Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Salvage had its press night at Riverside Studios yesterday. A bit of a misnomer, since the press didn't actually come.... having decided that their (admittedly rather good) coverage of Strange Resting Places was enough for Origins. Still, there was a very good house, with some really exciting guests - not least Alanis Obomsawin, who had just arrived from Canada in the morning. We're really excited that she's going to be involved for the rest of the Festival.

Alanis loved Salvage. It's a very poetic, mystical play - which in itself is strange, given that it's set in a contemporary reservation, and deals with the aftermath of a car crash. Diane Glancy, the writer, gves a powerful sense of contemporary realities in Native life (and pulls no punches about the social problems), but at the same time she allows room for the spirituality of the culture, and the sense of living in a continuum with the past. The main vehicle for this is the character of the father, Wolfert, who is played with amazing sensitivity by the Lakota actor and storyteller Robert Greygrass. I talk to him over drinks afterwards, and he tells me that this character is very familiar to him. A lot of older men don't exactly live by the old ways, but they feel very close to them. The scenes where he talks to his dead wife in the cemetery are really powerful.

So - now I can't wait for Windmill Baby tonight! It previewed yesterday, and I finally got to see David Milroy and welcome him and the team to London. To think it's two years since he and I first talked about doing this - and now they are finally here!

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