The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Tuesday, 7 February 1989

Who Is Emma Goddard?


It’s 10.30pm.

 

Dear diary…

 

‘In The Night’ – Pet Shop Boys



 

Life’s busy.

 

Thankfully, the BTEC Examiner will not be attending THE CHINESE PLAY this week, which is a weight off all our minds.  Still, the show goes on.

 

Carl Morris is useless.  Ron Johnson may have to take over as ‘Eddie’.  Who can tell?  The (to be ‘carefully choregraphed) ‘Dance/Fight Sequence’ (featuring six of the cast) has yet to be rehearsed, so that’s a job for tomorrow.  Jonny + I have come up with a few ideas for that, but that’s all so far.  But we’ve created some fabulous moments just lately.  Scene 5 isn’t too bad; I’m crap in it, but ‘Norman’ (Julian Ward) is fantastic.  Scene 10 is a killer also: Nigel Cameron + Jonny Badcock as ‘Boy’ and ‘Flash’ – it’s magical, it really is.  Unbelievably good.

 

Very few days to go.

 

Daniel Abbott + Jodie Ratcliffe set the lights today.  They did a great job and I just want to say that are both brilliant, in spite of all that crap last week.  They are good people and I do like them.  A lot.

 

Jonny + Kat are on the rocks.  Jodie reckons it’s because Jonny’s not mature enough to handle such an intense (dead stifling?) relationship.  I reckon it’s down to Kat being too possessive + grasping + childish.  Maybe it’s a bit of both of ‘em.  Six of one and half a dozen of the other.

 

‘Opportunities’ – Pet Shop Boys



 

Donna + I have agreed that our recent ‘off mood’ was stupid – especially the ‘QUILT’ argument.  She conceded that she currently has a lack of ambition and determination and promised (more to herself than to me) to do better, but neither of us can totally blame the other for what happened between us.  Again: six of one, half a dozen of the other.  Maybe our animosity stemmed from the fact that between us we’ve taken on most of the ‘backstage’ operation for THE CHINESE PLAY and the work is new to us – we’ve never done anything like this before, taken so much on – and it’s very, very hard.  But it can be fun, if we want it to be.  She admits she’s a worrier and she lets things get on top of her and this then gets her down.  Whereas, I never worry – not really.  Being worried creates a breeding ground for all kinds of negativity and bad feeling; which is why she felt so utterly pressurised.  She says she’s going to try and be more laid back about stuff in future.  Like me, she says.  But we have agreed not to work together for a while after this – except in the Dance work, which is ongoing.

 

If I am offered the opportunity of creating another production, I would love to do a musical/dance adaptation of FRANKENSTEIN, but with a kind of Universal/1930s look.  If not that, then a version of NOSFERATU.  Whichever one, I’d love it to feature Simon Lewis who is such a wonderful dancer.

 

Donna says she wouldn’t want to work ‘behind-the-scenes’ on my nest project, but she would love to be directed by me.  ‘You more than anyone else I can think of,’ she said.  That’s great.  How kind and lovely.  I wonder how many others across the department would say the same?  Not many, I suspect.  But I hope I am a good director.  I do hope so.  I’ve got the scars to prove I put the work in.  I do get down to it; I do get to the point.

 

My dance as God in the Fashion Show is coming along well.  I’m looking forward to the performance: my first public dancing.  We had a good laugh today, dancing about in the wings as the models paraded and strutted to the sound of ‘Left To My Own Devices’ – EVERYBODY’S favourite Pet Shop Boys track.  Chatting with Julian Ward, I discovered that he is, in fact, writing a play based on the song + it sounds rather good.  I like Julian, and if he wants, I’ll help him with his production in any way I can.  I’d like him to be Assistant Director on my next project, too.  We are on such a similar wavelength.

 

Later:

 

‘Paninaro’ – Pet Shop Boys



FANTASTIC!

 

Today, I lost my voice, which was tremendous for CHINESE PLAY rehearsals, I’m sure.  Luckily, by 1pm my voice had (mostly) returned in time for Emma + me to venture into CROFTERS yet again.  We chatted + chatted for ages.  I also got a wave from her bus this evening.

 

Emma is really great.  Really great.

 

Roll on 1pm tomorrow!

 

SO JUST WHO IS EMMA?

She has been a ‘friend’ since September and is a member of TS1 (Theatre Studies, First Year).  She is also a good friend of Julian Ward.  Her main desire is to become a dancer (something she is rather good at), but she also enjoys acting.  She also writes songs and is going to write some of her lyrics out for me.

 

She lives in Thetford with her mum, step-dad, sister + step-sister.  She recently turned 17.

 

She’s a bit of a romantic, and is – like me – exceptionally motivated by her work and the idea of a career.  But, in so many words, she has also told me that she needs to be cared for + looked after.

 

Musically, she likes, amongst other things, All About Eve.

 

She’s shorter than me, very slim, with blonde/gold hair.  She’s very civilised and much more sensible than me, with a lovely big smile.  She’s ‘drama student trendy’ and has a warm personality.  I like her a great deal.  I hope she’ll be my GOOD FRIEND.

 

I don’t want to get on her nerves.

 

Farewell, dearest diary.

 

Later:

 

‘West End Girls (Japanese Remix)’ – Pet Shop Boys



 

So today I lost my voice, which sent THE CHINESE PLAY into another flurry of emotional panic, but as I said, Emma I were still able to take tea.  This time, she paid (I paid yesterday), and it was clear we have become great friends.  That said, I must admit, it didn’t feel as amazing as yesterday – but this was because I was otherwise pre-occupied with being precariously ill.

 

Later:

 

‘The Boy With The Gun’ – David Sylvian



 

THE CHINESE PLAY

Carl Morris – playing ‘EDDIE’ – has become very unreliable.  He has attended perhaps only ONE rehearsal and even then he was definitely struggling with the script.  I shouldn’t have mistaken his enthusiasm for ability.  Donna and I have begun to carefully consider re-casting the role and the ideal candidate is Ron Johnson from one of the other groups.  He’s a very funny individual and a master of improvisation.  He would give ‘Eddie’ exactly what it needs.

 

Scene Five is one of my favourites, despite the fact that I haven’t really enjoyed playing myself.  It’s a very dull performance and I haven’t really found my way in.  Hopefully by the time we do the Theatre performance in May, I’ll be able to make ‘RICHARD’ a different character, someone slightly cockier, more vindictive and boastful; more ‘I’m older than you and I know better’.

 

I have designed tickets, posters and programmes, all of which feature cartoon-like artwork in sympathy with some of the sequences in the play.

 

As to the Lighting Plan: it was really good of Daniel and Jodie to give me their time and put my very basic lighting ideas into practice.

 

The rather uncomplicated set was designed by me and Donna.  Upstage left is the Take-Away counter; upstage right is Flash’s bedroom (bed, TV, chair, ephemera).  The downstage areas will be used for non-specific locations, and kept empty for the more animated set pieces.

 

At least the sour relationship that was developing between Donna and me is beginning to repair itself.

 

Without a voice today, though, it was very difficult to communicate ideas to the cast.

 





 

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