Twenty years ago, myself and my best friend, Liz, travelled to England; not to go on a working holiday, spending our weekends whooping it up in London’s nightlife; but rather, to go to a strange little theatre school, in the middle of North Yorkshire, called A.R.T.T.S. International, run by a seriously unwell man called John who had once been head of drama at ATV. I think he built the school as a means of kidding himself he was not a has-been.
There were two other women there from Adelaide and other students from all over the world.
It was an odd, exciting and frustrating time in all our lives. One of those experiences that you can only understand if you were there.
As a tribute to that year, I have taken a poem from one of my favourites, Yeats, and rewritten it to reflect our time on the renovated pig-farm that was this school.
SMALL TOWN OF BUBWITH
I will arise and go now, and go to Bubwith,
And a small theatre-school build there, of red bricks made;
Nine old pig farms will I have there, a rake for gravel,
And live with twenty others in the laughing loud dormitory.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where Liz makes juices;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, while I sew costumes,
And evening full of bitching and moaning.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear John giving us a bollocking with low sounds in the studio;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.