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Well actually, we never went away. It's been a long time between posts but I can assure you, we've been busy right throughout the Covid period including lock downs. So, we've been back to Edinburgh. Suffice to say we had a great time again withy Brecht, Freak Show and FAWK. It all seems so long ago now, so much happening and not happening in the world.We had planned to do the Adelaide and Auckland Fringe with Brecht and DEEP SHIT in March 2020 when Covid raised its ugly head.

DEEP SHIT: was pure joy, a witty take on The Troubles and things remembered from my youth in Norther Ireland. Again it was a collaborative effort, Mark, Pete and Lydia chipping in with songs. We had a great season and looked forward to travelling to Auckland and Adelaide. Not to be.

SUFFRAGETTES had been on the back burner, this time with Callum and Lyndsy contributing to the song writing.This would be a truely Epic piece with months spent on remote choreography. With heightened production values and a sensational mostly female cast, the show was, undoubtedly one of the best staged at Mills Street. Check out the videos on this website. Its difficult to single out remarkable performances because this was such an amazing ensemble effort. Still Jenn. Walter was outrageously fine. I'm trying to remember the order of what happened next. There was M for Machiavelli ( was this before Suffragettes? ) In any case it was delightful little season in the middle of lockdown when a window of opportunity allowed it to take place, observing all of the relevant restrictions.

There was also Purdey's Repository of Diabolical Stratagems, another little gem of a season, stuck in where most other companies had given up..

All the while we wrote in isolation and rehearsed remotely accepting the challenges of a different epoch it time. I'm proud to say we never let it get us down, at least to the extent that there was never a moment when we considered stopping. We were uncharacteristically patient.

I wrote and wrote and wrote....amongst other things, a novel actually called FC, from which BELFAST would evolve.

Let me see, I wrote Cain and Able, a ten hour piece designed to be performed in serialised parts

( still on the cards )

THE OLD FIRM is a piece about the football rivalry between Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers.

Jezebel is close to being finished.

THE FOX AND THE CAT is a sequel to Pinocchio.

THE BEGGARS' BANQUET: A complete rewrite of The Threepenny Opera with songs from The Kinks.

SKULLDUGGERY, a new musical: for Nuworks Youth Theatre.

I think that's it.

Spring arrived after that long winter of discontent and as soon as restrictions were lifted, we were back together at Mills Street.

Through autumn and winter, Jonah, ( a very, very special young man of whom I became very fond ) and I went to Mills Street often. We installed a new lighting rig, tore out the seating and rebuilt it from scratch increasing the rake. We 'did up' the foyer and laid down the basis tracks for the first BELFAST songs in the recording studio.( Sadly Pete P had decided to move on )

Meg began rehearsing SKULLDUGGERY remotely every Sunday. It was one of the first shows back on live.Awesome.

Covid taught us to take stock, to appreciate better what we have and to appreciate each other.

The teenagers rehearsed Dracula and Renfield...a terrific season followed as the days warmed up and Summer arrived.

We screened Suffragettes, Skullduggery and Dracula and Renfield at Village Cinemas in Southland.

Next at Mills Street, in rapid succession, came THE ROARING GIRL, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and THE LAST OF THE OUTLAWS. Each was brilliant, unequivocally brilliant with the tiny Nuworks Shakespeare truely amazing.

So, we are well into the rehearsal season for BELFAST and wham, here we are in lockdown again. ( to be continued )

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