Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dreams of theatre

My most persistent dreams, again and again, see me in a theatre. For years I was running round the outsides, or through the corridors. Sometimes I had a seat but curiously askance so I could see nothing. Just occasionally I enjoyed a show. One of the more surprising feats of dreams are these times of creating, staging, and choreographing all-singing-and-dancing musical segments.
I've wondered whether these theatrical venues stand for something else ... but no, I reckon they stand for theatre. It's long been an obsession. My professional acting career went on hold when I got to an audition for a touring Macbeth, remembered my new Shakespeare piece well (an odd selection from Titus Andronicus) but forgot every word of my old Pinter standby. At least novel-writing was in my control. No auditions. I could decide whether I finished a work or not. The next day I settled down to work on my first novel On Bended Knees. I also, by the way, found acting and writing made uncomfortable bedfellows. Directing and writing were fine, both took a wide view, but as an actor you isolated yourself to live inside one alternative being.
Yet I would swap so much success to see my plays put on. I look forward a lot to being flown in to Wake Forest University in North Carolina next February, for a staging of my play Feeding the Roses. But boy, my dream the other night was beyond all else. It was the grandest big-city first-night for the same play. I met the cast, the crew, saw the audience. Another new play was staged as a warm-up but I was too excited to take it in. I've never been so thrilled.
Then, of course, I woke up. But it can only be a good omen, surely. Here I am in London, a capital of theatre. Time to get the show on the road.

the picture


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