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Upstairs Downton

The one thing everyone agrees on, if you have a blog, is that you should be completely consistent with it. You shouldn’t, for example, suddenly stop posting for three months. Nevertheless, that is what I have done. I am a maverick, tearing up the rule book with laxity and inertia.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve done since my last post, in case you should find yourself wondering. I ran my Guardian masterclass (which went very well because the people in it were lovely), succumbed a little to the winter blues, dashed off romantically to Hanoi, where I fell ill, then returned to London, where I’ve been living quietly ever since. This last month I’ve been writing a short story, doing unnecessarily elaborate financial planning, working on my writing training techniques, seeing friends and doing all the other usual background activities that make up a life.

I’ve also been doing more improv, which is generally quite a good blues-retarder. I’ve done workshops run by the excellent Cariad Lloyd, who teaches David Shore’s techniques, as well as performing in shows with my group – Upstairs Downton – the next of which is on Saturday at 7.30pm, as part of London ImproFest. It’s at the Lion and Unicorn in Kentish Town, in what is almost exactly midway between a small theatre and a room above a pub. Our show is basically an improvised spoof episode of a period TV drama like Upstairs Downstairs or Downton Abbey, and people have been very nice about it. There’s even talk of touring Texas with it, which seems unlikely – but then most things do.

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