Occasionally there’s a bit of comfort to be had when talking to other writers. Had a chat on the phone today with Patricia Cleveland-Peck, who’s just about to have her play about the 1920s celebrity cellist Beatrice Harrison premiered in the York studio. Its title is as succinct as her name – The Cello and the Nightingale. When she first got the idea to write it, she told me, she was part of a writer’s group. “Just on the first rungs of the ladder,” she said. She’s since had three plays on the radio and adapted another play, Evasion Tango, for the stage. And, heck, she’s also a journalist. So there’s hope for us Hull Truck wannabes yet. Speaking of which, went to the press launch of the new Hull Truck building today. A few hints that they will let new writers into the building. But too much chat about bricks for my liking. John Godber: “I’m into heritage. Bricks. We wanted bricks. We like bricks. The new building will be made of bricks. Very rugged. Very durable. Bricks.” There was a buffet. But, rather than bricks, they put on a few open-topped sausage sandwiches and, for reasons that escape me, some Spanish-themed fodder. There was also a flamenco guitarist. But rather than use a brick to strum his strings, he finger picked his way through a few decent tunes before finger picking at the buffet. During the question and answer session an old dear asked what the exterior of the new theatre would be cladded with. “It won’t be,” said the big, rugby league-loving playwright, “It’ll be made of bricks.”
Leeds awaits us tonight. Off to see Alan Plater’s Blonde Bomshells at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, another one of those damn theatres made of brick. And the food they serve up isn’t too different.
Jarvis Cocker of the day: “If fashion is your trade then when you’re naked I guess you must be unemployed yeah.” (Underwear, 1995)