the fear

For the first time i am working as a director without a writer. Normally at this point in the project i would be calmly lining up actors to prepare them to rehearse the exciting new play that my writer would be hurridly finishing off. Instead i am in total denial that i have 3 days to create a piece of theatre that responds in a useful and sensitive way to the terrifying abduction of Madeleine McCann and the almost unprecidented press response that has resulted. The first a tragic and personal event, the second a strange global reaction to it.

Taking part in a project like this requires you to believe that as an artist - director, writer, film-maker - you have a condusive contribution to make to the public dialogue about events that are a conern to us as individuals and as the society we make up. Journalists do this every day without question, as a duty to the public (or to sell newspapers, depending on your perspective). But that's quite a hard belief to hold on to. It's an even more daunting task when so much has already been written. What is left to say? And how to say it sensitively, believing it is contributing something useful?

A daunting but important task, I think.

I am working with two actors (so far) - Simon Darwen and Phoebe Whyte. Perhaps because I thought I had an idea or perhaps because the fear of turning up alone on Sunday with nothing to say has filled most of the time I have tried to think creatively about this project, I called them and got them on board.

They are both brilliant. At the moment their brilliance feels like my only hope.


links, links, links

and the topic is...

After much debate over a stack of newsprint in the upstairs room of a Soho pub last night, the present : tense artists decided the most important story on the news agenda was...

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann

They now have one week...