The day didn’t get off to the best of starts, as I found out that I had been unsuccessful in my application for a grant from the Japanese Society of the Promotion of Science (JSPS), which I planned to use to continue my research into the relationship between theatre and scientific communication. I felt that we had put together a very good proposal, but allegedly there were almost a thousand applicants, with only a 10% success rate, and our proposal was up against far more traditional scientific research. Still, I shall not be deterred, as I am convinced that this is a fascinating area for investigation, and one that I have already seen is capable of producing tangible and impressive results. In the words of Seneca: ‘It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.’
Today the director decided that he would let the cast try out a number of different alternatives for the scene in ‘Hamlet’ which heralds the arrival of Fortinbras and his army. This resulted in a number of proposals, ranging from the interesting: Fortinbras as a woman, to the truly bizarre: Fortinbras as a wounded soldier forced into manoeuvring about the stage in a wheelchair. After a couple of hours and numerous permutations we were still no nearer to a decision, and so the director settled on his original suggestion. After all, democracy is all well and good in practice, but what every actor truly craves is totalitarian autonomy!