Tony Kushner on the incomplete, imperfect illusion of theatre (Paris Review)

In a film like Avatar the illusion is almost inescapable, almost all encompassing, and it’s certain that, as we proceed into the future, cinematic illusion is becoming even more so. The flat projection screen is already a kind of archaic convention. It’s just an imitation of the proscenium arch, really. In the future we’re going to take drugs and the screen will be all around us and we’ll have sensory experiences with it and I’m sure it’ll be great, but people will still be going to the theater to watch Hamlet and Laertes fight. The great thing about having somebody die at the end of a sword fight is that it takes a lot of physical energy to do a sword fight. So they’re dead, but their ribcages are heaving up and down. The incomplete, imperfect illusion will never be unnecessary for human beings, and its home will always be in the theater, where everything, including death, is simultaneously thoroughly and yet not entirely convincing.

Tony Kushner interview, Paris Review, Summer 2012

Alan Garner on creativity

In 1966 […] I was reading graffiti in the waiting room at Alderley Edge Station. One, done in chalk, was: “Janet Heathcoat = Alan Flask. It is true.” Somebody had added, in silver lipstick, without punctuation or a capital letter: “not really now not any more”. And the sky fell on me. The result was the novel Red Shift, six years’ work, finished in 1972.

from a great piece by Alan Garner on creativity, in the New Statesman here.

Memo to self: re-read Red Shift this summer.

Two poems in The Interpreter’s House

TIH58

The Interpreter’s House number 58 is out, with a great cover by Stuart Mugridge and a lively introduction by editor Martin Malone. The issue contains poems and short stories by over 60 writers, and includes my poems ‘The Engineer’ and ‘Anymore’. They were my first two acceptances, and I’m delighted they’re also my first two published poems.

The Interpreter’s House website is here.