activist, BBC, cello, cuts, Dadafest, Dadafest 2014, diary, disability, disability arts, disabled, disabled people, government, journeys, Liverpool, Lord Freud, music, pain, poems, poet, Scouse, The Bluecoat, train, wheelchair, writer
It comes to my attention that family and some friends have a rather sweet notion that I lead a ‘glamorous’ life.
One minute I’m a sudden guest on Newsnight due to the Lord Freud debacle then, previewing Lost in Spaces at Soho Theatre, with its old insalubrious reputation bestowing a glint of the naughty, then off to The Royal Festival Hall to be naughty in Criptease – and now, look at me, the show-off. I am soon to Liverpool to the mighty DadaFest International 2014 to give my show a second airing – a fitting conclusion to nine months of intense development before the show tours in 2015.
I don’t wish to ruin their romantic notions of my life, but the reality is that for all those moments of glorious achievement, there are endless days of hard work – and the irritations of juggling different and complex impairments.
I’ll say it and be damned. Yes, there is pain too, a gnawing goblin in my bones. I hate it and always will. It gets in my way. No, I don’t think life isn’t worth living, no I don’t want to go to Dignitas, and no, I do not support the Dignity in Dying Bill.
Because, amongst many other pleasures, there are the words. Mine.
Oh, words words words words words words words words words.
Words. Into forms. Into stories. My passion. If I don’t indulge this passion I retreat into myself and dissolve into a mute weepy puddle. Excuse the self-indulgent moment.
It’s all about that; and I am alert as I can be with Bethany, my director and project manager, as we make lists for travel, ensuring a stress-limiting journey to Liverpool, booking train assistance and streamlining props. You know what? It’s exciting!
I’m happy with the poems that feature in the show but want to tighten the structure. There’s a flow between the portrayal of stages in my life, coloured with music, photos and diary entries that must keep its focus. The visual must be supported with the spoken, and linking my life to the universal is key.
I do have a surprise for my Dadafest performance, a secret revealed only for the audience in Liverpool. If I tell you, I’d have to kill you, obviously.
So, watch my spaces!