I was fed up.
No, that’s not really accurate. Pissed off is a much better description. Even well pissed off – an even better description and even more accurate.
In June 2014 I directed the biggest play I’d ever written, Cold in the Clay, a community production with a cast of 22, a choir of 11 and a brass band. Then I devised and directed By the Pricking of My Thumbs…, a compilation of Shakespeare’s nastiest bits, with a brilliant professional cast. Both were for the Customs House in South Shields. Later that year I revived Drac and the Rat to be performed by staff and clients of NECA (North East Council on Addictions) Darlington.
Nothing much happened in early 2015 but in September I had my one-woman monologue Curtains performed at Alphabetti Theatre’s Write Back, directed by an excellent young director and performed by an equally excellent but even younger actress, and then I was cast in Beckett’s Words and Music (a piece for two actors and a chamber orchestra) for Durham University’s Musicon and immediately after that I went into Arctic Convoy (in which I wrote part of the script, played a small part and directed) in North Shields. During September and October I also ran a playwriting course for South Tyneside Library Service at the Central Library.
Finally I directed an amateur panto, Puss in Boots, for the Westovians in South Shields, which was performed in January 2016.
Since then, nothing. Rien. Niente. Nada. Nichts.
Early in 2016 I was diagnosed with COPD and it knocked me sideways. I’m beginning to suspect that the knocking sideways was psychological rather than physical because I lost all my energy and enthusiasm and, as the old saying goes, “My get-up-and-go got up and went.”
I even gave up directing. I told people, “I don’t have the energy any more” and I believed it.
So here we are, more than halfway through 2017, and I am pissed off with myself and need to get going again. Oh yes, I’ve been doing news stories and reviews for the British Theatre Guide but that’s not exactly creative and I need to get that creativity going before I stagnate into the pipe and slippers routine. Well, e-cig and slippers to be precise, but you know what I mean.
Hence this new blog. I’m setting myself the task of updating at least twice a week to get the creativity flowing, so please, do keep coming back to read my meanderings.
What will they be? Memories. Rants and raves. First explorations of new ideas. And I’ll introduce you to my alter ego, the very unlovable Radgie Gadgie. Now who’d want to miss that?
And, of course, you’ll be helping rehabilitate a sad sorry-for-himself old man. Your good deed for the day.