Just before sleeping at 12.05am Monday I receive a text from a Leeto Thale “There’s a South Africa themed week of shows at The Royal Court”. After sleep later this same Monday morning at 9.30am I Cycle to BBC in central London. I Spend the day in meetings and reading researching news. Nandita the producer explains: “From Fact to Fiction will be written by you then recorded by actors this Friday” and broadcast 7pm on Saturday 17th and 5.40pm on Sunday on BBC radio Four. The clock is ticking. I’m supported by meticulous Marie Helly the commissioning Editor of The World Tonight By the end of the day I’ve got it. I will take from fact to fiction the story of Pistorius’s maid. It’s 5pm.
An hour later I’m at The Royal Court Theatre but the reading is sold out. I’m ticketless. A woman walks by. “I love your work” she says. She’s an the actress in the play tonight. She offers to take me backstage to Napo, the writer for the evening’s play, and I know Napo Masheane! Last time we met we broke bread in Johannesburg. I get a golden ticket. ta Daaaa. I’m so grateful to her, to The Royal Court, to the actress who got me a ticket, to Leeto . I sit with Leetho and the most experienced arts producer in her field – Gill Lloyd.
The play read through was about a group of…… South African Maids! What are the odds. I thank Napo after the show. I thank Leetho. Look at what happened today: from the text 5 minutes into the day, to the choice of story amongst hundreds at BBC, to the play being about the same subject area as my choice, to Napo who flew from SA to Leeto who also returned from South Africa, and the actress in the lobby who took me to Napo. If there is a god of coincidences she was guiding me today.
I cycle home alone in the same darkness that the day began. I spend Tuesday writing. So the working title is “Keeping The House In Order” but I think I prefer “Pistorius’s Made” is better. What do you think? I’m writing this blog on Wednesday. I’ve sent the first draft to the producer and I’ve written this blog in the gap between our next conversation. For those who prefer twitter you can follow this story over the next few days #BBCF2F Picture credits below.