Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Winter Blues

In Edinburgh, in February, the streets and pavements turn a bluey-white as winter digs it heels in.  I used to suffer a little from SAD, but these days I try not to get too blue.  And tonight, I'm performing a sad little story about the sea, which is blue and green.  There's always green around the corner.  So here's the second of my sequence of poems about all things blue. Don't let it get to you.  

Twelve Tones of Blue
Canto II:    A joke, permitting male and female elements to be seen together.

Canto II

Two colours blue; now

the sun and its shadow,

mother earth to father sky,

pallid calm meets bilious green -

the like and liken ne'er to be seen:

a woman in a floral tie!

Monday, 4 February 2013

What am I?

Every so often a piece of writing makes such a profound impression on you, it never lets you go. For a writer, especially an aspiring writer, this can be an epiphany. For me, the poem ‘Wodwo’ by Ted Hughes is one such piece. http://www.cs.otago.ac.nz/staffpriv/alik/wodwo.html I even wrote my own take on this strange creature: you can read it here: http://throughtheturretwindow.blogspot.co.uk/2010_09_01_archive.html

This year, as I began my year-long attachment to the Traverse Theatre, I quoted the first lines from ‘Wodwo’ in my diary. It seems that now I must add ‘playwright’ to the list that heads my twitter-profile, and this blog. It’s a tricky expression, which I’m as uncomfortable with as the term ‘author.’


People love categories, pigeon-holes, types, and descriptions that don’t really mean anything. But any artist is likely to try and wriggle free of such proscriptive terminology. Watching the fifty-three plays that launched the Traverse 50 project last weekend, it is clear that diversity is the key.

I would describe it as an evening of theatrical channel-hopping. Every couple of minutes, there was a flick of a switch and we were in another world of incredible, original and mind-boggling theatricality, expressing the full gamut of what it is to be part of the strange world that, fifty years ago, the Traverse set out to explore.

Even so, I still felt like that Wodwo at the river’s edge, watching what The Scotsman described as "A torrent of creativity and potential," (http://bit.ly/14tvmAv ) wondering ‘What am I, then.’ I think it’s fair to say that ALL the Traverse 50 writers were awarded five stars in the first review that appeared. Read it here: http://www.edinburghguide.com/reviews/theatre/reviewplaysforedinburghbythetraversefifty-11842

So it seems that I’m a playwright; a five-star one at that! But while I’m bragging just a touch, I can also claim to be a writer and a poet, and possibly, performer. My next appearance will be under each of those claims, as this poster declares…

Keep searching, Wodwo: I exist.