After an extraordinary masterclass in the life and work of solicitors and estate agents, Kath and I can honestly say out loud (and believe) that we will be leaving Suffolk this week after 11 years in Gothic House, and heading to Blackness to start a Scottish chapter in our lives. We take over the Post Office House with its lovely studio space which will, like the front of our chapel here in Great Finborough, be the safe space for the nurturing of new shows and solo work by members of the Authentic Artist Collective and others.
This week my job at Mountview has been advertised, as I gave eight months notice in order to allow me to complete the leading of the 3rd cohort of MA Creative Producers with their festival Catalyst in July. If you would like to join Mountview at an amazing time as it moved into its new building in Peckham in September. I am excited at the level of applicants coming through for this course, which caps at 12 students a year. It is clearly on the radar across many nations and many universities.
As well as settling into our new house, and making it safe and welcoming for Kath’s mum at 91 (and still the best maker of soup for lunches ever), we will be exploring the history of this house and village, originally under the ownership of the Marquis of Linlithgow. There are 156 residents, an historic castle used as a film set by Zefferelli and others through to the current Outlander series, wonderful flat walks along the Firth of Forth watching an amazing array of birdlife (and a whale last week I gather), and Blackness Boat Club which will, I hope, be welcome to non sailing English folk.
Last weekend was the annual Open Space conference where 300+ devoted and disgruntled creative theatremakers came together to be, well, devoted and disgruntled. By the end of hundreds of discussions, so many new ideas were born including different ways to fund the arts and ways to make stuff happen. I opened space for my own early r&d into a new show, Revelation – The More Show, which opened up my ideas to different scrutiny from a group of experienced live artists working with the body as canvas. I am ready now to start making this piece of theatre. It will be one thing to work on in my new office, and on my 2 train journeys a week until July from Edinburgh to London. Can’t wait.
We will miss much of the Vaults Festival during our move. We did catch the wonderful Peter Groom as Marlene which was powerful, moving, deeply informative for me as someone unaware of her wartime work, and glorious to witness Peter drawing down the spirit of Marlene into a stunning frock. If you missed it and you manage theatres or festivals, then get in touch with him and book it. If you are a lover of theatre, music, and moving experiences, then keep an eye open as Peter will surely be touring this work in his repertoire for the next 20 years.
This blog is also a thank you to all the creative, spiritual, family, friendly supporters who have held us safe as so many unexpected things happened along the journey of selling and buying. I don’t know whether the estate agents, the lawyers, and the buyers and sellers know how much creative energy and radiant light was being directed at them from at least 4 continents. The result is Kath and I are returning to live in Edinburgh where we both lived, even in the same street, in the 1980s before we knew each other.
We have four days to move in, get some building work done, and get unpacked before Kath starts directing Kath Bruce’s new show, and I get back into the Mountview process of teaching and preparing for Catalyst 2018. Plus starting a new play project with Stagescripts, and coaching. Exciting year ahead.
Now where’s that empty box – time to fill it with files. The title photo is Post Office House 1907…and here is 2018 awaiting our boxes, and the many visitors who will fill it with theatre, creativity, budget plans, and projects.