room with a view

Actually been working in the Julia Darling writing room today. The painters have finished touching up the painted brick, most of which is at least 150 years old. Despite this and the beams and pillars (see first post), the room has quite a modern feel to it. Bright and breezy, like Julia herself. And the practical tables and the comfy tangerine coloured chairs (also on castors) are the sort of furniture that would inhabit the many creative writing workshops Julia was so great at leading. There’s a writers’ group in here tonight. I’ve warmed it up for them!

The third draft c’est finis. At last, though it’s only been days! How quick redrafting a play is compared to a novel! And as it’s a script-in-hand performance maybe it’s quicker still. We haven’t worked out who is going to read the stage directions yet. We initially thought it might be me but as I’m now reading 4 of the 10 parts (all the women apart from Caris and Stella) maybe I won’t all the time! I’m sure we’ll sort it easily,  Tess is very clear headed.

There are actually two windows in this room. The big one with the ‘barre’ (see first post again) and a smaller one that opens inwards and has thick bars on the outside, as do many of the oldest windows in the building. Clearly the 19th century was as security conscious as today. Maybe as this was a warehouse near the quay it was vulnerable to plunder. Appropriately, the back of the law court  building is visible through the little barred window. This is good preparation for Louise, the mother of the play who gets sentenced in the court then spends most of the action in prison.

This room also has a mirror in it as I think it used as a dressing room for the Studio Theatre productions. We also auditioned several young men for the George part in here, which was the hardest part to cast as he’s not perhaps your average 17 year old. So characters get dreamt up in here, given dialogue, then actors who will give life to them, might use it to put on their costumes. It’s a Mr Ben room!

The office building opposite has large green glass panels in between the floors and blonde coloured bricks. Inside, modern desks face each other, each with the routine computer screen but each subtly different. Today there seem to be more blue shirts. A woman in a black suit closes some odd horizontal cupboards. Well, they’re odd to me. Maybe they’re standard fixtures in the modern office environment.

Tonight the Tom Hadaway Room gets it’s opening ceremony and I’m going to see the piece/s in the theatre. I should definitely go and get some tissues. Luckily Live Theatre now has a mini Tescos just over the (pedestrianised) street.


About Carol McGuigan

writer, performer, wonderer As a writer I am represented by Euan Thorneycroft at A.M. Heath As a performer by Janet Plater there's also a brief but currently out of date biog about my writing on the Literature North East site
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