Julia’s Diary

Friday 13th September


Last night I went to the launch of Andrea Badenoch’s new crime novel ‘Loving Geordie’. It was held in Benwell Library in Newcastle, where Andrea had worked with a local history group researching the local landscape for the novel, which is based on the Mary Bell era, when much of Scotswood was being pulled down around people. It was a really interesting opening, with members of the local history group speaking, an exhibition of photographs, and readings by the actor Trevor Fox. I’m looking forward to reading it, although I’m still reading ‘Instances of the Number Three’ by Salley Vickers.

It feels like Newcastle is waking up again after the Summer. There’s hundreds of students wandering around outside with bright tee shirts and big straw hats on. Dingy looking men are giving out flyers about various bars they can get drunk at.

It turns out lots of people read this diary….eek.

Wednesday 11th September


Just come back from rehearsals for Doughnuts Like Fanny’s. It’s been good fun. There’s a sense of everyone rolling their sleeves up. The play has lots of songs in and a musician called Richard Stone has set them to music. There is something wonderful about writing song lyrics to a naff tune in my head, and then hearing them re-set to a good one. I spent a day with the director and actors tweaking the play, taking out all the unnecessary STUFF that clutters up language. It’s very pleasureable, like the final garnishes or something. Fanny would appreciate that. I am never going to write dot dot dot again. My scripts are full of them, and they are nearly always unnecessary.

This morning I had a meeting with Claire Malcolm at New Writing North about Diamond Twig, the small press that I co-edit with Ellen Phethean. We are going to start publishing a series of women’s plays. We

spent quite a while trying to think of a good name for the series; one that wasn’t corny. I must have spent at least a year of my existence trying to think up names for things. The cafe at Live Theatre has been redecorated and everyone looks different in it. I ate a delicious mozarella sandwich. Most sandwiches are very disappointing, but this one wasn’t. Now I must do some writing. The next thing I must finish tweaking is ‘Attachments’ a play for Live that’s on in November. One of the characters is an anaesthetist (change from a pharmacist). Apparently anaesthetists are often very fun loving people. Does anyone know any, and are they? is it something to do with always seeing others on the brink of oblivion? Hmmmm.

Thanks for the responses to the diary. I was delighted.

Saturday 7th September


It’s a rainy Saturday, and I’ve got to finish the script for my play which is on at Live Theatre in November. This is a play for actors Charlie Hardwick and Trevor Fox, called Attachments, and though it’s only forty minutes long I seem to have been tinkering with it for months. Two handers feel very mercurial to write. There is no room for clutter, and I’m trying not to be over lyrical and to just let the characters go. On Monday we start rehearsals for Doughnuts Like Fanny’s, a play about Fanny Cradock, that’s being produced by a company over in Penrith.

After two days over there I must return to my novel which lies waiting for attention.

Otherwise, my health is good, and I’ve just finished reading The True Story of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey, which is really good. I can’t stop thinking about Ned Kelly’s armour, which I saw once when visiting Melbourne. Next I am going to read Salley Vickers new novel Instances of The Number Three. I really loved Mrs Garnett’s Angel which was her first novel.

This is my first entry into this diary, and a bit of an experiment. I wonder if anyone will read it?