8th November 2015
It seems a long time go I set off to try and get Barbara Pym’s novel Quartet in Autumn brought to the stage. I’ve been thinking about it for at least five years and practically working on it for two and after table tennis communications between publishers and agents; after writing an agonising (for me at least) Arts Council England application, having it declined, re-submitted, awarded and paid; after email and meetings with producers and theatres; after meetings with the writer and meetings with theatres I am now in York (Leeds actually) on the eve of doing the R&D process to demonstrate how this story about being too scared to live your life can be physically placed on stage.
There are a lot of nerves kicking around, made ever more acute by having just been to a book group (The Leakest Winks, in York) to gauge their thoughts and feelings on the book to find that there is quite a contradiction to what I feel about the book. This follows The Pocklington Book Group last week who had quite different views; it’s book that cause debate, which is a fantastic spur to making it a live piece. Making theatre via focus groups can be a dangerous thing, however, it is very useful to have my opinions challenged and encouraged to re-visit and re-assess areas I may have become complacent about such as ‘who is it for?’, ‘what is its resonance now?’ and ‘why do I actually want to do it?’. Vital to be asked these questions, questions that need a simple answer to form the foundation on which this whole project is built.