Cultural Life: Bryony Lavery, Playwright

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The Independent Culture


I'm re-reading Elizabeth Taylor; A Game of Hide and Seek, The Soul of Kindness and now Angel. Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope. I've been halfway through Daniel Deronda since August 2007.


Mamma Mia! – fantastic. I saw two documentaries about terrible obsessives: Man on Wire, and The Artist and the Sudanese Twins at the Edinburgh Film Festival. In my TV-less house, there's currently a Kieslowski retrospective.


I threw my television out! Now I'm box-set woman. I've run the White House for two terms in The West Wing, failed to clean up Baltimore in The Wire and augmented my swearing with Deadwood.


Not one opera this year! I've had a 16-year-old niece staying, so lots of Duffy, Bright Eyes, Fleet Foxes, Blitzen Trapper and Mason Jennings. My cool nephew Mark gave me The New Adventures of Jassi Sidhu. And Mamma Mia! got me listening to Abba again.


I've mostly been rehearsing – Stockholm with Frantic Assembly, The Bloody Chamber with Northern Stage, Kursk with Sound and Fury. I loved Abi Morgan's Fugee, and a fabulous Doll's House in a period apartment in Oslo.

Visual arts

My house is full of Alison Neville prints. In February, with more nieces, I loved the Egyptian Museum, the tomb of Akhethotep and Ptahhotep and Cairo's pyramid selection. The Vanity Fair photographs. In Spain, I enjoyed some astonishingly awful sand sculptures on the beach – the Last Supper (all 12 disciples), a giant squid, a rather roguish dragon. A freak storm washed them away. Ars brevis, vita longa.

Bryony Lavery's play 'Frozen' tours the UK until 11 October (; her adaptation of Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber' opens on 26 September at Northern Stage, Newcastle (0191-230 5151)