This year has been an interesting one for me in re-kindling my excitement and enthusiasm for theatre. One of the things which I take advantage of when I’m in London is it’s high proportion of plays that are performed every day here. Over the past few weeks I’ve had the privilege of going to see a couple of them. Which leads me to tell you of my first potential name-drop incident (however, not someone who turns up in Heat magazine).
I first came across Simon Stephens when our highly well connected drama teacher managed to get him to come and lead a couple of workshops on the play of his that we were studying. He’s originally from Stockport and is in his forties I believe. He’s been writing for the past ten years or so and has worked closely with The Royal Court Theatre from time to time.
I think the thing that struck me about this man (something I’m slightly embarrassed to admit) I thought he was really cool. Yeah I’ve said it. I’m the sort of guy who see’s someone who’s doing the sort of things I want to do and is going the places I want to go and (dare I say it) hero worships them slightly. He’s a big presence, always moving, always thinking, big eyes, tall and broad shouldered and dressed like an indie rock star.
I suppose that day really turned me on to the idea of writing plays, which I’ve loved the idea of ever since.
Anyway, I went with my brother Dewi (15) to see a play Mr. Stephens had written with David Eldridge and Robert Holman, (two other influential fellows in the theatrical world). So during the interval we went out onto the balcony for a breath of fresh air, but we didn’t get much because there was Simon Stephens himself, smoking a stick of coolness. I plucked up the courage to walk over to him and as always didn’t get to say what I wanted.
- (What I wanted to say) “I have a play being considered at the moment by the Royal Court.”
- (What I said) “I’ve been writing quite a bit.” Haven’t we all Rhodri.
- (What I wanted to say) “It’s interesting how your play is about five brothers, I’m one of five boys myself.”
- (What I said) “I like the play.” Not exactly intellectual criticism.
- (What I wanted to say) “Any tips on play writing you could give me would be so helpful.”
- (What I said) “I’m sure you and me will be collaborating one day.” Why not ask if you could do his shoelaces up and braid his hair?
But it was something, and he (when prompted, claimed to have) remembered me. So it’s cool. He waved bye to me at the end.
Today I went to see a play called ‘Ingredient X’ at the Royal Court. It was performed in the little upstairs bit that they have there. An intimate location, perfect for some eagle-eyed celeb watch (not that I care or nothing).
I saw this guy:
totally sitting with this girl:
And sitting behind was the playwright himself, Nick Grosso.
It once again comes down to this well connected drama teacher of mine who managed to get him to come to school and help out with the Arts Week, which I also helped out with.
So I was able to say a quick hello and he (might, maybe, probably not, just not that convincing) remembered me. He shook my hand and wished me good luck anyway.
God is great for giving us Jesus, ultimately the only one we need to bother seeking getting a look at, or have a chat with, he’s the only one worthy of any sort of worship. I pray I won’t let my idol-seeking eyes get too carried away.