and we had a great chat about Vanessa Bell and Virgina Woolf, and it made me keen to get back to Charlston Farmhouse, which, if you haven't been, is a truly inspiring place.
Also last week, I went to see a play called The Boy Juliet. It's basically Shakespeare in Love, but unfortunately without Joseph Fiennes. It was a good production, the set was very clever and held it's greatest surprise until the end, when the back panels, which for the duration of the play had been the rough wooden boards of a barn or similarly rustic rehearsal room, opened out towards the back of the stage, revealing a misty darkness lit by a line of tea lights. The cast walked away from the audience and out into the darkness, the candles, of course, denoting the edge of a different stage, as they commence their production of R&J to a different, imaginary audience. Very clever indeed. The script (by Royce Ryton) was basic and slapstick in places, but produced laughs and did its job. Perhaps not the highest praise, but I think I've seen plays and read scripts that have been cleverer and made more of the English language. That said, I've also seen a lot worse. A terrible play called The Man Who Left the Titanic, springs to mind.
I went to see this a couple of weeks ago, and actually left at the interval in favour of going to the pub for a gin. The play was a two-hander, about Bruce Ismay, he of the White Star Line who hopped off the literal sinking ship into one of the lifeboats. The script contained no drama, but appeared to be merely a vehicle to convey the facts of the case. The performances were lack-lustre and the actor playing the ghost of Andrews did an excellent job of carrying the show, as Bruce himself seemed deeply uncertain of his lines in places. It's a touring production - should you find it coming to a theatre near you any time soon, I'd be inclined to give it a miss. The pub was much more entertaining.
This week I went to the photographer's studio to have my photo taken for the publicity for Skylight. I have never sat for a professional photo before and found it to be an unusual experience. There were lights upon me from many angles, and a silvery space-age contraption that looked like it had been designed by NASA, was stuck under my chin. The resulting photos, however, made me wish I could take all the lighting and photographic paraphernalia with me everywhere I go, as they clearly work miracles. Once the poster has been designed and I have a copy in my hot little hands, I shall scan it and upload it here so you can enjoy my discomfort. First rehearsal on Sunday - I'm feeling quite excited about it.