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Uncategorized April 13, 2018

LIMERICK FOR FRIDAY 13TH

Bad luck does not intervene By numbers and days, such as Friday, thirteen Nature overnight Bloomed this Blackthorn’s pure white Unperturbed in its blessed routine.

Uncategorized April 8, 2018

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR, 1929-1968

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King Jr I took this photograph of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool while on tour in the late 90s with the RSC in Washington DC.

Uncategorized March 31, 2018

EASTER HAIKU

What is the meaning of life? That was all – a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark. Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse In a

Uncategorized February 26, 2018

QUIET REVOLUTIONS

A short film inspired by a recent day out among the Sussex Downs, and with an eye to revolutions both historical and close to home. Clapham House in Litlington, mentioned at the end of the film, was also home to Charles Joseph La Trobe (1801-1875), first Lieutenant-Governor of the then colony of Victoria. He was

Uncategorized February 9, 2018

DIFFUGERE NIVES

The snows are fled away, leaves on the shaws And grasses in the mead renew their birth, The river to the river-bed withdraws, And altered is the fashion of the earth. A. E. Housman,‘Diffugere Nives’ (Horace, Odes IV.vii) A poem to celebrate a golden harbinger of spring in Sussex:

Uncategorized February 7, 2018

DEEDS AND WORDS

Three years ago, Kathleen and I produced a short film to mark International Women’s Day and to celebrate the special contributions of West Hampstead’s former residents to the cause of women’s emancipation. We reprise the film here to acknowledge the centenary of the first legislative step towards women’s suffrage in Britain.

Uncategorized January 25, 2018

VIRGINIA WOOLF, 1882-1941

Google has today created a new ‘doodle’ to celebrate Virginia Woolf’s 136th birthday. And so, it seems timely to reprise our little film which features my sonnets about Virginia and her last home, Monk’s House, here in East Sussex. Towards the end of the film, you will have heard Emily reading, so beautifully, an excerpt

Uncategorized January 7, 2018

GERALDINE STEPHENSON

Geraldine Stephenson, movement teacher and choreographer, died on Christmas Eve. Philip [Prowse, director of The Duchess of Malfi, NT 1985], I discovered, had instinctive choreographic flair. Even in the rehearsal room, with four or five actors standing about as courtiers in their street clothes, he would offhandedly gesture to suggest a shift of position and the

Uncategorized January 6, 2018

SONNET FOR 2018

It makes me so happy. To be at the beginning again, knowing almost nothing … A door like this has cracked open five or six times since we got up on our hind legs. It’s the best possible time of being alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong. Tom Stoppard, Arcadia A

Uncategorized December 24, 2017

A FIRESIDE ANECDOTE

My life has often been marked, and enriched, by the most remarkable coincidences; and sometimes the coincidences come not single spies, but in battalions (or at any rate in small clusters). This Christmas Eve I thought I’d share with you a very recent brush with serendipity. In addition, I specially want to thank all of