We started 2014 in the shadow of the previous year.
My experiment with theatre in a pub, as opposed to Pub Theatre as it's understood in London, had proved very successful in 2013. I managed to get the rights to produce Under Milk Wood on the 60th anniversary of Dylan Thomas' death. It proved a success in a number of ways, but mainly though conversations with the excellent veteran theatre director John Adams. John was not available to direct, but he recommended a former student of his who had worked with him on a recent Shakespeare. And so I met Katie Merritt, a lovely artist who not only completely got what we are trying to do with Maverick but has a talent for our preferred style of physical theatre.
On the back of the success of Under Milk Wood - we created a visceral, intimate production - Katie became an associate director with Maverick.
The literary pub crawl went from strength to strength in 2014. In fact we suffered somewhat in the summer with a glut of bookings. If you are a regular supporter of Maverick you will know customer service is VERY IMPORTANT to us. Hopefully we've sorted that now.
This year I began a regular radio show on London Arts Radio station Resonance 104.4fm. The one hour radio show is broadcast every Friday night from 7pm - 8pm and is then repeated every Wednesday morning from 7-8am. It's called Literary London and is a great opportunity for me to meet and chat with some of the movers and shakers in the literary world and we talk about all sorts - literary process, the business of being a writer and general passions. The shows are recorded and are now on iTunes and on our websites ‘Podcast’ page.
We produced a new play by Sue Blundell, 189 Pieces at the British Museum. I also re-discovered George Orwell. Down and out in Paris and London reminded me of some of the jobs I've done in the past. Then this week I finished Keep the Aspidistra Flying and although he moans a lot, I completely felt for Gordon Comstock.
And now we have the rights to do Animal Farm. Orwell always wanted to elevate political writing into an art form and blimey, he did that all right! Even though 2014 has been the year of Dylan Thomas and I've had a great time with that - and we’re going to be doing something for the first international Dylan Thomas Day in May - I'm looking forward to sharing my love of Orwell with you and generally producing more theatre in more accessible, informal spaces. In addition I edited and we published our first Maverick book. Confessions of a Butcher Boy, the memoir of Birmingham butcher, Norman Raybone. An exceptional story of an average working man.
Watch this space! Happy New Year!
In : Nick Hennegan
Tags: dylan thomas george orwell pub theatre birmingham.
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