Dramaturgically out of place

Photo: M.J. Chung

Part of the Invisible Diaries series:

Week 11 / Day 3

Week 11 / Day 2

Week 11 / Day 1


It’s been a challenging day. While I’m trying to engage with campaigns to save our theatres, I find it incredibly upsetting to be continually reminded of the very real and very dire statistics about the imminent collapse of the British theatre industry. My last two entries have been orderly essays, with central ideas. This entry is not those entries. Today is a day of scattered thoughts.

Thought 1:

I’m listening to Patti Smith’s ‘Horses’, for comfort. What I would really, really like is to listen to the original vinyl record, but that’s in my flat in London, along with everything else I own. For some reason, I find 1970s alternative culture comforting, perhaps because it reminds me that great art can come out of difficult times. After all, if Patti could make ‘Horses’ while she was living in a New York City that was broke, dirty, lawless and often on fire, while in a complex semi-romantic, semi-platonic relationship with the very complex Robert Mapplethorpe, while America recovered from Nixon and the Vietnam War, I can make some work now.

Thought 2:

Sometime at the beginning of this year, I thought to myself, I have so many writing projects I’d like to finish but I have too much other work to do, too many things to apply for and too many distractions. Wouldn’t it be nice if the whole world just stopped? If there was nothing to do and nowhere to go. Then I could write all the time!

Yeah. You bet I’m regretting making that wish.

Thought 3:

I’m trying to finish a novel. I started it because I was at a wedding a couple of years ago and ran into friends who had started a literary agency. I was a bit drunk and told them I was writing a novel. I wasn’t, but I thought it was a good idea to tell them I was. Why? I don’t know. Because I’d had too many glasses of wine. Kind as they are, they asked me to send them some pages. So, I had to start writing a novel. It’s hard and very different from writing a play. It’s so long! There are so many words! I have to write descriptions!