Friday, February 18, 2005



Today I am mostly feeling bruised.

SSoB's second review is fairer [and by that I mean that it actually appears to be a review] but I'm not hanging out the bunting there either. In some ways there are things which I think the reviewer might have a point about - she wasn't keen on what she saw from the first act but was much keener on the stuff from the second and third acts. Which is a fair appraisal as I like the non-act one stuff best too. However she did ruin this valid point somewhat by talking about not liking the ending of the play - which of course she never saw. And she again gave the impression that she'd seen the entire play, which made some of her review rather shoddy towards the end. The phrase "mediocre script" also got used, which does sting somewhat. I should balance that out before I drown in my vat of self pity, by saying that she did also say "Furness writes intimate dialogue with sensitivity and skill" and that "All in all, the basis of the play is an interesting one, and there are some very poignant moments that display both writing talent from the playwright and acting ability from the cast". Of course there's a but at the end of that sentence, but given that the reviewer hadn't seen the majority of the play [is this becoming my new refrain?] I don't think that it's a valid one.

The Borders preview, for all the comedy value of it being my equivalent of HMV, turned out to be something of a non-starter. It was hugely unorganised, none of my company were particularly in the mood for something which was clearly pointless given that the tanoy system was still playing Beatles songs during one of the other shows previews, and I wasn't really in the mood to be near one of the directors of another show basking, rather loudly, in her review. I also wasn't really in the mood for the extract from Quartet which was a scene in which a character left the stage to inform her mother, by telephone, that she had cancer [or was dying of cancer, I'm not sure given that the plot wasn't clear and my hearing was affected by the Beatles song]. Having made a phonecall of that nature myself it wasn't one I particularly relished seeing in Borders, especially when I was already feeling bruised and introspective.

The workshop I was meant to be going to this afternoon also got cancelled as Suzanne Bell had an asthma attack this morning and consequently couldn't get here. It's a shame as I really wanted to meet her, and all the writing workshops I've been on have been fun, but maybe it was a good thing that I got to relax and lick my wounds this afternoon. She's sending us a pack of all the stuff she'd have talked about so that's something.

Given the downbeat nature of this entry I should probably say I've three nice things to report:

1) My friend Sam is coming to Oxford tomorrow and I haven't seen her for a month or so, so that's going to be fun.
2) I got my very own yellow-NWF hoodie today. There's already a thread on Oxford gossip with someone asking how to get hold of a yellow one. I'm of course smug because only SSoB have yellow hoodies, and none of the others are in demand. I will say however they are very, very bright yellow [too much so] and for some reason I ended up with a medium so you could quite easily get two of me in there.
3) I got a much needed writing boost after the review debacle by being (finally) given Nina Steiger's [Soho Theatre] contact details. Which puts the student reviews into perspective.

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