Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Slava's Snowshow

Royal Festival Hall
18 December

You could say that this
is yellow clown and green,
snowfall and bubble,
broom and wink and fish,

but that would hardly capture
all the blue and gold,
the shock of water
and of whirling snow,

and at the heart of it
the one old clown, paw-eyed
and shuffling, conjuring up
the stuff of strangest dream.

Slava's Snowshow runs at the Royal Festival Hall until 7 January 2013

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Father Christmas

15 December

On Christmas Eve the sky is cold
and full of whirling snow,
but in the house it’s cosy
and the kitchen all aglow;

and Father Christmas makes it clear
he doesn’t want to go,
but still he packs his sandwiches
and takes the radio;

and out across the world he flies
reindeer and sleigh,
from London houses to igloos
and pyramids along the way,

and leaves a present everywhere
that children play,
and flies back home in time
to go to bed on Christmas day.

Father Christmas runs until 5 January at the Lyric

Friday, 14 December 2012

Midnight's Pumpkin

Battersea Arts Centre
18 December

The magic is in simple things transformed:
the garden shed press-ganged into a coach,
the bathrobe-bedecked mice prancing ahead.

The story fairly drips with blood
and bawdy pantomime, as roaring stepmother
takes on the household; oh but we adored

the ginger cat scooting on wheels,
and the flying toes and tears as the sisters
fought to fit their feet into that tiny shoe...

Midnight's Pumpkin runs until 13 January 2013 at the BAC

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Architects

Shunt at the Biscuit Factory
4 December

There is no ship! they cry,
as though they have deceived us.
But we knew that. We are
in a biscuit factory in Bermondsey.
We chose a ship of dreams,
a bubble where deceit and innocence,
knowledge and architecture,
rule the roost. What we did not know
was what lurked inside the bull.
Or the chaos of darkness.

The Architects by Shunt
runs at The Biscuit Factory
until 2 February 2013

Monday, 3 December 2012

A Christmas Carol

A year ago I wrote this response to 'A Christmas Carol' - directed by Tim Carroll and performed by Dominic Gerrard. I loved it, and I'm delighted that this production has now returned for a full run at the Waterloo East Theatre, opening tonight!

You were a stranger to me
in your sober coat and high, starched collar.
Scrooge too, scowling and slow, lifting his head
and taking his first breaths
was not the wooden puppet that I knew
but animate: a bitter, sneering man
I would not like to meet.

That little room of yours became a treasure box
of small surprises – music and laughter,
turkey and crackers. I saw the snow
and heard the soft, sweet music
of the violin, conjuring time and place,
the clanking of chains
and murmuring of ghosts.

You conjured up a distant evening,
snowfall on a quiet road,
and then (your favourite, I know)
a moonlit flight over a silver sea.
You carried fear and hope, frost-bitten fingers
and a crackling fireside
till we arrived, inexorably,  at Christmas.

Dickens loved a feast, and you bowed out
with bowls of steaming punch
and plum pudding, music and laughter,
dancing and holly.
You left us warm with hope and charity,
blazing coals and candlelight,
redemption and revelry.

'A Christmas Carol' runs at the Waterloo East Theatre from 3 - 15 December