Sam Shepard

One of the most inspiration play-writes past away today…I’m am sad.

“I’m a great believer in chaos. I don’t believe that you start with a formula and then you fulfill the formula. Chaos is a much better instigator, because we live in chaos — we don’t live in a rigorous form.”

— Sam Shepard in conversation with Clare Dwyer-Hogg, 2013
(I found this on Bustle)


“When you consider all the writers who never even had a machine. Who would have given an eyeball for a good typewriter. Any typewriter. All the ones who wrote on a matchbook covers. Paper bags. Toilet paper. Who had their writing destroyed by their jailers. Who persisted beyond all odds.”

– Sam Shepard, True West


Richard III

Just because I can, and because Windsor reminded me how beautiful this piece of writing is: here is Gloucester’s speech.
From Richard III, spoken by Gloucester 
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew’d up,
About a prophecy, which says that ‘G’
Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Clarence comes.

Bare Essentials

Bare Essentials one of London’s longest running new writing theatre nights.  Bare Essentials is different to other short play nights, each short play is polished and accomplished.  Not a script in site.

This season of Bare Essentials is different, with the recent move to the west end and a new location, the team have brought back the “Best Of”.  There is comedy, drama, monologues, duologues and team efforts.

The night is wonderfully put together and presented.  The audience are engaged and responsive, we sing along help with the sound effects. It is for good reason this is London’s best reviewed new writing night.

There are two more nights left and I thoroughly recommend heading along.  Have a look at the site for more information.

West End Elf

Sunset Boulevard…tragic one sided love story ending in more tragedy!

I saw this musical when I was about 8 and fell in love with the songs.  The lyrics are so truthful and painfully beautiful I just love it.  Though at 8 years old I probably just love the drama of it rather that the evocative language.

I am not a massive fan of musicals but this one is special.  Aging, fading actress falls in love with young desperate writer…it is wonderful.  Then add to that, this is a short run of shows starring Glenn Close.  The most famous Norma Desmond, in fact I would go so far as to say that Glenn Close is the iconic Norma.  (Yes I am a bit excited).

I managed to convince a friend of mine to tag along with me (Mr Elf was having none of it) and we get ourselves some cheap seats.  As you might have read Glenn Close had been unwell and unable to perform a couple of the preceding performances, but she took to the stage again on Monday and was brilliant… the whole cast were.  It was also wonderful to be able to see the full orchestra on stage as well.  It was as beautiful as I remember and as haunting as I hoped it would be.  I still have goosebumps.

Definitely worth getting to see!

(title picture sourced from


Elf goes to the theatre

The Soho Theatre is one of my favourite places for new writing, unusual theatre as well as comedy and stand up.  Monday night (yes a Monday – crazy good way to start the week) this little elf toddled along to see Sarah Kendell “A day in October”.

“A day in October” is much more story telling rather than stand up.  Although funny and there are plenty of laughs throughout, it is much more about the characters that Sarah creates for the audience and the narrative that links them together.  The story set in an Australian high school, was brilliantly true and brought back lots of memories… although I was lucky enough to go to a school where I could go to the bathroom without too much trepidation!

I won’t spoil the story for anyone else who is keen to go along (I definitely think you should!). This tale is more poignant than belly laugh, I was gripped throughout and left thinking about the performance for some time.  The emotion that was put into the performance left me spinning and very glad that high school is behind me.  Thoroughly worth seeing, and definitely a very cool way to start a week.