There’s a gallery, here it is, chairs in rows. People walk in. Some people talk, people who didn’t arrive together. Others sit alone, run hands through hair, wait. Some drink water. I’m thirsty, go to the sink. I see a good friend has made it, that’s good. Someone’s rushing around with paper. That woman looks familiar but I can’t remember her name. Actors off to the sides, one makes a funny face at me, very unprofessional. Now it’s 7:15pm, woman gives man a nod. Man stands up and talks (that’s me). Another man talks, he’s Reverend Paul from the church. Actors assemble, take the light, begin...
I introduced the night by saying some words out loud:
‘There are three main reasons we’re doing this:
1. To try out the text.
2. To begin a conversation.
3. To appeal for funding.’
And in retrospect?:
1. The text was tried out. For the next three days (Halloween and fireworks as backdrop) I reflected. Yarn to untangle. The play-reading did not go as well as I hoped, which stung. I made notes. The reception, as I read it, wasn’t bad, though it was contained, complex, apprehensive, brain-heavy; ‘I cannot yet process what I’ve just experienced’. Diaphanous. That’s okay for now.
For perhaps two days I felt crushing doubts and enervating dejection. I know this to be a good sign. I have a renewed faith in the project. This is a marathon. Much was brought to light by the reading. Not least a reaffirmation that in SUN, the idea of text being a primary, predominant narrative element will be exploded.
2. A conversation has begun. Thank you to the people who have met for beers, who have emailed, who have interrogated, who have considered in passing whilst crossing streets, who have drawn attention to, who have mumbled incoherent, half-awake wonderings. There is so much to talk about, to try, to dig up.
3. Funding will come. There are many promising avenues. If you know of more, do let us know.
After the reading some of us made our way to St Leonards Church where SUN will be performed. Wonderful home-made food courtesy of Eva's Kitchen. Someone handed me a beer and I’m certain I was momentarily luminescent. A light, electric feeling of relief pursued by supreme exhaustion. Amusing, elucidating conversations, some big disagreements. My vocabulary waning. Wanting to lie down right there. Awe at the church. I watched the actors for signs.
In the time since there’s been a lot of good feeling. That’s very encouraging. London is a hungry city, one of the hungriest; it’s horrifying, morbid and exhilarating.