The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Tuesday, 10 January 1989

Play Underway


‘Boys and Girls’ – The Human League



 

After a lazy hiatus from my writing, I began sketching out further ideas for THE CHINESE PLAY.  I’m trying to create a play that doesn’t look too contrived.  By the same token, I don’t want to simply confine the drama to the incidents and conversations as they actually happened (despite the project’s remit); I’d like to exaggerate the truth and also add some fantasy sequences that are based on the reality.  I want a blend, a blur, in which truth and untruth are indistinguishable; where the difference between fact and fiction is never overtly apparent. 

 

Already some people are referring to the script as a comedy.  But it isn’t, no way.  It’s simply a drama with humour; an exaggerated biographical observation of true events.  What it really is, is a map of my mind and an analysis of my love for Flash.  A love letter, maybe.  It’s full of characters we’ve met and situations we’ve fouled. 

 

Actually, in some respects, I think I’ve failed with the characters.  I had perceived them to be original, but already students and tutors are imposing British stereotypes upon them, likening them to already established literary characters which is astounding.

 

Success for the whole thing will really hinge upon the connection between myself as the director, and the actors.  I know I don’t want them to be strictly bound to the script if it’s going to inhibit any flickers of brilliance they may wish to bring to their roles.  The script is but a basis for the work.  It’s important that – even though I’m the writer, director and producer – the characters aren’t solely ‘mine’; they need to be owned by the respective performers also.  The actors need to bring themselves to the role, which is why careful casting is crucial.

 

From Larry Goodgirl I have negotiated two dates for performances in the NORCAT Drama Studio (February 9th + 10th).  I have also ‘engaged’ Donna Davidson as Assistant Producer/Assistant Director.

 

During the afternoon, I wrote a scene involving ‘Flash’ and his Careers Teacher, which I was very pleased with.  Then I got on with casting interviews.  I spoke to all interested Drama Department students, but didn’t ask for audition pieces.  I chose to judge them based on personality, how they looked, and on previous works I had seen them in.  I was asked to ensure my casting had some room for students that might not normally be given the best opportunities.

 

It’s perhaps a mistake (yet again!) to make THE CHINESE PLAY a springboard/opportunity programme for other students, but if I didn’t it could very easily become more self-indulgent than it already is.  Having committed to this path, I am already wondering whether or not any future shows I produce might be better served by me prioritising the success of the work, rather than running a YTS for disenfranchised students.

 

Later:

Dear diary, it’s:

a quarter past seven.

 

‘Alabama Song’ – The Doors



 

Life is wonderful, despite the obvious fact that we are approaching our Apocalypse.  Danny agrees with me that this is, as pointed out in Crisis magazine, tribulation – the process of destruction prior to our annihilation.  Should be sad, I suppose.  The signs are all there: FAMINE, CONFLICTS, DISASTERS, EARTHQUAKES, VIOLENCE, etc.  Chemical weapons are extremely topical at the moment.  And all the political tensions (eg. America/Libya) seem to be casting a shadow of imminent war upon us.

 

So, why aren’t we all scared?  Acceptance, I guess.  Since the end of World War II the world has grown tired of cowering in fear of a final END, coming to accept that fearful possibility as a fact of life.  It’s become an issue hardly worth losing sleep over.  We are in a period of simply ‘making the most of it’.  Most of us are like kids, being pushed about by adults who hold all the power; administrators and leaders telling us what to do; leaders devoid of love or even vivacity.

 

To tell you the truth, I’m ecstatically happy with MY life.  What a wonderful treasure it is.  Work has recommenced on THE CHINESE PLAY, and everything looks positive: two performances at 2pm on 9th + 10th Feb, and further shows during the first week of April.  I wrote a lovely piece today about ‘Flash’’s subject options at A-level.  Sorry, Flash; twisted your life a little beyond the truth, but never you mind – it’s damned good!

 

THE CAST WILL BE (as far as I can remember…)

 

RICHARD

Ritcherd J. Winterfood

 

FLASH

Jonny Badcock

 

EDDIE

Carl Morris

 

NORMAN

Julian Ward

 

SHARON

Sharon Fielding

 

MANDA

Kat Hill

 

GERRY

Donna Davidson

 

DAVE

Jamie Davenport

 

LOLA

Tracey Joyce

 

CUSTOMER

Darren Marsh

 

THREE YOUTHS

Lee-Anne Jones, Jolene Morse, Kenneth Farnham

 

A green man in a tie…

A smiley man…

 

‘Hate My Way’ – Throwing Muses



 

I dreamt of Sinead last nite.

 

Donna’s letter finally arrived today.  The post must be useless.

 

Charlotte Kneale is another of the Earth’s treasures.  Her beautiful long hair + wonderful glowing features tantalised my soul today.  Donna feels Sophie might ‘like’ me.  I find this hard to believe.

 

DO I CARE?

 

Clarissa was extremely sociable today.  I told her of THE CHINESE PLAY.  I told Astra Trellis of THE CHINESE PLAY.  I TOLD ALL OF THE CHINESE PLAY!

 

I love college once again.  Thank the heavens the work is now flowing in.

 

Goodbye acid house...

 

‘Subterranean Caves’ – Radiophonic Workshop



 

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF ‘DOCTOR WHO’

ALL-TIME FAVOURITES

 

FAVOURITE DOCTOR


Tom Baker


Sylvester McCoy

 

FAVOURITE COMPANION


Tegan Jovanka

 

FAVOURITE VILLAIN


Captain Cook

 

FAVOURITE MONSTER


The Daleks

 

FAVOURITE STORY


The Happiness Patrol

 

FAVOURITE WRITER


 

FAVOURITE PRODUCER


 

FAVOURITE SEASON

Twenty-Five

 

FAVOURITE NOVELISATION


The Sontaran Experiment by Ian Marter

 

TOP THREE OTHER SF/FANTASY TV SERIES

THE PRISONER


THE AVENGERS




 

‘Vicky’s Box’ – Throwing Muses



 

Blood fire…

Steel Love…

…Only in my head…

Badlands…

 

GRUMPY!

 

Love

Fire

Steel

Blood

 

‘…it’s me…’

 

‘Oh no…’

 

BREAD AND CIRCUSES

 

Fog…

 

Yes…

 

Fog…

 





 

[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]

 

Next time: ‘Song and Dance…’

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