Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Down the line

Today's been a bit of a trial. I discovered at about 3pm that I'd failed in another attempt to get funding, on this occasion from the PRS Foundation. That's the fifth time they've now turned me down for a grant. After the fourth, I actually decided to give up on them, and only reapplied when they announced they were now prioritising musical theatre applications. They told us very proudly in a meeting that they'd funded Tim Minchin to write Matilda. Like he needed funding! It's so destabilising when you miss out on a grant that you thought you were quids in on. I have to reappraise a great many things as a result and am actually not quite sure I know how I'm going to survive the year. God it's frustrating out there in the world of musical theatre. Closed door after closed door... It's as though Brass never happened. What I need is a wealthy benefactor...

Fiona was with us this morning, which was fabulous. I sat in the bedroom writing at the piano. One of my neighbours tumbled down a flight of steps. I heard the clatter and a scream and then repeated expletives. I opened the window and looked out to find her lying in a heap on the path. She assured me she was okay. And then was forced to do the same for the other four neighbours who'd opened their windows at the same time.

We went into town for an interview about Beyond The Fence with an American radio station. They'd booked us in at the BBC Studios at Wogan House. I was trying to remember if it was always called Wogan House, or whether it had somehow been re-named after our beloved Sir Terry. I've certainly done several down-the-line interviews there before. It's a funny experience: you sit, with headphones on, in a hessian-lined room, and then suddenly a little distant voice starts asking you questions. I didn't enjoy talking about Beyond The Fence after all these months, particularly after the news from PRS.

We worked in a cafe for a few hours, before meeting our old friend Carey for a drink and a lovely spot of food at a little Mediterranean cafe on Berwick Street, where the borek feta parcels are to die for. Carey is from New York and talk for a long time centred around Trump and Brexit as we tried to work out who lives in the shittiest county right now. I think the Americans might just edge it. I've taken great delight in recent days in hearing that Trump's campaign was pretty-much sponsored by the Russians. It's almost too deliciously ironic. Senator McCarthy will be spinning in his grave!

We were joined at the end of the evening by one of Carey's friends who's currently working as a producer on the Mary Poppins sequel. We probably asked him way too many questions because you could see him visually trying to work out if the information he was telling us was stuff it was safe to say because it was in the public domain. I don't think we managed to get an exclusive out of him, but I did leave the dinner feeling pretty sure that it's going to be a very lovely film. Shot entirely in the UK. Well why not? The pound's worth jack shite at the moment.

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