Among the excellent things that happened during my period of omerta (in fact just a period of insane busy-ness) was an early-spring visit to the Georgian Theatre Royal, in Richmond, N Yorks, there to perform Something Rotten as part of a festival to mark the 400 years since Bill Shakespeare shuffled off his proverbial mortal coil.
Along with the fabulous Jenny Rowe I headed north at the invitation of the GTR’s Clare Allen, who has championed my work ever since I did The Trials of Harvey Matusow at her English Theatre of Bruges back in 2010. I subsequently did High Vis in Skipton when Clare was running the Mart Theatre – known to her daughter Amelie as "Mummy's stinky theatre", owing to the venue’s daytime ID as a sheep market. After a brief period at the Stratford Arts House Clare is now very happily masterminding the Georgian Theatre Royal, a venue not at all “stinky” in spite of its advanced age.
Aside from doing a very warmly-received show at the GTR (“masterful”, quoth the Northern Echo), we got time to see some of the abundant joys of Richmond – which, apart from a tour of the theatre itself (a must-do for any visitor, whether or not you’re planning to see a show), included a perambulation around the walls of the castle (that’s it below there, as seen from our window at Clare’s), and, it being unseasonably warm for April, a leisurely wander along the River Swale to see the ruins of Easby Abbey.
Y’know back in the early ’90s, when Russian cosmonauts returned to Earth in a state of confusion because the Cold War had ended and they were now citizens of a different country (ie the Russian Federation) to the one they’d blasted off from some months before (ie the USSR)? Well, it feels like that returning to this blog for the first time since early April.
It’s easy to exaggerate the enormity and the impact of last month’s vote to leave the EU – and I won’t add to the hysteria – but even so, it’s a pretty big step the UK has voted to take. Though I voted to Remain, I’m not convinced the decision to Leave is going to be an entirely bad thing for the EU as a whole – it may yet shock the thing at last into some serious reform; but there’s little doubt it’s going to be a huge thing for the UK. We’ve already seen a big rise in racist and xenophobic attacks (giving wrongful credence to the idea that every Leave voter was a nazi), and both the main political parties are struggling to emerge from post-Brexit meltdown. Hopefully these aftershocks will pass, and the business of striking the best freelance arrangement can begin, but one thing’s for sure: however things go, the post-Brexit transition will make a lot of work for politicians, civil servants, and, above all, contract lawyers.
Robert Cohen – a man in showbiz so stepp’d in that, should he wade no more, to go back were as tedious as go o’er. These are among his musings.