Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I spent this morning back at Riverside Studios, talking to Louise and Alex about the show. It's not all doom and gloom - quite a lot of the discussion is about the show's beauty and the incredibly positive response it's got from everybody who saw it. We all know where the problems were (see previous blog posting!), and it seems the low attendances haven't put them off the company. Louise says she wants to keep the relationship, and that, of all the "slavery shows" landing on her desk for 2007, ours is by far the most exciting. That's been the response from lots of other people too - so I think the future looks much rosier than one might expect.

Very interesting conversation with David Zoob at Rose Bruford: he thinks that if we'd done a similar show with a similarly high-profile visiting performer from the Middle East, we'd have been everywhere. He's probably right: it's all a matter of which war the press have decided we're fighting at any given moment. A bit ironic given that all the news programmes last night were suddenly being broadcast from Tiananmen Square: thanks to the antics of North Korea with their nuclear tests.

Dis-Orientations isn't over. This morning, as I sat on the train to Hammersmith, I found myself re-writing a scene. I'd felt for a while that the rhythm of the play was wrong in the section around the lovers' quarrel, that it all happened too fast and didn't really explain what happens to Alex. Today I realised it had been staring me in the face since Nancy did her response to the interview with the Chinese "lesbian" (I put the word in inverted commas because the woman herself rejected the label) back in the first week of rehearsals. The scene has to be about Song's identity - the fact that sexuality alone is not sufficient to constitute an identity in China. It's under the surface anyway (this is surely why she moves the focus to her mother), but it needs to be put into words. So - there we are - we have to do the play again!

It's infuriating that I probably would have got to this after a couple of performances, and been able to rehearse it in, except that the moment press night was over, all my attention and energy went to selling the show. Hum...........

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