Yesterday evening myself and a friend popped along to the theatre above the Latchmere pub, aka the home of Theatre503 in Battersea to see Paul Murphy's debut 75-minute Norse mythic play, Valhalla. And before I write anything else, if you want to see a taut, very-well paced and compelling play, then this is it! But it ends on 24th October (day after tomorrow!) Just don't go for the comfy seats, unless you plan on spending the evening in the comfy pub downstairs.
Valhalla means hall of the slain, and whilst escaping from the rising crime of the city to a fairly isolated Nordic research unit 'we could see the Northern Lights!', our couple played by Carolina Main (GP) and Paul Murphy (scientist) portray an increasingly intense relationship in meltdown towards mania. Both were fantastic actors, but I was shocked to discover that Murphy had had to step in on press night because his leading man could't go on - and so it seems Murphy has remained. Carolina Main was mesmerising, with her sharp lines, and her equally sharp, translucent face, and orange hair. I bought the play text, which I'm going to read over the weekend, and will no doubt post a little more.
Talking about reading play texts, in a bid to break the writing ennui that I've felt whilst spending the past few months nesting, I signed up to a playwriting course. The course, whilst developing the fundamentals, also includes a detailed reading of a full-length play, which is a good reason to get mine into sharper shape!
I'm currently reading Moya Cannon's new poetry collection 'Keats Lives', which I'm reviewing and will post a link to in due course. She's a very interesting writer, but one who is very aware of her place in the Irish tradition, nodding to Heaney, Mahon, et al. I suspect this, her fifth collection, will be on a fair few prize lists over the next year.