It’s just over one month until release day for my latest novel in e-book form. ‘Tread the Boards’ is one-third of a gorgeous printed anthology called ‘One from the Heart’ set in the fictional artsy town of Brachen that I partnered with Daniel de Lorne and Fiona Greene to write. In our minds, Brachen was a mix of a whole bunch of arty Australian towns like Berry (NSW), Umundi (Qld), and WA’s Balingup/Bridgetown, Nannup and Margaret River. With a little bit of Britain’s Hay-on-Wye thrown in for good measure.
Brachen was a wonderful town to step into and I had such a great experience working with Dan and Fi on imagineering all aspects of the Rivervue Community Theatre. I got to call on some wonderful old memories of my years studying Theatre at uni.
In 25+ books, I think this might be the first time I’ve ever dedicated a book to a building. But for me, the Hayman Theatre (where I studied for four years) was so much more than just concrete. It was the most amazing punctuation between school and life and it set me off on a tangent I never could have imagined. Conveniently positioned right next to the cafeteria, it had some great lawns for laying out in the sun between classes or when double-digit hours backstage in the dark just got too much. A quick vitamin D fix and it was back into the windowless backstage environment of the Hayman’s aptly named ‘tunnels’ and its basement workspaces.
Like I said in my dedication: “To the Hayman. Without, you were a concrete affront to all reasonable taste. Within, you were a transformative wonderland.”
Coincidentally I’ve been preparing for this book release while the Covid19 restrictions were in place and so that’s meant a lot more reason to stay home and watch some fantastic theatre being broadcast on YouTube by creators to keep the arts front of mind and to keep some $$ coming in for the arts community who found themselves functionally unemployed. I’ve seen some productions (and some companies) I never otherwise would have and been reminded of the creative rush that comes with bringing a vision to life. Even if it’s theirs and not my own.
I’ll keep on counting down to release day and keep on watching some great global theatre. Is there anything you’d recommend? What blew your mind on stage or screen lately?