Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tea, Pinter and my first reading group invite

Oh, the .... Pinter last .... night was so .... full of .... pauses that at times I think I may have lost the will to live. I have no real idea what it might have been trying to say either and I even may have got to the point where I didn't much care. Which is odd as I've seen some quite sharp Pinters. This ("Old Times") is not one. It even managed to make the glorious Neil Pearson appear dull, which is quite a feat. Only an hour and a half (including a 20 minute interval), but I've never been so glad to see the lights come up and the applause begin. Though I think we might have been applauding the return of the lights rather than acknowledging the actors. Mind you, I did get the giggles when Lord H leaned over to me while we were nibbling our ice creams in the interval and said (in classic stage whisper) that, all in all, he thought there was less to it than met the eye. Well said, sir, indeed. In fact if we'd got rid of ... the ... pauses, we could probably have rattled through it in 10 mins and been home in time for "Ugly Betty". Which I'm sorry I missed.

However, fear not, as Lord H has once again come up with the correct dramatic solution. (It never ceases to amaze me how dramatically sensitive my husband actually is - he really should have been a playwright or a drama critic, at the very least, as he does this all the time). Anyway, his solution would be to take the script, add in the old school friend's husband, thus making it a four-hander, rather than a three-hander. Then he'd split the set so we could see the living room and the bedroom at the same time, and watch people go in and out of same - thus adding action and a sense of movement where there was none. He'd then give the whole thing to Alan Ayckbourn who knows a thing or two about drama, and end up with a respectable, and no doubt more popular, comedy of manners. Result! Remember: you heard it here first ...

And there's exciting news! "A Dangerous Man" ( will be discussed at the university's reading group at the end of April, and I've been invited to go along and introduce it, etc etc. Hurrah! Michael actually gets to go out. For once. I'd best make sure he nobbles some of Jack's aftershave and buys himself a decent tee-shirt and at least tries to look respectable. Both of us are very excited! - but nervous too, as we're Reading Group Virgins. Much to our shame ... So if anyone out there has any useful tips, please let us know! I did ask Lord H if he could come along and be "Author's Husband", and he suggested that, bearing in mind the psychotic subject matter, perhaps Kunu could also come along, so I could be flanked by "Author's Husband" on one side and "Author's Therapist" on the other. I suspect that may be slightly too weird for the university though ... And he wasn't that keen on the idea of me dressing up as Michael and him dressing up as Jack either - though the idea of having sex in the office did perk him up. As it were. Ho hum.

Oh, and the lovely Devon on MySpace ( - sorry, Devon, but I can't find your page URL, darn it!) has very kindly added me to his profile as an author he likes. Hey, thanks, Devon - that's a first for me, I think. Much appreciated.

This afternoon, Lord H and I have been to Kent and back to celebrate a friend's 60th birthday and to eat lots of very naughty food. Bliss. And we were very good, as it was held in a vineyard and we didn't buy any of the local wine. How noble we are indeed. This probably means we can be extra naughty at the next available wine shop. Hurrah. Tonight, I'll be glued to "Primeval" on TV, getting more ironing done and probably not doing the cleaning. Hell, it's a plan.

Today's nice things:

1. Being invited to a reading group
2. Tea in Kent
3. Being a favourite author of Devon's!

Anne Brooke


Lover of Books, Films and Good Coffee Shops Everywhere! said...

Congratulations about the Reading Group! I used to belong to one but we were never fortunate enough to bag an author to attend.

I regularly listen to James Naughtie's 'Bookclub' on Radio 4 where they invite an author in and 'grill' them so to speak (nicely though!);so that might be worth a listen - see following link

Is the University Reading Group made up of students and staff? Is your boss going along? I think it's excellent that they have one -I might think about starting one up at the College.

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Sue! Yes, I'd better listen to "Bookclub", as it sounds great. And I assume the group is students and staff, but I'm not sure - I shall ask my boss once I'm back from hols! That'll terrify him ...

And yes, I think you should go for it at college - after all you have the experience!!


Jackie Luben said...

Well done, Anne. I think it's the ultimate indulgence being invited to talk about your own work. I'd do it all the time if anyone would let me. Alas, the reading group which I belong to have resolutely ignored my books and I suspect are deeply suspicious that anything I've written can't possibly be any good.

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Jackie! And I think it's your reading group's loss as your stuff is really classy. Maybe you should join a less narrow-minded group ...