This is personal; I can’t stop myself from posting here some wonderful news. My daughter Hannah has just learned she’s got a place on the Directors Course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London (President: Dame Judi Dench). It’s a one-year postgraduate course (she’s just graduated with an excellent first degree in Drama from University of Kent) so from September she’ll be following a path trodden by people who have gone on to work at the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, the Almeida, Old Vic, Young Vic, Donmar, English National Opera … just about everywhere, in fact, that a young theatre director could be excited about.
A year from now, if all goes well, she will be embarking on the really hard part, trying to make a career in an intensely demanding and precarious profession. There will be trepidation, highs and lows, and much uncertainty ahead, but for now she is feeling only the pride of her achievement at getting in to Mountview, and I am feeling pure joy. And there is no joy quite like seeing one’s child under sail, entirely on her own merits, towards the thing she has been single-mindedly determined about since the age of eight.
Here is Hannah around the age of eight. I’m glad that in this picture she looks just happy rather than single-mindedly determined. I remember she was very agitated about the size of her feet which were, though I insisted at the time they weren’t, enormous. I don’t think they grew more than half a size from that point on, and of course the rest of her has long since caught up.
And on the right is an early self-portrait, done when she was two and a half. Is it just a dotty mother’s delusion to see something both happy and determined in the shout, the punching of the air?
Probably. Don’t care. It’s a good day.