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The annual review

By dgearing, Feb 12 2020 05:28PM

That's what this seems to be - written once a year only. I don't know why - I've been busy with things I am really proud to have been part of. These are principally being part of the permanent exhibition in Gods House Tower, the medieval tower in Southampton, and producing THE HOPE in 2019, a promenade play starting in a carpark and ending in a popup pub. The lastter project was really a huge labour of love, prompted by something that happened to me a couple of years ago, when I was going home late at night and discovered an unconcious woman lying by the side of the road. It gnawed at me for a very long time. When the opportunity for some seed money came up, a friend pointed out that now might be the time to do something with that story. It was a huge amount of work - I had to get permissions, an alcohol licence, organise it all, but THE FUSE COLLECTIVE and especially Annie from NEW ROAD THEATRE are all fantastic and we did get it done. And I think it was the best thing I ever did. And the most frightening. I felt responsible for everything. I will never do a project like that without a stage manager again! But oh, the actors, all of them - we were joined by students from Solent University on the Musical Theatre course, the audience, the city, the city, the city.

God's House Tower is open and such a lovely place. I did some writing for the permanent exhibition, working on stories from the archives. There is a pamphlet of poems and dramatic monolgues in the shop: THE TURNKEY'S WIFE AND OTHER POEMS, and I'll be recreating the poetry/theatrical event STONE SOUP in May. Busy Busy. More and more I see that history and location are important to me, but human stories and our interaction with the natural world are a deep part of my need to make things. I am learning to think about my work from a different perspective since I have been spending more time with visual artists. I love printmaking - it's a different way of thinking about something; the hands are occupied and flow is the thing. I think more about what I have made when I have done it. But there's no necessity for it to mean something big. Sometimes just the doing is enough. It certainly helps keep my head straight. Plays and writing sit in my brain and occupy me differently.