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?

8 comments:

wilko said...

Your doing the course at the Studio? Hurrah!

They are doing it much later this year than in the past. I look forward to hearing what you make of it...

Jon said...

When We Are Old by William Butler

Good to see you even fleetingly last week in Leeds. See you in London wehopes.....

Alison Croggon said...

I just posted it on my blog, but it's one of my all-time favourites: Biographia Literaria by Frank O'Hara.

Chris said...

Looking forward to reading more about the academic/professional split in theatre, I think I fall very heavily on the side of professional, and the split definitely does exist. By the way, congrats on the Guardian article...

Chris Hislop's Theatrical Musings

Peter McGrath said...

As a Man City fan not transplanted across the Pennines to Yorkshire, my sympathies on the Middlesbrough thing.

I spent years watching my team yoyo between 2nd in the old first division and a league cup, and going down to the third division at Stoke.

You've only just started on this journey...

Peter McGrath said...

...now transplanted...

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