Darren and I are doing two days work this week to start to figure out how to transform ALASKA the poetry into ALASKA the show.
We had a great day on Thursday. We put the poems into a chronological order, and I told Darren the backstory for each one. He then began to connect them.
We’re not going to treat the poems as sacred texts — the stage show has to work on stage, and the poems are a starting point and fodder.
The emotional throughline that started to emerge on Thursday is more about how the struggle with my illness interacts with questions of sexuality and relationships.
No matter what sex or colour the people I’ve been most in love with, they have been drunks, drug abusers or both, and largely emotionally unavailable.
The link at the top is to a story in the Guardian from a former partner of an alcoholic, and gives a hint of what it’s like to live with one.
Despite how all that sounds, there’s a lot that’s funny in the history of constantly picking a version of the same wrong person. Especially when I was young, and in denial or wilfully ignoring obvious clues that the relationship was not quite right.
Even in a messed-up relationship, it takes two to tango. Have to ask why where you there, dancing as hard as you could?
For me, important that the show is not about whining, or sentimental, or what Darren calls emotional porn.
Anyway, that was day one. More to come…