Why I’m spending a week driving a van around London. And why I’m hoping I learn something new.

So like almost every other director/producer or manager in the English arts world I’ve spent the last few weeks outlining what it is the organisation I lead proposes to spend the next 4 years achieving, building, making; and why we should get public funding to do it. It’s an extraordinary process that the arts world is going through. It’s been exhilarating to see how the 24th January deadline has blown open the doors and minds of some organisations, making their best effort to remould themselves in the light of huge societal and political changes, genuinely interrogating the idea of what a compelling, vital cultural offer might look like in 2012 and beyond. And genuinely depressing to witness those that continue with their inward looking, unresponsive attitude, wheeling out decade-old arguments and attitudes as if the status quo hadn’t already been removed as an option by a ruthlessly changed world that cares not one jot for their specific breed of entitlement.

The exhilaration of what could change, grow and appear in the next few years is inspiring, but competing with that energy in me is the realisation of things likely to disappear in combination with the dawning certainty that some things will never change, some things are not possible, some obstacles are insurmountable. After a hefty 2010 (and I am suspicious in combination with the smoking cessation drug Champix that seems to really bring you down), this important but difficult application process has left me all rather wiped and feeling flat.
Like I’m out of ideas.
And I start a new show in 2 months- so I better not be.
So I’ve decided, whilst things are at a bit of a hiatus for me, to do a load of things that I have never done before, that may well bring to light thoughts that are yet to be had or… something, I hope. Refresh. Reload.

So that’s why I am on my way down to London to spend a week driving a van for Lolita Chakrabarti.
Some may remember Lolita from the Slung Low show “Last Seen” that we did with the Almeida for which she not only wrote but also played the lead role in one of the routes. She is by some distance one of the nicest, smartest people I have ever worked with so when she said she was producing a short film with her friend Rosa Maggiora in January, directed by Adrian Lester, I found myself saying “I’ll run for you”.
I know nothing about film, in absolutely no way am I in charge and I’ve never been on set (anyone counting the Muller Rice advert is reaching). So I wont be able to help but learn new things.
A new process to be a part of. To shed light on my process. New ways of thinking, doing, interpreting. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about driving a van.
I’m a Runner.
And I’ve just got my “movement order” for today. I have no idea what that means. Brilliant*thanks to David Leddy who reminded me that this is an English process.


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