The Riverside Rooms
At about 11am I enter the ipod’s slip stream and zoom through the coldgrey bluster of London into the warm buzzof The Riverside Rooms where the artist’sin residence hang out at SouthbankCentre. A smiling Shlomo is present with the Southbank family . And as ever Thestudious but humorus Cape Farewell family. There’sa swirl of smiles and hellos. Check their links out to see how amazing theyare.
Tonight Cape farewell have a Lateat the Tate Session. They are takingover The Tate Modern which is fifteen minutes further down the Thames. KTTunstall, Shlomo, Marcus Brigstock and many more will be giving talks andperformances tonight. I would have been too had I not been at TheLyric tonight. After Late at The Tate there’s a post show at The Arts Club in Piccadilly.
It’s good to see Shlo. He’s getting a concert together at The Southbank Centre forMarch 28th with kathak dancer and fellow artist in residence Gauri Sharma. It’sgoing to be special taking beatbox andKathak into new and undiscovered pastures.
But I’m here to meet withmy projects manager and Jo Wheeler of Above The Title so I walk over toThe Royal Festival Hall cafeteria. We are making a BBC Radio documentary called Child of The State.It’s our first meeting in what’ll be a an intimate documentary where I reclaimmemory. Gill Lloyd my projects manager at Artsadminis a warm presence. Gill is also execproducer of my play. Jo the producer ofThe Radio Documentary is polite cordial andgives the impression of someone who wants to get the job done which is perfect.
Originally this documentary was being made by her colleague who left Above The Title. So herewe are at last face to face. We talk for two hours. It is exhausting. But I deserve my childhood memories as much asanyone else. And though they’ve been taken away from me, I shall find them. Achild of The State deserves them as muchas anyone else. The meeting ends and hands are shook. In a professionalcapacity I trust Jo Wheeler and I couldn’t do this documentary with someone whomI didn’t trust. It was an importantmeeting.
After a little administrative work back in The RiversideRooms darkness folds over the city outside and I catch the workhorse district line to the West London stable of Hammersmith Lyric Theatre. I’m in the dressing room and the audiencepours in, Naf the stage manager knocks on my dressing room door to tell me it’sthat time again. I tell her that I don’t want to do it tonight which is what Itell her every night. In minutes I am on stage for one hour weaving a tale,sweating crying and laughing inside. It’s an appreciative and live audience. At10.30pm I drop onto the train home to East London, tentative and anonymous just how I like it.