Saturday, March 04, 2006

Post-Natal Depression

This always happens after a production - one day I might even get used to it. I think it's to do with something we talk about in both Dis-Orientations and Orientations: the way in which the theatre can feel more real to its makers than the apparently "real" world. It feels very grey to walk out into a world which is less heightened, less intense, more - well - mundane.

At present the mundanity consists of trying to give the project its professional structure. We still don't have definite dates for our London run, and everything else depends on that. All the rest of what we're doing (casting, marketing, PR, even the co-production agreement with the Yue company) is to a degree dependent on this.

I spend Monday afternoon with Guy Chapman and Chloe from his office: who are both very excited about the splash they feel this show could make. The same is true of the producer Christopher Ager, who I meet at the Actors' Centre on Wednesday. He was at Central last Saturday night, and feels the show has "commercial potential" (which I'd not even started to imagine - but he clearly knows what he's talking about). But Christopher needs the show to have been launched in London before he can make anything of it elsewhere. I do a consultancy session with Lucy on Thursday, and a seminar on advertisisng copy on Friday (during which I draft quite a decent bit of blurb for the show). It feels like everything is in place except the thing which will let it all fly. It makes me feel restless, broody, a litttle lost.

I go back in to Central on Friday night to see Brixton Stories: Biyi Bandele's play, directed by himself and performed by the four black actors in the third year. It's a mad, magical realist take on the contemporary black experience in London, and I find myself laughing a lot. But it doesn't have the power of Bandele's plays with their roots in Africa itself (his versions of Things Fall Apart and Oroonoko are both quite brilliant). Beside these, this play feels a bit slight, a bit lacking in raison d'ĂȘtre.

I start to plant some seeds for 2007. Talk to Paul and to Rebecca Gould about further development of our science piece, and move forward the ideas for more work with Africa. Also make a first contact with Penny Mayes: she's keen to work with us on the production side, and now Wojtek's gone, I really need somebody there. Even if it's just a friend to talk to and stop this job feeling so very alone. I guess that's one of the reasons for the post-natal depression: you direct a piece, and you're surronded by people. Then the piece ends, and they all just disappear.

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