I've got a new flatmate. The party animal, August, has moved out taking all his friends with him. The newcomer, September, has brought nothing so far but a rhinovirus and a to-do list. Life is all adjustments from now on.
In a strange way, though, the last couple of months have been an unusually focused affair. Since the end of May I've been almost entirely focused on Going Viral. Party animal August may be, but he's also a monomaniac.
The autumn is much more scattered. Here's what it holds:
- touring Going Viral. I had one day off between the last show in Edinburgh and the first show on tour (in Glasgow), but basically it's straight on with it, with eleven dates in the autumn and plenty more coming up in the spring.
- re-rehearsal and touring of Error 404, the show for children aged 8+ which I made for Polka Theatre earlier this year. I can't wait to get the robot back out of its box. It's a short tour in October and November, but there'll be plenty more of this in the spring too.
- writing the words for The Deal Versus the People, a co-production between Common Wealth and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. This is happening terrifyingly soon: all of the writing is being done out of what happens in rehearsals, which start in just over a week.
- R&D on a new project in the Story Hunt family: Tiny Heroes. This is a co-commission from Beaford Arts in north Devon and the Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter. We've made seven Story Hunts now and every time we build it from scratch in little over a fortnight. Given the target audience - places with low engagement in the arts, places which may not even have a theatre - we have to keep costs low, so the rapid turnaround makes sense. But I'm exhausted and can't make any more shows in a fortnight for a while. Tiny Heroes is a variation on the model, where we will still have considerable local engagement - but the show will feature a rotating roster of material, topped up in each new place, rather than being made entirely afresh. It'll also be a two-hander. I've spent too much time on stage by myself lately. Speaking of which:
- the final stages of R&D on Sarah Punshon's We're Stuck, on which I'm working as a performer along with Seiriol Davies and a fabulous team. This is being finished at Shoreditch Town Hall in spring 2016 before a short tour. And it's produced by the excellent China Plate.
- the very early stages of a new interventionist choral project with team Wonderstruck (Sarah Punshon and Boff Whalley). I'm not sure whether I'm allowed to officially announce this yet, so I'd better keep schtum. Suffice it to say that something will enter the world in summer 2016.
- the first draft deadline on a seed commission for one of my favourite theatres in the world. If they like it, it'll go to full commission by Christmas. Now that would be a nice present.
Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will