Well my new birthday ‘year’ kicked off excitingly with the news that I’ve been awarded an Avalon Mentorship with theatre company Siege Perilous to develop my first full-length play for the stage, Tantalus.
I can’t call the last year horrible, because it had some wondrous moments and terrific things in it, but my goodness, it was stressful. Beyond belief really. So, once I made it to my birthday, I’d already resolved that for the rest of 2012 I’d work on the film projects that I’m committed to, and only take on one extra thing, the thing my gut most wants to write – a full-length theatre play. I have a solid idea and the ‘road’ mapped out but it’s daunting as stage-writing is relatively new for me. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, even more so after having a taste of the stage when my short play was performed at the Traverse last year as part of Noisy Words, and enjoying the intimacy of watching the reading of an excerpt of my feature, Masterbaker also at the Traverse at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival. Getting a place on the Mentorship means I can take on the task with much-needed support and guidance, and I’m dying to get started. Our first meeting is next week in Edinburgh. I need a new pen!
On a completely different tack, I watched Jane Eyre with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender (hence gratuitous pic), and was really pleasantly surprised by it. I’m a fan of the book, and have my own favourites in previous film adaptations so didn’t honestly think they could bring anything new to me. I was wrong. It’s not a perfect film, mind you nothing is, BUT as I watched it, I began to realise that actually I think it may be my favourite version. Wasikowska played Jane with such quietly fierce determination you could see it blazing out of her eyes in just about every scene, even through her troubles and grief. And Fassbender brought out not only the troubled side of his character’s history, but also the stultifying boredom of a man trapped in society as much as Jane is initially kept down in it. Expected to marry a woman of material substance and standing, but wishing instead, to be swept away by something passionate and ‘real’. Of course it’s very romantic with a whiff of eroticism as they try to resist each other, “whatever I do with this cage, I cannot get at you, and it is your soul that I want”…. but it’s also clever, well-written and looks beautiful. I’m going to have to watch it again. That’s always a good sign.