3rd stage is not good.

I've just spent the last many, many hours practically since my last post to this laid up in bed with food poisoning, and am now shaking and white and all that general horribleness. What would it be like if I was only going to get worse, not better? I know I would want the option of avoiding suffering.

Right, back to bed. I'll have to so a superfast writing job in the morning....

"An Act of Bravery or a Tragic Killing"

From The Scotsman, Wed 25 Jan.

"Julia Millington, the political director of the Pro-life Alliance, said the terminally ill should be treated rather than helped to die.

'We are very saddened that Dr Turner felt that her life was of such little value that she chose to end it,' she said. 'Surely we need to find better ways of killing the suffering rather than killing the patient.'

Euthanasia is about choice. It is impossible for Julia Millington to experience the exact impulses that led Dr Turner to choose to die before the illness from which she was suffering denied her that choice. It is wholly reductive to suggest that Dr Turner's actions were motivated by a de-valuing of her life and the above statement makes no case whatsoever for the continuing prohibition of euthanasia in this country.

Surely the debate that should be taking place, if any, is about control and choice rather than 'value of life'. A life is only worth something of value to you if it's yours and yours to control.

The Catholic Church of Scotland added;

"The situation must never arise where the terminally-ill or the very elderly feel pressurised by society to end their lives."

In what way would on opening up of choice and control to an individual facing pain, suffering and degeneration result in a common societal desire for anyone old or ill to die?

present : tense

present : tense

Just checking i've got this right and i'm blogger friendly. Really exciting meeting up on Sunday and seeing the amount of ideas for great theatre that can be found in the press.
A tough decision at the end but i think we've made a good one, we'll see. I'm waiting with excitment and anticipation for the first draft from Tena who i send lots of encouragement to.
It's almost impossible to concentrate on anything else knowing ideas are bubbling away and being formed as we speak. I can't wait to get started.

Not knowing what to do when someone dies

Hello all

It would seem from some of my past songs that I like to write about death. But this is hard.

I think Anne Turners tale is an example of how dieing is never the same for anybody, whether you're pro-euthanasia, against it, her son, her daughter, whether you're writing a film, a play, a song.

How brave she was to have ended her own life when she felt she had to.

Sometimes we behave strangely when people around us die...

photos from sunday



I've already sped through two of my usual writing stages...elatedly thinking idea is great and feeling excited (see previous post) and realising it's not. Usually this takes about two weeks, but I've managed it in one and a half days. I still don't know what I'm writing really, which is why I'm now stuck. I have a desire to include a dinosaur but I'm not sure how it's relevant. Have realised I've never seriously answered, or even asked myself the question, what happens when you die? This is a bit of a shock. I thought I had a questing mind that embraced hardcore truths, but no, I have the mind of a coward that would rather hide in a corner and must be beaten with sticks out into the light.

just testing...

Hello everyone.
Just testing that this is really working, or rather that I am really able to work this...
My head is full of thoughts about this topic we chose. I am trying to figure it out still. It is strange that having to make a film in a week means that I need to start production nearly now, while still working on the concept. I will have to leave at least two days for editing. I am meeting a friend who is a nurse on maternity leave and I asked her for her nurse uniform... I don't know why, and what I am going to do with it... But I just thought that it might come in handy... I have never done this before. Looking for props before I even have the story...
Good luck everyone and have a good week.


First night nerves

Now we have our subject, I'm reading up about the story on the internet and have figured out how to use this blog, hopefully. So I feel like something has been achieved. Now all I've got to do is think of an idea. Argh!

and the topic is...

After much deliberation, the present : tense two artists tonight decided to tackle the story of Dr Anne Truman, who travelled to Switzerland to take her own life last week.

Other stories in the mixer included the revelations surrounding Simon Hughes, occupation of Tony's Cafe, the election of Hamas, the conviction of a 15-year-old girl for filming a 'happy slapping' murder, the police cover-up of the Menezes shooting, and the Italian court case questioning a priest over the existence of Jesus.

But ultimately Dr Truman's story was considered the most important story on the news agenda and is thus our topic.

The artists now have one week to create a response to the story...

Stuck in Liverpool

Hello there-
Sorry I couldn't make it down to London today for the opening of present:tense.

I'm very much looking forward to working on the project.

See you in 1 week...


tickets on sale now

Fingers on the redial buttton. Tickets for present : tense two are on sale now.

They cost a meagre £7 and can be booked from the Old Red Lion box office on 020 7837 7816.

Go, go, go.

the line-up

Drumroll please. Here's the present : tense two line-up:

The Playwrights:

Glyn Cannon
Glyn Cannon's first professional production was of his play On Blindness at the Soho Theatre, produced by Paines Plough, Frantic Assembly and Graeae theatre companies. He followed this with Gone, an adaptation of Sophocles' Antigone at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2004, where the play won a Scotsman Fringe First award, and The Guardian Best Play. The production subsequently transferred for a limited run to the West End at the New Ambassadors' Theatre, London. He was Associate Playwright at Paines Plough 2003/2004.

Dawn King
Dawn King's plays include Arrival with Baggage (Reading at Royal Court Theatre) ZOO (Reading at Royal Court Theatre, performed at Arcola Theatre and Hackney Empire) and How to Live Forever (Hampstead Theatre Start Night). She regularly writes short plays for subVERSE at Theatre 503. Her radio play Water Sculptures was recently broadcast live on Resonance FM.

Duncan Macmillan
Duncan’s first play The Most Humane Way to Kill a Lobster was written whilst on the Royal Court Young Writer’s Programme, and presented as a reading in the Theatre Upstairs alongside his second play From Here to the Moon, before a run at Theatre503.

Tena Stivicic
Tena was born and raised in Zagreb where she graduated from the Academy of Drama Arts, department of Playwriting and Dramaturgy. Her plays have been produced in Croatia and across Eastern and Central Europe, published and translated to several languages. She completed an MA in Writing for Performance at Goldmsiths College in London. Tena was took part in Future Perfect, the Paines Plough young writers programme. She lives and works in London.

The Directors:

Kirsty Housley
Kirsty studied Theatre and Performance Studies at The University of Warwick. Directing includes: Cue Deadly: A Live Film Project: Riverside Studios; Wuthering Heights (Devised): BAC; I’m Crazy For Feeling So Lonely (Devised): East 15 Acting School; After The Fact by Steve Lally: Soho Theatre, Net Curtains Theatre Co; Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, adapted by Simon Block; Nymphs and Shepherds by David Hines; Henry IV by Luigi Pirandello; The Chic Nerds by Ronan O’Donnell (all for the Etcetera Theatre); Blue Jam by Chris Morris: Etcetera Theatre, Riverside Studios and BAC (Time Out, Guardian and Evening Standard Critics Choice); and Newsrevue: Edinburgh Festival C Venues. Work as an Assistant Director includes: 24 Hour Plays: (Assistant to Robert Delamere), USUK and Canada Foreplay: (Assistant to Samuel West and Paulette Randall), both at The Old Vic, and Hoxton Story (Assistant to Lisa Goldman: The Red Room). Kirsty has also worked as a script reader for Soho Theatre, The Kings Cross Award, The Old Vic and Channel 4. Kirsty was Artistic Director of The Etcetera Theatre in Camden from 2000–2003 and was the winner of the inaugural Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award in 2003.

George Perrin
George is associate director and co-founder of nabokov. He was the first recipient of the Genesis Directors Award at the Young Vic, is a member of the Old Vic’s New Voices for whom he directed one of the 2005 24 Hour Plays. He is currently the assistant director at Paines Plough.

Psyche Stott
Psyche has recently been invited to attend the Directors Programme at the National Studio, in March. She is currently Assistant Director to Anna Mackmin on the no 1 tour of Mammals and will shortly be directing a piece for The Missing Piece 5 showcase, in association with Graeae Theatre Company and The Young Vic.

The Film Makers:

Lucy Purdon
Lucy has made several short documentaries, both here and abroad, and produces films with The Listen Collective, a film making group she helped set up. Their first feature release is due in May 2006. Lucy currently works as a researcher on factual TV programmes.

Ruth Schocken Katz
Ruth is a student at the London Film School about to go into production on her graduation film. She directed the short documentary Keeping Time, which has been screened at various festivals around the world, and recently completed Writing Mother, a short fiction film, which she wrote and directed. She has previously produced the V-Day campaign which raises awareness to issues of violence towards women and children through productions of the play The Vagina Monologues. Ruth also works as a freelance photographer.

The Poets:

Joel Stickley
Joel is a member of the poetry collective Aisle16, whose show Poetry Boyband ran at the Old Red Lion in December and was given Critics' Choice in Time Out for four weeks running before being named as one of their Critics' Choices of the year. He's been on Radio 3, BBC7, BBC Scotland, ITV and BBC Choice, which doesn't exist any more but did at the time. He won the Glastonbury Festival Poetry slam in 2003. For a while, he ran creative writing workshops at the University of East Anglia. He's done gigs in London, Manchester, Norwich, York, Penzance, Bath, Coventry, St Ives, Sheffield, Leeds, Chelmsford, Bristol, Cambridge, Liverpool and Edinburgh. But not in that order. Also, he likes dogs.

Ross Sutherland
Ross Sutherland began performing poetry aged seventeen, as support for punk-poet John Cooper Clarke. In 2000 he became one of the founding members of the live poetry collective, Aisle16, with whom he continues to tour the UK. He has performed internationally at the Nitra Performing Arts Festival (2005), as well as competing in poetry slams in Germany and Switzerland. Ross has been published in poetry journals Reactions and Orbis and is a regular contributor to Liverpool’s Mercy magazine
. In 2002 he co-edited the new-writing collection Rock/text (Pen & Inc) with Gary Dylan Seal. Currently writing a thesis on computer-generated poetry, Ross also runs poetry workshops in schools/prisons/community centres across the North West. Since June 2002, he has been the host of monthly multimedia poetry club Fiction.

The Musician:

Liam Gerner
Liam is a hot new presence in contemporary singer songwriting. Born in Australia, he has been writing songs and performing since the age of 12, his original sound shuffles between genres: folk, country, rock, and blues. Lyrically, he captures an emotional spectrum, from delicate expressions of love, to courageous political commentary. Recent gigs include the WOMAD festivals (Australia, UK), The Borderline, the 12 Bar Club, and supports for Martha Wainwright and Teddy Thompson. Liam is currently London based while recording his debut album at Air studios with producer Andy Strange (Elton John, Robbie Williams). Visit Liam's website here.


present : tense 2

Following its thrilling, sell-out debut in October 2005, present : tense is back...

present : tense 2 will take place on Sunday 5 February 2006 at The Old Red Lion Theatre. Stay tuned for details of a fantastic line-up, and how you can get your hands on tickets.

present : tense challenges some of the UK’s most exciting young artists to respond to the most important news story of the moment in just seven days.

Four playwrights, four directors, two film makers, two poets and a musician convene on Sunday 29 January to scour the newspapers for the most significant story on the news agenda. They each have seven days to create a piece of work that responds to the topic they choose. As the news changes, they will be forced to adapt their work, until it is performed for the public exactly one week after they began on Sunday 5 February.

Throughout the week, the public can follow their progress on this blog, where each artist will post daily updates on their progress.

present : tense aims to be backlash theatre at its most responsive, offering artists the chance to have their say on the most important issue of the day. Back in October 2005, present : tense 1 tackled the terror attacks in Bali. Check out the archive for more details.

present : tense is hosted and curated by nabokov. hello!