What I learned about writing a novel from the TV detective series Luther

As a writer, I try to learn about the craft of writing a novel from every source I can. The obvious source is reading and I try to read all the time. Each day I’m perched on my exercise bike for an hour, devouring anything I can get my hands on, and even if I …

Continue reading What I learned about writing a novel from the TV detective series Luther

Two Shakespeare plays, two inspirational pairs of actors but two very different theatre experiences…

A few months ago I went to see Macbeth in Stratford, with Christopher Eccleston playing the eponymous role and Niamh Cusack as Lady Macbeth. I was looking forward to it because I admire both actors and I thought it would be a real privilege to see them in roles that would offer exciting performances. I …

Continue reading Two Shakespeare plays, two inspirational pairs of actors but two very different theatre experiences…

My top ten to bring us in from the January cold

January isn't most people's favourite month. I've heard a lot of people complaining about it. It's cold. Christmas has gone and won't be back for a long time so it seems like there's nothing to celebrate. It hasn't snowed. It probably won't. A holiday to somewhere warm would be nice but.... So, with a brief …

Continue reading My top ten to bring us in from the January cold

Amazing production of ‘Mother Courage’. It should be on national TV.

I took time out last weekend to see Josie Lawerence in Mother Courage. It was in a lovely little theatre in Southwark. I had front row seats, which is ideal for a Brecht play, to be able to take in every facial expression. I couldn't understand why the theatre was three quarters full: tickets were …

Continue reading Amazing production of ‘Mother Courage’. It should be on national TV.

How theatre tells us to fear the inadequate life

I love theatre. I love all different types and styles of theatre: Shakespeare, Brecht, Stanislavsky, Artaud, Grotowsky, Meyerhold, Lecoq, agitprop, avant garde, physical theatre, mime, puppetry, theatre of the absurd, naturalism, modernism, post-modernism. I can go on. I love the moment when the lights dim and then it's often a journey of the mind and …

Continue reading How theatre tells us to fear the inadequate life

Sublime Shakespeare: ‘Tis Beauty Truly Blent

'... we will draw the curtain and show you the picture.' I loved Shakespeare when I was at school, despite my English teachers. They were not the enthusiastic pedagogues of today, striving to make the bard accessible because every child mattered. My teachers were dry pecking birds who wanted to perpetuate a class system in …

Continue reading Sublime Shakespeare: ‘Tis Beauty Truly Blent

Best of Samuel Beckett: Mark Rylance hamming it up. (Part 1)

Lots of people tell me they don't get Samuel Beckett. Perhaps they have stared at a script in a Drama lesson at school, or watched a little bit performed out of context on film. My own first taste of Beckett was watching a play called 'En Attendant Godot', aged 18, all in French, in a …

Continue reading Best of Samuel Beckett: Mark Rylance hamming it up. (Part 1)