From a phone conversation today:
DAD: So has your thing started yet?
ME: Which thing? The shows?
Yes, the thing at the Barbican - are you up and running yet?
Yes, it started last week. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, the three separate bits; then all of them on Saturday in a kind of marathon. With a forum in one of the gaps. It was great, if a bit exhausting ...
Oh a forum, you do one of those do you ... What's the play called again?
The Catastrophe Trilogy.
Oh yes. And there are four bits ...
No, Dad, three, it's a trilogy.
(Laughs): Yes, yes, of course, how stupid of me. The Catastrophe Trilogy. And what's it about?
Well, there are three shows about different kinds of catastrophe, small ones or large ones. They're really sort of playful stories told in different ways: dance, and music, and song ...
Sort of ...
I see. Well, you've worked quite a bit with Lone Pine now ...
Lone Twin, Dad.
Oh yes yes, Lone Twin ... I always get them mixed up with that other lot you know, Goat Island, but they're the ones in America aren't they?
Yes, in Chicago. Very different kettle of fish, really. And Lone Twin is English - well, Gregg and Gary are.
The two directors. Although the others are from all over: France, Australia, Denmark, Germany ...
The performers in the group. The people in The Catastrophe Trilogy.
Oh I see.
Funnily enough one of the Goats was there at the show yesterday ...
One of the people from Goat Island. She's moved to London.
Oh has she, very good. And what's the difference between a director and a dramaturg?
Well, I suppose they overlap at times. But I guess the dramaturg's primarily responsible for the composition, the structure of the thing, the weave of all the bits, how it's put together. Although in fact I do lots of things: working on movement stuff, helping write bits ...
So you wrote it?
No no, we all did, but I tend to work closely on that aspect with the directors.
Oh. Good. Any reviews yet?
Not yet, but there will be some next week I guess. Quite a few critics have been.
I wonder if Charles Spencer will write something.
Charles Spencer, from the Telegraph, you know.
Oh yes. Mmm, I'm not sure it'll be quite his cup of tea.
Ooh I don't know, he's very eclectic, he seems to to go and see pretty much everything. He may well go and see the Lonely Twins.
Right. I'm not sure he came, Dad. There was someone from the Guardian ...
Oh was there. Well, do send me a copy of the programme ... Anyway, we're all alright here. We've just been watching Dig [Nicholas Cooke, my step-sister's son] on the computer. What do you call the thing on the computer, you know, those pages you can visit?
Yes, we've been watching a video of him on the internet. It's on something called Chortle. He won a prize for best young stand-up in Coventry! Very brave.
Really? Wow that is brave! That's great, good for him. He's a nice lad isn't he.
Yes yes ... actually it's it's it's - erm - it's rather rude. (Laughs): Apparently the little section of his act that they chose to show on the internet is the only rude bit in the whole act. And when he was given his prize, the judge - who's a stand-up comedian himself, can't remember his name - he praised the fact that his act was not at all rude. I suppose the others must have been really very rude.
Right. Well, I'll have a look for it in a bit. Chortle?
Brilliant. Good for him.
Yes ... And how's your job? Your university under threat yet?
For Nicholas Cooke's video on YouTube, see here