I am in good health. I hope you are too. I’m sharing a bit of news on four online appearances over the next week. All are free and easy to access. Shall we begin.
Iggy Pop, Tilda Swinton Jeremy Irons, Robert McFarlane, Beth Gibbons, Hilary Mantel Simon Armitage, myself and others have recorded verses of The Rime of The Ancient Mariner. The Guardian covered the story just the other day
It’s an inspired idea by Philip Hoare and The University of Plymouth. They have paired each speaker with an artist. Artists. like Marina Abramovic, Akroyd + Harvey and Cornelia Parker…. Verses are added each day. The poem builds each day in waves. The soundscape is majestic and mesmerising. It conjures the spirit of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner.
Powerful stuff.The Rime of The Ancient Mariner is one of my all time favourite poems. I performed it with Bellowhead at The Queen Elizabeth Hall and by the sea in Southend. And I was scheduled to read it at The Royal Albert Hall for Bookshambles.
Moving on. On Friday 1st May (that’s today) Christopher Eccleston, Michael Morpurgo, Juliet Stevenson, Adjoa Andoh and myself amongst others perform at The Lowry Theatre. It is called “Re:Creating Europe” directed by Ivan Hoe for Manchester International Festival 2019. It was all filmed for one night only and received a standing ovation on the night. It is on today at 7.30pm BST on YouTube https://bit.ly/2VKA3Zw
Register and join me at University of Manchester for The Making a Difference awards ceremony on Thursday 7th May to see who will win. Of 180 entries, eight categories, 44 are shortlisted: #MaDAwards? Find out by joining us on Thursday, 7 May on Facebook Live!
Also on Thursday 7th May at 7.30pm on BBC Two Television I will be on on Mary beard’s Front Row Late alongside Game of Thrones Actor Emilia Clarke, Historian and professor at University of Manchester, David Olusoga and Dame Helen Mirren. An exclusive recording of Invisible kisses filmed earlier this year in addis Ababa will go online afterwards
Meanwhile every day I read new fiction for The Booker Prize 2020. Every single day. I don’t know how I could have been a judge of The Booker Prize without this Lockdown. Talking of Lockdown I’ve made my own gallery in the hall. This lockdown has been a blessing. Firstly because I am alive.
It has taught me an important lesson: to be grateful. I have been lucky for a long while. If lucky people make their own luck then I am lucky to be able to make my own luck! Luck comes with responsibility, to others. Something for me to think of and act on.
For pleasure I’ve been watching “Afterlife” on Netflix.I’m also viewing Normal People . If you have trouble sleeping try a podcast called Get Sleepy. It’s very very good. If you want a serious laugh just google the sketches of Key and Peele