Saturday, 27 August 2011

I don't want to say it

Nathan went to watch London Road at the National this afternoon, and enjoyed it hugely. People have been telling me to see it for months now. I think its brand of verbatim theatre is considered to be not a million miles away from the work I do in film, although Nathan says it's almost incomparable. Obviously I should be applauding vociferously. The truth is that I find myself feeling slightly envious, and whenever anyone mentions the work, I get a little flutter of weirdness in my stomach. I suppose the inoperable voice of doom in the back of my head warns me that people might start to say the work I do is simply a copy of London Road, or worse, that from now on, there will always be another composer in that tiny pool of people pitching for funds that does something similar to me... Somethig, maybe better. Instead of looking for the bloke who made A1: The Road Musical, they’ll look for the bloke who made London Road.

It’s funny how insecure creative people can be, and how wildly protective they can become of their patches. I talk about creative people. I mean me. I have no idea what goes through the minds of other people, but know the day will come, fairly soon, when I’ll watch a documentary on the telly which features “real people singing.” Obviously I’ll say it’s rubbish, but secretly I’ll be thinking how amazing it is, and wondering why those who made it didn’t approach me! That’s how my mind works! There are so few opportunities in my area of the arts that I end up not being able to feel pleased for anyone who even remotely treads on my toes and that's not a very nice thing to admit. It’s only untouchable success, I fear, that allows a person to be truly magnanimous.

I went to the South Bank this afternoon, to meet my parents, brother Edward and Sascha, who were off to see the James Cordon play, which seems to be the other work that's taking the country by storm. I've been told many times what the play is called but every time, have instantly forgotten. It was quite a coincidence that they were watching theatre at the National on the same day as Nathan, and it meant we could all sit down and eat together at Giraffe. Brother Edward very kindly paid for us all, and it wasn’t cheap.
I walked across the bridge to Charing Cross, with Nathan, and we sat in Starbucks for a while before Nathan disappeared to perform in Naked Boys Singing, which he does every Friday and Saturday night. I came home and worked on the Dies Irae sequence of my Requiem. It’s the final movement, and I’ve left the best til last – or rather, I’ve left what HAS to be the best til last. I think about Mozart’s Dies Irae... Verdi’s... Even Karl Jenkins’, and start to feel a little bit sick with nerves. All composers seem to raise their game for the Dies Irae. Maybe it's because this particular sequence of the Requiem comes from a poem written in the 13th Century, and one has to have respect for something  that was written that long ago. Even to Pepys it would have seemed an ancient work. It’s quite a lengthy piece, however, and, unsurprisingly there are one or two passages that I’ve decided to omit. I'd like to say that this was purely to do with the practicality of not wanting one movement to be a great deal longer than the others... but there also are a couple of lines that I find offensive.

Wednesday August, 28th, 1661, and Pepys was still busying himself with his Uncle’s Will, looking for various attorneys to give him advice about his Aunt Ann, and the £200 that she was expecting. When Pepys returned home in the evening, he set about writing a letter to Sir William Penn that purported to be from the thief who'd recently stolen his prized silver tankard. It was, one assumes, some kind of practical joke, but it doesn’t sound very funny to me!

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