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IMG_1706eleven pieces of theatre

Brainstorm
Islington Community Theatre @ Park Theatre, National Theatre, iPlayer
Because I couldn’t love anyone who didn’t love this.

Learning How To Die
Luca Rutherford @ Ovalhouse
Because of how she stood up to her grief.

Some People Talk About Violence
Barrel Organ @ New Diorama, CPT
Because they’re really a band.

Men In The Cities
Chris Goode @ Royal Court
Because of the ferocity, and the ending (and not just because I’m in it).

Life Raft
Fin Kennedy & Melly Still, Bristol Old Vic Youth Theatre
Because it made me itch with suspense, and brilliant young people.

The Gospel According To Jesus, Queen Of Heaven
Jo Clifford @ Summerhall
Because it left me in a place where I had the loveliest conversation with a friend.

People Places & Things
Duncan Macmillan, Headlong & NT
Because of the pivot on ’Lucy’, and Denise Gough.

Lanark (acts 2 and 3)
David Greig, EIF @ Royal Lyceum
Despite almost walking out after Act 1, and because Sandy Grierson.

The Beanfield
Breach Theatre @ C Venues
Because smartest political theatre (and not just because how the internet got me a ticket).

Like You Were Before
Deborah Pearson @ BAC
Because it was transcendent.

Me & Mr C
Gary Kitching, Greyscale @ Oval House
Because it made me laugh hard (and not just because my worst job ever ended up as Gary working in Pigworld).

a gig

Sufjan Stevens
Colston Hall
Just because.

a game

Precariat!
Harry Giles and Adam Dixon @ Coney HQ
Because it was the most fun playing I have had in an aeon.

an unclassifiable

Russell Brand
@ The Proud Archivist
Because I got in by serendipity, and he happened to read me the most important thing I have learnt in decades.

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I return to playing Solo Two this week at Battersea Arts Centre (thank you, Shelley Hastings). This will be the 4th stretch of time I’ve spent on it, and the first outside Theatre in the Mill where I developed it from March 2013. It feels like it might be very close to finished.

solotwodance
[Me and Dan, reflected in a dance studio]

I spent a brilliant day in Bristol a month ago with Dan Canham working through the dancing again from first principles and properly nailing it dramaturgically (I hope) – he gave me one of my favourite notes “I don’t believe you’re really out of breath”, looking exactly like this as he did. But it’s a very new format for the dancing, and I’m even more nervous than usual to do it for an audience because it’s clearly the big selling point down here in London.

There was one more piece of writing to be done, inspired by remembering a small child dancing in a shop in Dalston, and one removed to balance it up. The text has now otherwise entered the stage of tweaking and polishing. Although the format dictates I’ll have the script in my hand, I’m trying to learn it as best I can, and wondering if it’s going to find room inside my brain what with Jimmy Stewart still haunting my hippocampus.

Tomorrow I’ve got the day with the marvellous Kieran Lucas, who is taking over the seat hotted up by Ivan Mack in Bradford and operating the lights according to a brief Ivan has drawn up, more like the rules of a game and instructions to download photographs of zen gardens.

I have the usual anxieties but remembering that my very favourite element of the whole night is the kind of interaction I try to facilitate with the audience. I described it earlier as hoping to be like an augmented version of the kind of interaction you’ll have with other people in an audience when you have a good night at the theatre. It was driven by a brilliant direction Maddy Costa gave me when I was fishing for provocations to take into the room: see if you can get the audience to remember each other as much as they remember you. This is an audience both present in the room with me, but also in other rooms all over the world, wherever they are, connected very simply online.

Which is where you come in, wherever you are. There are two ways to take a small (but meaningful, I reckon) part online.

You can take part in Act 1 via Twitter by following either @tassosstevens or @solotwotheatre for live instructions from the start of Act 1 that night.

You can take part in Act 2 via Facebook by liking a post I’ll make on the page www.facebook.com/solotwo (and friending me if we’re not already) then be alert for a message from me at the start of Act 2.

I’m doing an open dress rehearsal on Mon 22 and then three public performances on Tue 23, Fri 26, and Sat 27 from 7pm – for which you can book tickets HERE.

Mon 22
Act 1 from soon after 6.30pm, Act 2 from roughly 7.45pm.

Tue 23, Fri 26, Sat 27
Act 1 from soon after 7.00pm, Act 2 from roughly 8.15pm.

[all times are UK local time]

Thanks for being here.

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