BSC Address

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Just found this quote from Babette's Feast which I wrote in my diary in 1991:

"Through the world goes one long cry from the heart of the artist:
give me leave to do my utmost"

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I share the nation's reaction to the revelations about how MP's have been spending public money. And I am enjoying the delicious irony that the issue is being so gloriously exposed by the press.

Before rehearsing my role as a journalist in THE FRONT PAGE at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, I managed to organise three days experience with The Independent and a couple of days with a major tabloid. On my first day at the tabloid I was lucky enough to be assigned to their top journalist; he'd recently won Reporter of the Year and was an institution on Fleet Street. First off, he handed me about fifty receipts and six different coloured pens.

"Right then, do me a favour Neal and sign all these receipts with different names, using different pens. I'll fill in the amounts. And welcome to Fleet Street!"

The Independent was a lot less fun.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Having recently walked out of two acclaimed theatre shows (not managing to make it to the interval) I am left wondering what is it about modern theatre's insistence on being clever. Where did truth, humanity and tenderness go? The amount of times I sit in a theatre and wonder why no-one is actually speaking to each other, why nothing is really happening between people, where clever tricks and self-conscious staging has replaced the struggle to illuminate the human condition. And it seems to be getting worse.

When I see the type of theatre to which I aspire, such as the performances being given by the cast of TIME AND THE CONWAYS at the National, it's like a rare blast of warmth in a cold and increasingly desolate landscape. The rest of the time it's like living on another planet. What is it about our modern society that has driven theatre in this direction? Will we ever recapture the simplicity that makes theatre genuinely powerful? There are plenty of good-night's-out available in venues across the land, but how often are we providing theatre which can nourish the human spirit? Surely, in the end, that's what it's all about?


Last week I received a letter from a marketing company which stated they were leaders in their field for marketing and promotion. They suggested they could turn my company around, boost our business and raise our profile.

It started "Dear First Name"