Monday, 13 September 2010
I've been inspired, over the weekend, to resurrect a project I've been fiddling about with for years - honestly, I first got bitten by the bug nearly 20 years ago. It's a story from the 16th century, well documented but still a mystery, which I've researched on and off during that time, always searching for new angles and insights. But none of my half assed attempts to retell the story have amounted to much. In the end I give up, telling myself it's a hopeless task. But obviously some part of me still hankers after it. Hence my weekend inspiration.
It was prompted by watching The Lion in Winter, the 1968 movie starring Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. If you haven't seen it recently it's worth a trip to Youtube. Hepburn alone brings this potentially dry story to crackling intensity, but she's helped by a marvellous cast including youthful Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton. The film was based on a stage play and the action takes place one Christmas when Henry II gathers his feuding and plotting family to discuss the future of the monarchy. Limited sets, no special effects, just great dialogue and wonderful acting. It has inspired me to use the device of a single weekend and a gathering under one roof to tell my own story.