Full Circle

By dgearing, Aug 20 2018 11:33PM

By this I mean - it's around a year since I thought I'd start a blog, which is pretty rubbish, but here I am again. And I'll keep at it this time, I hope. I'm starting to think of the Tower again - Sarah Filmer and I have put in for some money for an exciting project, which I really hope comes off. I still find myself wandering down to the Tower, thinking of more things to do there. Building has started and in 2019 God's House Tower in Southampton will have a whole new lease of life as an arts and heritage centre, under the wing of Dan Crow and Aspace. Dan is a marvel - wooing councils,owners of empty properties and heritage bodies into making space for art to happen. It's a tremendous boost for the town and the community of artists here. I wonder what it is that makes someone so quiet and thoughtful so successful at doing this. For sure, hard work is part of that.

Like writing - it won't happen without the hard work.

Sometimes it's hard to write, but if you don't, nothing will come of it. Art, writing, making theatre, film-making - all these things require graft and commitment and we have to stick at it if we want anything to happen.

I was reminded of this when I went to Berlin recently. I first lived there in the early 80's, and whilst I was there I made some of my best and now oldest friends. My friend Baerbel Freund, film-maker, had a restrospective with some friends in the Arsenal Kino at Potsdamer Platz.. One of the films shown was Die Spielregeln, a film we had made together following our work with a theatre group there - Stimme und Bewegung. When I was young, and acting was all I thought about, having a film on at the Arsenal (then in a completely different place, of course) would have been my dream. And now - many years later - that film was on in the Arsenal, and I sat and watched it. And it was odd - to see myself so young, so huge on the screen and be that person, but not that person any more. I was able to see the film as a whole, to understand better what it was doing, and also to see how good it was, how good all the film- makers that evening were. And they have stuck at it, through thick and thin, making their films when they could. And I found that quite moving - and I admire them for it.

You can't pull theatre out of the bag years after it's happened - we are live, a performance is a vanishing thing. That's partly what makes it special, what connects it to ritual. Video records are thing of their own. They are not theatre. I enjoy some of the new productions in the cinema, but I appreciate them as a slightly different thing, their own thing. Most video records are flat and static and can't give us much beyond the disposition of bodies on stage and technical 'how' of a production. The breath is missing.

I feel as though I am coming full circle now, as I start to perform my poems. It seems to make sense - I can read them, most are made to be read. It's a new challenge but one I hope will also take me to some new spaces this year.