Spent most of today fine-tuning my overture to Samuel French, with regard to the aforementioned Propaganda. They don’t accept unsolicited scripts, but, as I learnt only recently from my friend Simon Eden (whose fabulous play Albatross 3rd & Main they’re about to publish), they will accept a 10-page sample and then, if that takes their fancy, ask for more later on. Tip for the top! Yeah, except that right now they’re not accepting anything. I rang the Submissions department in pursuit of some minor formatting enquiry, and discovered in the process that they’ve a temporary moratorium on submissions, while they clear the backlog from Christmas. So I really needn’t have spent all day on that task. Oh well, at least it’ll be ready when they open up the gates again.
Meanwhile, I’ve written yet another play. It’s called The Causeway, and a little bit of it is to be heard next Wednesday at a scratch night at the Rialto, in downtown Brighton. I’ve cast two great performers to be in it, but their schedules make it difficult to get them in a room at the same time (the fact that one’s my wife and the other’s one of her housemates makes things not particularly less complicated), so I'm having to rehearse with them separately prior to our all getting together for a precious 90-minute rehearsal in the space next Tuesday. Sounds (it might be argued) like a lot of argy-bargy for a 15-minute script-in-hand performance. Perhaps so, but I attended the previous Rialto scratch night in December, and the bar was set very high. So I rehearsed with Emma tonight – she’s playing Kitty, the younger of two sisters returning to Florida 30 years after a childhood trauma which has overshadowed both their lives. I’m quite new to this directing lark (though I’ve got a short film in snail-like post-production), and find myself excited – well nigh intoxicated – by the way a performance can improve exponentially over the course of just a few readthroughs. When this evening started, I’d thoughts of staging the reading simply as that – Emma and Jenny sat facing out at the audience, just reading, maybe with me in the middle doing stage directions. After an hour and a bit of rehearsing, I knew the thing had to be fully functional. And so shall it be.
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.