Last night I went to see Iris Brunette by Melanie Wilson at the BAC (Natasha Tripney's review here). I have been going to the theatre for years and years, looking for something but never sure what. I think I found it in Iris Brunette.
It was such an exquisite, involving, elusive, clever, charming, atmospheric show. Melanie Wilson creates a world and puts the audience in it. I feel forever changed by the experience. In the unlikely event of my death, I have asked to be cremated and for my ashes to be scattered from one of the prettier bridges into the Thames. But if that doesn't happen - for example, if a greatful nation insists that I am buried in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey - and my gnarly old corpse is one day dug up again and a sort of theatrical autopsy carried out by some future Time Team types, then when they break me open with an axe, they will be able to pinpoint the exact moment when my molecular structure was changed forever by seeing Iris Brunette.
I love Melanie Wilson. 'More than you,' I said to Lauren as we drove home from the BAC last night, although that was a bit harsh. The correct order should be Lauren, then Jessie, then Melanie, then the rest of the world.
So now what? Should I try to transform myself into Melanie W as a mark of my admiration, in a stalkerish and slightly sinister Fay Weldon She-Devil kind of a way? No, because I've nearly finished my novel and I need to keep going with it; I haven't got time for surgery, dieting and a serious study of performance skills.
Perhaps it means I never have to go and see anything else at the theatre again? No. Because I'm off to see CloudCuckooLand the week after next because Stephen Sharkey has written it and I like him. And next week, I'm going along to a workshop of a new musical which a friend has written, and which my friend Kate is in. Russell (remember him, goat curry roti, previous post) said that the first time he heard her sing it was like drinking wine from a glass and realising that he had been drinking from a plastic cup all his life. I definitely don't want to miss it.
Iris Brunette is on at the BAC until 25 October. Only £10. I can't say it will change your life - I feel changed by it but it seems I'm going to carry on as before - but it may leave you feeling very happy and also quite sad. That's how I felt.