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SEPTEMBER and the hope of spring

I’ve been traveling in Europe since late July, in part for research purposes to do with the soon-to-be-announced (and I’m pretty sure also a slowly leaking ‘secret’!) adaptation of a major Australian novel that I’ve been working on for the State Theatre of South Australia and now the Sydney Theatre Company. Watch this space in early October.

It was odd, and wonderful, to be Somewhere Else, to return to friends and family who have done it hard through the pandemic, to return to places that are part of my personal dreaming trail – a witchy wood in Brittany, a high-end department store in London (sadly, but unrepentantly, yes indeed), the prehistoric phenomenon of the Lascaux Caves where one of my early influences, Joseph Campbell, as a shiny young mythologist was privileged to see the original, now securely hidden images from the dawn of European human time. This haunting art is of course still far younger than the markings I saw up in the Flinders Ranges last May of the generations of Adnyamathanha peoples. And…a manor house in the Loire Valley (see image above!), and back again to glorious, black-stoned Edinburgh, and getting to know edgy, weedy, bicycle-centred, art-museumed Berlin where some of my family now live. So. Busy!

I’m making this occasional post to flag that I will be reading at the launch of the Heroines’ Festival and Anthology for 2022 where one of my poems, In Which Miranda Returns to her Island, is on the short-list. I’m in excellent company. Check out the link. The poem is an imagining of the Miranda of Shakespeare’s The Tempest returning to the magic-stuffed island of her youth and seeing it, and her extraordinary father, with new eyes. I’m at an age where I’m doing quite a lot of this. I’m now back living on ‘the farm’ the 30-acre allotment where in my own youth I set out with five others to live a hippie-fuelled dream of self-sufficiency and communal engagement on a smallish plot of land. We’re all still here! And the original dream has not quite let go of us as we ponder how much of it we may yet achieve before we must shuffle eventually away from it.

I’d also like to give a shout out to the launch of Switch Productions, an SA-based film production company, that is launching tonight (9th September).

And another for Visualising Lost Theatres: Virtual Praxis and the Recovery of Performance Spaces – a visionary virtual access and re-imaging of lost theatres of our collective past by Joanne Tompkins, Jonathan Bollen, Julie Holledge, Liyang Xia. It is due to be launched on 22nd September through the Assemblage for the Creative Arts in SA.

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