I want to make work that has a crafted quality, which is about things that matter. Ideas arrive all the time and not all of them will happen but here are a few current ideas…..
I am determined to make a show that eschews the idea that old age is about sitting in a wingback chair watching endless episodes of Pointless before we die. I know who I want to make it with and I am pretty sure we will have something in the next two years.
Every time I see chickens running free I am strangely touched. I love their apparent ordinariness. yet something like 10 million chickens are ‘dispatched’ each day in the UK. I think this is less a play and maybe a collection of photos, writings, facts, info-graphs and colour charts. It might have to wait to find its form and context. I just know there is something in the idea which helps make sense of the world.
A canon of county plays
The idea is to create a kind of theatrical record of life in each of the 48 english counties by commissioning a writer from each to create the play they wish which springs from that county. Then make them available ‘rights’ free for performance by amateurs, schools and professionals. The thought is that some might start as alliances with a particular theatre – say Chichester and Sussex – and each would be called simply ‘the Wiltshire play’. About £750k
The Great Hedge of India
This was a customs barrier built by the British rulers across India in the 1840s to facilitate collecting the heavy salt tax. The barrier consisted of fences, stone walls, and a nearly impenetrable barrier of trees, thorny bushes, and hedges, with periodic guard stations. The hedge was forgotten in India as well as in Britain, without even passing mentions in standard histories, until its existence was unearthed by Roy Moxham. The Customs Line ran nearly 2,000 miles (3,200 km), and was manned by about 12,000 personnel actively patrolling and guarding the barrier. There is something wonderfully English and revelatory in this story.