Sunday, January 26, 2014

"London Road" a must see

Even as the snow falls outside, I sit here in the kitchen beside my skinny cat with her club foot, and I think, This past 24 hours - well, it doesn't get better - family, food, friends, and art.

Yesterday afternoon I went to Anna's where her father was already ensconced, playing with his grandson. So we talked and played and ate a delicious leek and cheese dip Anna had made, until it was time to go to Sam's restaurant the Huntsman, at College and Dovercourt. It's not legally his, you understand, but he has worked there since before it opened and recently was made the manager, a new responsibility that has made him very happy.

So there we were in the narrow, cosy space, Eli charging up and down until the arrival of the French fries, his favourite food, the rest of us taking turns with him, eating delicious dishes that kept arriving and drinking a spectacular Malivoire red from the Niagara Peninsula. A family, we were a family: Ed and I who separated in 1990, and our children and grandchild. We are a family, and there's a wonderful little boy with a terrific mother - and a father who met his son's granddad for the first time, later - and there's a tall tattooed boy who's thriving and has big plans. It felt like a joyful plateau, a place of rest after many years of anxiety and struggle and pain for us all.

After dinner, they went back to Anna's and I went to my Cabbagetown writer's party. Many of the people there I know but have never spent much time with, and what a pleasure it was to do so - such interesting people. All I hope is that this gathering happens again. I drank too much wine and tonight am drinking mint tea, as penance. But it was worth it.

Today, to Zumba class at the C'town Community Centre, taught by a local girl for the cost of two looneys - great music and much fun. And then to the Bluma Appel Theatre for "London Road," a documentary musical. In 2006, five prostitutes were murdered in the British town of Ipswich. The young British writer Alecky Blythe went there to interview the locals about the events, and Adam Cork set the conversations to music. It's directed by Jackie Maxwell with some of the best actors in the land, and it is simply stunning - moving, beautiful and completely original. Thrilling theatre.

The piece began its development in the "Writers and Composers Week" at the National Theatre in London, which apparently consists of putting writers and composers together in a room and seeing what happens. Brilliant. This is what happens: a documentary musical.

Non-fiction is everywhere!

And now for the Grammys. I'm thinking of my friends in Stratford this weekend, gathered for the funeral of Susie Turnbull, a theatre person and kind, much-loved woman, who died suddenly in December.

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