Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A Form of Return, but by no means A Return to Form

I'm back.

Did you miss me?

I never intended to be away this long. But after a couple of months I realised I'd have to post something spectacular to re-announce myself. Otherwise I'd have to renounce myself. Now it's been a year and a half, I no longer feel any pressure to be good; merely to be here is all I crave. I'll ease myself back in with a little light posting and see where it leads us. Hopes are high chez Pessimism of my being back in full querulous-garrulous mode by autumn. Though no doubt it'll be over by Christmas, just like last time.

What have I been up to?

I thought you'd never ask. Polite of you. Don't worry, I won't answer in full. Here's a precis:

I've written some theatre and directed some theatre. I ill-advisedly appeared on the stage for ten performances of a solo show. I've completed a PhD (scoff not). I've run a lot of workshops and, due to ongoing knee trouble, no marathons. I've watched Middlesbrough Football Club sink into the mire, a spectacle more demanding of blind optimism than I can will. I've spent more time travelling than stationary, more time home alone than with my wife. And despite all of that, I remain fairly cheery, ta. You?

This being by way of a re-introductory post, I won't rabbit on about all the projects I currently have simmering. Some of same have been on the boil since last time we met. I expect in the fullness of time they'll come up here, even if not in the world made flesh.

I'll leave you with two thoughts and a trailer, to elevate this beyond mere chat.

Thought One. In theatre, the profession and the academy aren't great pals. In medicine, there's barely a distinction, but in theatre the former is bloody suspicious of the latter. My declaration of interest: despite the aforementioned PhD, which is just about worth the paper it's written on, but certainly not the scholarship it's written thanks to, I'm much more a creature of the profession than the academy. But I think the width and depth of this schism a shame. And I think it might be slowly changing.

That was me whetting your appetite for something I might, but by no means will, talk about now I'm back.

Thought Two. I suspect I'm writing this because I've got a first draft deadline in nine days, I'm away for the rest of the week, and I'm stuck. So am I worried once I've met the deadline, or not, I'll no longer crave your attention as a pretense I'm doing something constructive? A little. But perhaps by the sheer virtue of posting this, I'll feel shamed into saying at least a little more.

And the trailer: in a couple of weeks I'm doing the National Theatre Studio directors' course. That should give me something to talk about. And I hereby promise that this blog will be second only to the pub as a forum for processing my thoughts. We've been asked to learn a poem. Suggestions?