The worms have – very much – left the can. And, as we all know, entropy – or the arrow of time – prevents freed worms being returned to the same can. Perhaps I should explain the title: see I can hear your plaintive, beseeching cries.
I have spent three of the last four nights at the Nuffield Theatre – though none in quite the usual way. On Sunday night I went to see a Q&A with Tom Hiddleston who spoke about his career, theatre and film. This was very interesting and drew an overwhelmingly female audience, some from as far away as Canada and the Far East. I fear my own public speaking or Q&A sessions have not drawn such a broad audience (and have occasioned far less whooping) – and such audience as I can draw usually has their travel funded by their employers.
On Monday night, I went to see Experiment – a night of new writing laid on by the Nuffield Laboratory. This contained two fragments which may one day develop into full plays, the beginnings of a spoken word piece and an almost indescribable (but fun) audience participation piece. The night was enormously entertaining – far more than can usually be achieved for £4 – and I still find myself wondering what will happen (or had already happened) to the characters in the two play fragments and musing on the ideas from the spoken word piece.
Tonight I went on a Playdate – something I normally leave to my nephew. On these occasions (for adults… and me) a small group read a play and chat about it. Our play tonight was Loveplay by Moira Buffini – first performed by the RSC on my 35th birthday. This has a whole series of brief scenes (or vignettes), set in time periods from 79AD to 2001, each looking at an aspect of “love”. During the evening I played: a Roman soldier, a Saxon rapist, a 14th century playwright, a Victorian adulterer and a virgin schoolboy (typecasting, I know) from the 1930s. What a range! This was an indecent amount of fun (and was free) and I loved acting: I wanted to play all the parts and found myself just waiting for my next line. The play is somewhat comic, so I was also trying to milk my lines for laughs – where appropriate. If given the chance, I would also have done the foley work and given life to the stage directions.
At the end, the organiser asked if I was an actor – and an actual actor remarked on my confidence at a first reading. I am clearly wasted on PowerPoint presentations, the time has come for me to begin my stage career. Well, I believe it is in my blood (I think my grandparents participated in am-dram) and now it has finally been released. A star (and/or monster) is born! You have been warned! If you start running now, you may just avoid the consequences of tonight’s activities – but I wouldn’t bet on it!