It’s been a strange old few weeks. With our Shakespeare’s Tavern Tour around the south bank in London celebrating the birth of the bard, to final actors auditions for our new Edinburgh Fringe show, to gatecrashing the end of the London marathon - it’s been a time of high emotion.
It was Shakespeare that started my writing and theatre journey in 1992 and all these years later I’m still creating new works based on his genius.
Auditions for actors are always horrible events for both the actors and the director seeking that perfect match for a character, although this time I’ve not advertised widely and it’s been gentler on us all. And then after taking out a lovely group on our Shakespeare Birthday tour (we do it every year on the Sunday nearest his birthday - although this year I forgot to do our quiz. But that’s another matter!) I thought I’d take a gander at the London marathon. And that took me completely by surprise. I’ve seen the marathon on TV before, of course, but never up close and ‘in the flesh’ as it were. I was at the tail end of the race, so all the elite athletes had gone and there were people of all ages and sizes struggling to reach the end. Believe me, some of them made me - an overweight, barfly - look almost athletic. Most were walking and many, I could see, were really struggling and in pain. Most were also running to make money for charitable causes and they were driven to finish, in spite of what looked like real pain. I found it strangely moving watching their individual struggles to finish the marathon. I was a mile or so from the end. What moved me to actual silent tears, though, were the spectators. The Marathon organisers cleverly display the runners first names on their vest numbers. So you had complete strangers desperately encouraging complete strangers. Shouting, cheering, waving, offering drinks… it was remarkable. And very fundamental. Adapting Hamlet has make me think a lot recently about the human condition. The London marathon made me realise that at a very basic level, most of mankind - most individuals - are caring and well… human!