Friday, August 23, 2019


Further catch-up on what I’ve seen and done over a busy summer.

An excellent EQUITY MEETING  on 16th July at the Old Vic focussing on Equality and Inclusion.  No time available to raise issues of age, ageism and inclusion with Neil, the dedicated Equity officer, who had to dash off and catch a train. Afterwards we skyped with actor Daniel York who had much to say about limited opportunities for BAME actors but did put his foot in it when he stereotyped (female) casting agents in an ageist way!  We pulled some faces and I suggested to him that we should all call out misrepresentation and under-representation of any social group  in the performing arts.

I’ve been so lucky this summer to see some amazing work.  So in no particular order:-

My friend, Louisa Fearnley’s BTEC group performance at the CIRCOMEDIA SCHOOL.  She and they must have worked so hard on what was an inspirational, awe-inspiring show.  Such tremendously talented young people not only in terms of the circus skills they demonstrated but the sincerity and imagination of all the sequences.  

Also incredibly uplifting was the verbatim theatre work which the BRISTOL OLD VIC’S ADULT COMPANY shared in July.  This brought home how much, particularly at this point in time, we need good food for the soul such as my BOV friends created that night.

Some performance opportunities.  Some time back (May Bank Holiday?) I agreed at short notice to take on the role of a woman with dementia in a trial of a script entitled “BOLTHOLE” submitted to the literary associate at the Old Vic.  Two hours rehearsal with three other actors – really good sorts and a lovely director – and then straight on as an item in Bristol Old Vic’s Open Stage event. My singing of an obscure folk song at intervals left much to be desired but I hope that overall we did the author justice and that she gets some mileage from it.

Then a fantastic event.  A creative methodologies one day conference 24th July at  University of Gloucestershire held by the WOMEN, AGEING AND THE MEDIA RESEARCH GROUP.  I was there to assist Peta Murray in her performance / presentation capturing the essence of her Missa Pro Venerabilibus  - an amazing immersive theatre work on women and ageing as a creative process.  This was integral to her PhD thesis which she has very kindly shared with me.  A fantastic range of presentations and it was lovely to catch up with an old gerontology conference friend, Bridie Moore.    Bridie’s doctorate was incredible incorporating the significance of older women in contemporary theatre and I always enjoyed her conference presentations.  This day she presented work in progress; filming on her phone her experiences as an older woman walking alone through late night club land in Leeds.  

 I was delighted to host Peta in Bristol the following weekend. She’s such great company and I so appreciated being able to share ideas and future projects with such an inspirational woman.   We took in two plays on the Saturday: Emma Rice’s “MALLORY TOWERS” and a never less than excellent comedy at the Wardrobe Theatre, “VET DETECTIVE”

Peta left me a copy of one of her plays: “SALT”.

This charts the relationship between  a woman, Laurel and her adult daughter, Meg  across time but in one space – the kitchen.  As they age, conflicts and care are played out  in real time through the activity of cooking.  Literally!  Real ingredients, real recipes.  Very appropriate for Bristol as a foody city. 

Coming up: the business of being a NOTEPAD WARRIOR courtesy of SCOTTEE.

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