Skip to main content
It's been a while. Am now trying to work out what plays I've seen and books I've read since the last post. I went to see Imelda Staunton in Good People at the Noël Coward theatre in Covent Garden. It was a good play. Imelda Staunton's Irish American Boston / New Jersey / whatever accent was first class. And once again had me lamenting for a solid genre in British novels and theatre. The US does blue collar so much better. In May it was to the fantastic Bush Theatre to see Nick Payne's new play, Incognito, a literally cerebral play about Einstein's brain. Back to accents and the range of them voiced by the four actors (I think it was four) was dizzying and hugely impressive. Skylight is the west end play to see at the moment, starring the lovely Bill Nighy and the (very much younger) Cary Mulligan. Tickets are proving hard to buy unless you're willing to pay over £120 a seat or willing to stand! I love the name Cary Mulligan. My sister had a cat called Mulligan, which ran away and turned up in the local park, having found a new home on the other side of it. But I digress. My own play is 'out there' with a few off west end theatres. I shall report on responses in due course. I still feel as sure of it as I did last year when I felt the urge to scribble it down. And I'm now also getting 'snippets and slices' of other stories - more suitable for books than stage. The creative fermentation process. A lot has happened since my last post. I am now in a relationship with a wonderful man, for whom I recently bought the new treatise on Baghdad: City of War, City of Peace... which is the first major history in over a century. It's had many good reviews and the opening is compelling. I've just finished reading the first novel in ages - Elizabeth Strout's The Burgess Boys. Strout won the Pulitzer Prize for 'Olive Kitteridge', which I have beside me. The Burgess Boys was a good novel - but Zachary - the son of the sister of the Burgess Boys (!) is not adequately drawn. He's too passive and doesn't convince as an apparently 19-year-old man. Having said that, it is good book managing to weave inner generational issues and stories with a tragic incident at its heart. I have started drafting an article on my Dad for Annagh, the parish magazine of the area in Mayo that my Dad came from. But I'm not close to finishing. At all. Maybe by the next post it will be done. Onwards!

Popular posts from this blog

Who was Mary Burns?

On 7th January 1863 Mary Burns was found dead from a suspected heart attack. She was 43 years old. Since her death Mary has received barely any attention despite the fact that she spent over twenty years as the common-law wife of Friedrich Engels, one of the world’s most influential thinkers and the co-founder of Marxism.

Born in 1822, Mary was the oldest surviving child of textile dyer and factory operative, Michael Burns, and Mary Conroy, Irish immigrants from Tipperary. Mary’s parents had married at St. Patrick’s in an area known casually as Irish Town, one of few Catholic churches in Manchester at that time. The year of Mary’s birth and her infancy were significant in that Manchester was still dealing with the aftermath of the event that became known as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, a peaceful protest of the working-classes on the site of St. Peter’s Fields in which several people were killed and hundreds injured. The Massacre occurred when magistrates, alarmed at the size of t…

Booker Shortlist announced

It's been a while... I know. Dog walking on the Downs, a bit of theatre, a bit of baking, a bit of writing etcetera etcetera. I also managed to read two complete books in the past month, which I was so pleased about. I had not read a whole book for about a year. The first was A Lie About My Father by Scottish poet/writer, John Burnside; a very well written memoir about father and son, but like all memoirs, some unreliability I felt. Poignant and tragic in equal measure. Then my husband returned from Cyprus (too hot for me this time of year, I can barely cope with England!) with Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong. He loved it. And then I read it and also loved it. I had originally picked it up several years ago but didn't get beyond Amiens, where the first section is set, but was really glad I did this time around. Another incredibly well written book in the style of a good Victorian! I felt a bit unsure about bits of Elizabeth, in the later section, but I have never learnt so muc…

Good Canary

Forgot to mention that we went to see Good Canary at Kingston's Rose Theatre last week. Star role played by the brilliantly intense Freya Mavor, who plays a speed addict. It's directed by John Malkovich - his UK's theatre directorial debut. Will try and post more about it later.