Boy in Darkness opens!

Week in work

Boy In Darkness opened! And although it’s not perfect, I’m immensely proud. In less than four weeks we have written, staged, designed and teched what I think is a gem of a show. It’s been hard work, but I’ve learnt an enormous amount and the effort has been utterly worthwhile. Highlights of the show are of course Gareth’s performance, Svetlana’s movement direction, and the stunning combination of Martin’s design and Fiffi’s lighting. I also think we’ve managed to retain the mystery, tension and language of the original novella without compromising on theatricality. With an extra week of rehearsals I would have loved to have sculpted each of the scenes a bit more clearly, and done everything I could to make the show scarier. Ultimately though, I think the show is rather brilliant, and I feel very blessed to have been involved. The Peake family came on Friday and gave it their unanimous seal of approval, which was the icing on the cake.


This was the first time I’ve put together a ‘mood board’ for the show, and given how jaw-droppingly beautiful the show looks, it’s certainly something I’ll be doing again. Check out the board plus images from the show here:

Theatre trips
Given that I spent the whole week in tech, previews and opening night for ‘Boy In Darkness’, I unsurprisingly didn’t make it to any theatre this week. However, lying in bed last night, I listened to a recording of Kate Tempest’s ‘Brand New Ancients’, which I saw last year at BAC. It’s an astounding piece – written in achingly beautiful modern verse, performed with virtuosic commitment and skill, underscored deliciously and telling an astounding modern epic. Just incredible. Had me in tears yet again.

Other cultural highlights

Ha! Not much time for anything else. Continuing to enjoy The Long Way Round on Netflix.

Reading stuff
Still stumbling along with Proust… After some delicious pages where the narrator glimpses the young daughter of Swann… we seem to be back to mind-numbing descriptions of Combray and the narrator’s family. Still, good to fall asleep to.

Miscellaneous Thoughts
Luckily I was able to get to yoga-brunch this Thursday at Hackney Downs Studio. It’s such a wonderful place to work, and the way in which they’re building a real community of artists is quite special. It reminds you that in a place like London, and in a career as transient as theatre directing, having that kind of place to go back to is a real privilege.

The Coming Week
So, there was me thinking I might have a bit of down time, but next week I’ve got a casting and design meeting for my next East 15 show (Haroun and the Sea of Stories – which I haven’t even had a chance to read yet), a meeting with my relationship manager at the Arts Council, a meeting with the Head of Publishing at the Bodleain Libraries about rights for ‘Instructions…’, and numerous other bits and bobs for the various other projects I’m working on. So, the silly season of being ridiculously busy continues! Luckily, I’m looking forward to all of these things, not to mention the culmination of the Six Nations on Saturday. I just wish they weren’t all coming so on top of eachother…

The week’s highlights
– Successfully navigating our way to Boy In Darkness’ opening night, and a cracking performance from Gareth to boot!
– Meeting with the Peake family and getting their seal of approval on the show
– Surprising mum in Cardiff for mother’s day
– Hanging out with Lily while she’s over from Berlin
– Riding the Kawasaki over the Severn Bridge – magical!
– Yoga Brunch at Heartspace

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