↑↓ Going Up Going Down 14

↑ Authors defend green countryside
The Lake District [below] inspired William Wordsworth, Wessex inspired Thomas Hardy. Now some of the most iconic parts of English countryside which have inspired writers and poets for centuries are under threat by new home construction, according to the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

[photo: telegraph.co.uk]

[photo: telegraph.co.uk]

An unprecedented list of British writers, including CPRE  president Sir Andrew Motion, Philip Pullman, John Le Carre, David Lodge, Bill Bryson and Jeanette Winterson, have protested against excess development.

The letter to Government called for change: “As artists and writers who have been inspired by the matchless beauty of England, we urge the Government to support the three basic principles set out in CPRE’s charter to save our countryside. First, build on suitable brownfield land first, rather than unnecessarily sacrificing the countryside. Second, real localism: give people a proper say in shaping the places they love. Finally, we must build more houses – not executive houses on green fields, as is too often the case now, but well-designed affordable homes in the right places.”

↑Rankin on stage
Dark Road, Ian Rankin’s first stage play, earned four curtain calls at its premiere at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre on September 25, 2013. Written in collaboration with Lyceum artistic director Mark Thomson, Dark Road covers ground familiar to readers of the Rebus novels.

[photo: Ian Rutherford for www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com]

[photo: Ian Rutherford for www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com]

It is good to see Rankin branching out, though will we see more stage plays? Dark Road was storyboarded by Rankin, the script written by Thomson then workshopped by the actors. Rank told Independent Radar magazine: “As a novelist, you’re much more like God. When I wrote the words down, I thought of the way they’d be said inside my head, not of all the different inflections that an actor would be able to give, all the nuances they can put across. It might look okay on the page, but does it come out of their mouth sounding authentic? And does the character become slippier if you change just one word or one action?”

The play runs until October 19, 2013.