Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Metamorphosis, Linbury Studio Theatre, ROH, London

I saw the revival of this last night and it is one of the most brilliant pieces of theatre I’ve ever seen.

It has actually got better since the first run; which is astonishing, considering the first run was already brilliant.  Edward Watson’s performance as Gregor Samsa is unbelievable - almost literally unbelievable; I do not know how he physically does some of the things he does. Choreographer and director Arthur Pita takes Kafka’s story and shows it as a metaphor for terminal illness, suicidal depression, mental breakdown, PTSD - the agonised destruction of a human being… It’s utterly harrowing, so be warned, if you are going, take tissues.

I believe I'm right in saying that tonight is the last night of the run.  If you can beg, borrow or steal a ticket, go!

Friday, 15 March 2013

It's late...

It's late and I should have packed up and gone to bed.  In a minute, or five, I will. But I want a little moan first, and I think I need to do some explaining, too.

I'm struggling at the moment.  Ever since the 'flu I have been having terrible trouble getting to sleep, and sleeping really badly when I do.  I've tried herbal teas, I've tried valerian, I've tried a bunch of other things including some I possibly shouldn't talk about in a public forum.  I've read relaxing books and watched relaxing ballet and relaxing soppy movies.  I've gone out, I've stayed in; gone to bed extra-early; gone to bed extra-late.  No good.  Work is busy and I'm post-viral tired anyway, and this is just the living end, it really is.

Then, just to cap that, I'm struggling with the writing as well.  I'm working through the revising and typing up of "Gold Hawk".  I had a real battle to get through chapter thirteen, in which a character I'm fond of dies; now I'm working on chapter fourteen, in which we find out about something rather important and hopefully a bit harrowing that happened five years ago. 

I knew when I wrote it that the first draft for this bit really, as they say in the States, sucked.  I ploughed on and did the best I could at the time, and promised myself I'd get it into shape when typing-up time came.  But it is proving a real stinker.  So much so that I am playing about with anything else I can find, procrastinating, trying not to face it again.  I've written quite a good totally new short story (love-at-first-sight among post-apocalyptic crazy Highlanders, anyone?) in the gaps between tearing my hair over what really happened to David and Andrew Maple in the St George's Day terror attack in Cambridge.  Which never happened.

I can't make up my mind whether I need to take a complete break and give myself some space, try to get my head clear, come back to this in a week or two; or whether I need to plough on, fight through it, one way or another.  I can't make my mind up.  And I'm tired.

Moan over.  Tomorrow is Friday, which is one good thing, anyway.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Getting over the 'flu, slowly

I have been off work for a week with 'flu.  I went back on Tuesday, and haven't exactly been enjoying it as I still feel mortally washed-out and rubbery-legged.  But I'm terribly behind on all my stuff, just as my job starts to get into the busy time of year.  So I am putting my head down and getting on with it.  By five pm today I felt as though my frontal lobes had been replaced with large pieces of carefully folded felt.  CLRDUGGG UGH UGH... >staggers across Kew Green in the dusk like a lonely zombie<

I crept home, made an easy supper, and have spent the evening listening to music and chatting to TC on the 'phone.  TC is stressed, and I don't think I was brain-equipped enough to be much help.  Last night I watched two ballet dvds both of which I've seen a dozen times before - Alina Cojocaru being divine in "Sleeping Beauty", Ed Watson being tormented and sexy in "Mayerling".  I hadn't the spirit even to watch a movie with dialogue - the need to disengage my brain is far too great for that.  The only other thing I do of an evening is muck about a bit on Tumblr, licking my lips over a bit of hunk-fetishisin' photo-bloggin' harmless sexist fun.  Very sad, you are becoming, Ims.

So tired...

Last night I had another of those weird dreams.  If the real-life people one dreamed about really did connect with one in those dreams, they'd be left feeling pretty freaked out of a morning, sometimes.  This one certainly startled me a bit, though it has since set me to thinking "This has the makings of a short story...".

I dreamed I was one of a crowd of people defending a tower house – like a Pictish castle or something in the Mani – from assault.  Jeremy Renner was among the attackers and he slung a stone at me with a slingshot, but bizarrely it looped right past me, quite slowly, and I managed to catch it.  I fell down in surprise and one of the other defenders thought I’d been hit and raised up a scream for vengeance.  I sat up to show him I was unhurt and looked over the parapet to mock at Mr Renner - you know the routine, “Nah-nah-nahnahnah, you can’t hit me with your shitty sling, California boy!” - but when he saw me looking down at him, alive and uninjured, he looked incredibly happy and relieved; and I realised he hadn’t ever intended to hurt me at all.

So what the hell does that mean? 

And what will I dream tonight, I wonder?!