Encore Theatre Magazine
:: Saturday, September 18, 2004 ::
My London Life
This is a terrific new blog by Paul Miller, the director who gave us Lin Coghlan's very exciting Mercy earlier in the summer and has had close working relationships with several writers of promise, including Richard Bean and Simon Bent, and writers of achievement and grace, like Peter Gill. It's a great blog; he writes regularly (ahem) and the blog's got a really lovely tone to it: it's intelligent without being pompous; political without grandstanding; personal without being mawkish.
His close professional connection with Peter Gill gives us a great insight into that foundational moment of British theatre practice, the glory days of the Court in the sixties. There are fascinating accounts of seeing that first and second generation of theatre pioneers gathered together. Why do people keep blogs? Perhaps its therapeutic, perhaps it's an urge to preserve and record, to bear witness in a way. This, My London Life does remarkably well, finding passion and wit and a concern for others that is often extremely moving.
We note that in his profile he lists Tony Benn's Diaries among his favourite books. They are great great diaries, but Encore remembers a section in the mid-seventies volumes when Benn's cabinet colleagues got very scared that their colleague was keeping such a comprehensive record. Paul, if you're listening, it will be interesting to see if people talk differently to you now they know you're public diarist...
The last few days of his blog have been heartbreaking, caught up with the death of Andy Phillips, the great lighting designer whose work in the late sixties at the Court and then with those great Dexter productions at the National is part of the visual texture of post-war British theatre.