March 2nd 2018
Saint Augustine’s church, Haringey, is not easy to find – up a small side street off the ever-busy Green Lanes. Along with the house next door, it is home to the London Catholic Worker, who offer it as a house of hospitality alongside their many other charitable activities – especially their work with destitute and homeless refugees.
20th December 2017
In 1916, the world-famous philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell was ousted from his lectureship at Trinity College, Cambridge, because of his work for the conscientious objectors – more specifically, because of the scandal of his arrest for having written an article about one CO in particular (the much-abused Ernest Everett).
That summer, the government also denied Russell a US passport, preventing him from lecturing at Harvard, and banned him from speaking in certain parts of the UK – especially near coastal areas – ‘For fear I might signal to enemy submarines,’ as he sourly commented.
17th December 2017
Five days off…to launder my costume, hang out my costume, iron my costume … to eat, sleep and catch up on the piles of admin … to be taken to the opera as a surprise … then it’s back on the road up north on November 30th for three full-on days of touring.
Oct. 29th 2017
‘To beep, or not to beep, that is the question…’
Is that chap about to leave or not? Can’t tell. But he doesn’t look happy.
If I beep to show him I’m waiting, will he get in a strop?
Behind me, someone has decided that ‘To beep’ is the answer to the question.
Well – to honk, loudly…
‘I’m waiting to see if this chap’s going!’ I mouth impotently back at them.
Oh, give me a break…
Oct. 22nd 2017
33 years ago, I was being crucified nightly (twice on Thursdays and Saturdays)
in the haunting ruins of the old Cathedral in Coventry – in a production of the Medieval Mystery Plays – an extraordinary experience. Nuns, monks, and countless dog-collars were clearly visible in the audience – ‘Will I live up to these peoples’ ‘image’ of Christ?’ I asked myself each night before the plays began. My dad who, while he was alive, loyally followed me in productions all around the country, said of this one to a friend, ‘You know, it’s very hard watching your son being nailed to a cross so convincingly…’
So the tour bandwagon rolls on from Bewdley to Stroud, forty miles or so south in Gloucestershire… the bandwagon consisting of one man and his partner – his Peugeot Partner – (not getting anything for that plug, alas) – and his nine crates lovingly made from reclaimed wood.
Back to London for the weekend … and the laundry, the ironing, the admin … 24 brief hours to unpack, repack, recharge and then set off up the M1 again to the beautiful city of York and my first Airbnb of the tour – a very nice Airbnb but…no tea and biscuits outside the door in the morning!
Oct 16th 2017
‘On the second week of my tour
The schedule then led me
To a Quaker In A Pear Tree…’
No, of course he wasn’t IN a pear tree – I just couldn’t resist staying as true as I could to the Christmas ditty…
A request was received by Hull Truck Theatre for a complimentary ticket for my play from a Mr. Don Sutherland, a Quaker who had been a conscientious objector in WW2.
He had been involved in setting up agricultural peace communities in Lincolnshire…
could he also sell copies of his memoir about those experiences, and could he join me for the post show discussion? The answer from me was yes yes and yes! Oh – and could I ask how old Don is? Ninety seven.