“If I tree falls in the forest and nobody blogs about it then did it fall?” So says Stik. Here’s some highlights of the past ten days.
Manchester Wednesday 26th April 8am. Whenever a student stops me in the street I graduate.
8.30am till noon I’m in a production meeting at The University of Manchester for a short film about Making A Difference with The Director of Social Responsibility Julian Skyme .
My university is kind of heart and strong of spirit. How can I not be inspired by a university that is dedicated to initiatives like Manchester Foodbank.
Our university is the beating heart of this great city.
Thursday 27th April Manchester 11am to 12pm at AJ Bell Stadium in Salford. I am proud patron of All FM. Today I am at Manchester Business Fair.
Thursday 28th April London 10am at Foundling Museum. Interview with Jackie Long for Channel Four News. As of this month I am Trustee of The Foundling Museum.
At 12 noon I meet Simon Hattentsone at Kings Cross Station for Guardian interview. 1pm catch train to Newcastle. 7pm on stage in Hexham to perform at Hexam Book Festival
It’s inspiring to sign books. Always.
Friday 29th April Wake 6am travel to Newcastle Station catch 10am train for 300 mile journey to London. Straight to Royal Court Theatre for 2pm . Walk into Deborah Debris Stevenson. It’s a good sign. She is radiant. I selfishly bask in the warmth. We catch up and wave.
And then a coffee with director John McGrath and actress Juie Hesmondhalgh. I am not allowed to hear the text of The Report.
It is the day before the performance. The Report sold out in 24 hours seven days ago.
I Cycle Home. Decide I need a walk around canal. I’m nervous. I call my friend. He walks the walk. We talk the talk. And say goodbye.
Sunday 30th April Wake ridiculously early. Couldn’t sleep last night. Today is the day of The Report. Have breakfast at Bread & Butter Cafe with Bobbi . Make way to The Royal Court Theatre . John and Julie are rehearsing.
In Four hours at 6pm Julie Hesmondhalgh and me are on stage. The Report ends with a standing ovation. This was a team effort. Thankyou all.
May 1st London It’s done. The day begins with an incredible article in The Guardian
At midday I had a big old Bank Holiday pub lunch with friends in Hampstead.Ineed to be with people. They all came to the show last night. But we didn’t talk about The Report. We just laughed and ate.
And the day ends with Channel Four News by Jackie Long.
Tuesday May 2nd. My adaptation of Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy is currently running at Chickenshed Theatre and it receives “another four star review” in Londonista.
I am getting thousands of emails, facebook messages, twitter messages, DM’s about The Report. It is impossible to reply to them all.
Today it is the announced on BBC Radio that I am to be Canterbury’s Laureate. It’s a strange day. I spend three hours on my memoir. The contract has been signed with Canongate Books.
On Wednesday 3rd at 6am I travel to Canterbury in Kent to The Wise Words Festival. At 9.30am I discuss with them The Christmas Dinner (for Care Leavers) in Canterbury It is a full on two hour no break talk. And I love it.
I check into The Hotel and make my way to the Marlowe Theatre to see Warrior Poets. It is an instalation of poetry by care leavers. The poems were made through workshops by Joelle Taylor. The idea is that the poems perform outside of the poets. This video is of a poem made into a song whihc was part of the exhibition/instalation.
In the next hour it is time for my evening event. The Warrior Poets exhibition is transformed by The Marlowe Theatre tehnicians. It is now a stage. The evening event is The Forgiveness Project. Jacob Dunne was the boy who killed James. I decided that I would interview him first.
Then I interviewed Joan. And I asked her to tell me when to bring Jacob back on to the stage. There is love between these two outstanding individuals.
And then I interview them both. It is a mind blowing and beautiful event.
I haven’t had much time since The Report. I thank the audience. I want to cry.
After the event The Marlowe announces today as the beginning of my residency at The Marlowe. it was a pleasure to meet the Lord Mayor of Canterbury George Metcalfe.
Thursday 4th I awoke at 5am in Canterbury and got into london at 9am for a meeting. I then travelled to Manchester for The utterly inspiring Peer Support awards. But first I have a quick photoshoot with The University Mascot in The Old Quad.
Then I walk to the Peers Support Awards Ceremony in Blackfriars. The sun is shining
The students at The University of Manchester absolutely rock my world.
The staff of this university rock OUR world. Here I am with Marcia Oddy MBE on my left.
Friday 5th May Manchester. I have a photoshoot by Manchester College at 10am by my poem Hardy’s Well (circa 1992).
From Manchester I travel to London for a two hour memoir meeting. And from there I travel back to Canterbury to see Sophie Willan’s On Record. I laugh and I cry. The show is absolutely brilliant. I have been wanting to see it all year. Sophie is all kinds of incredible.
I’ve spent much of my life believing that it was a lie to say “friends are the family you make” I used to say “family is where you learn to make friends and I had no family”. And that was that. But friends are the family you make. And you can make friends within your family too.
I’ll be in The Sunday Times tomorrow. Connected to The Rich List. Honest. I’ll end on this – I’m okay. (In a sneaky addition to this blog on Sunday. Here is The Alternative Rich List snuggled in the middle of The World Famous Times Rich List)