Sunday, 21 May 2017


It's funny how our bodies have an innate sense of time isn't it? For the past week, I've been setting my alarm for 7.15am, and, every day so far, I've woken up naturally just before the alarm goes off. Yesterday morning, I was lucky enough to be able to sleep in until the ripe old time of 8.45am, but, when I woke up naturally, I glanced down at my phone and was not entirely surprised to see that it was exactly 7.15am. How does a brain do that? The implication here is that our subconscious always knows exactly what time it is. It's something I find utterly fascinating because it makes me wonder what other wisdom or instincts we're storing in there without actually realising.

I went to see a show at Chichester Festival Theatre yesterday. It was called Forty Years On, it starred Richard Wilson and it was written by Alan Bennett exactly fifty years ago. It's a funny old show which feels very didactic, somewhat agit-prop, formless, and, in short, quite 1960s. I'm not exactly sure there's a place for it in 2017, but it was certainly a fascinating piece, exquisitely performed, beautifully directed and hugely enhanced by brilliant music which had been adeptly arranged by Tom Brady whom I met beforehand.

I drove down with Matt Lucas. We got stuck in terrible traffic near Guildford so it all took rather longer than we'd hoped. We had lunch with, amongst others, the charming Daniel Evans (artistic director of the theatre) and actress Sam Spiro, whom I last saw at dear Arnold Wesker's memorial service.

The audience was full of the great and the good, as often happens towards the end of a run of theatre. At one point I was introduced to "another Ben" who turned out to be Ben Wishaw.

The play was set within a boys school and employed the somewhat tired formula of presenting itself as a play within the play. The theatre had opted to use an enormous ensemble of local lads who were probably aged from 11-18. There seemed to be an infinite number. Thirty perhaps. But I'm very proud to report that, often centre stage, and fed quite a number of lines, was our Spin from Brass. Obviously he shone brightly. It was wonderful to see him.

I drove Matt back to London and then spent the evening cocooned on my sofa in a sort of exhausted, yet blissful haze. My first bit of time off in what seems an age.

There's nothing to write about today. Nothing. I worked. I went into Muswell Hill for a walk because I was going stir crazy under headphones. Then I worked again. That was my day.

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