Friday 2nd April Just across a mud clogged field from the farmhouse where we're staying lies a Boscawen-Un a neolithic stone circle with a leaning pillar at the centre aimed towards a mysterious quartz stone lying South West. Although nobody can really make sense of its meaning it was a good excuse to delay leaving for a while.
We headed north to pick up a few things in St.Ives, stopping at the more remarkable Chyauster Iron Age village crunched high on the hill above Penzance ground down to evocative ruins under the low dark sky.
The sun came out, as it always seems to, by the time we got to town. The seagulls sang, the fishing boats bobbed in the harbour and the pastel blues, whites and yellows of the cottages and daffodils invited us to stay. We buzzed around the studios and shops picking up a few souvenirs and a very early cream tea, to steel ourselves before facing the long drive back to London.
We stayed off the motorways and at Exeter headed due east through Somerset and Wiltshire for a final stop off at Stonehenge - just as it was closing. The stones are protected, cordoned off and visitors have to circle them at a distance of fifty metres or so. We tried to persuade the guards that we were Spanish druids, who'd just turned up a bit early for solstice, but they wouldn't let us go any closer. It's hard to fathom this attraction - it could be so inspiring but everywhere the trapping of twentieth century commercialism invade the eye line. Gone is the majesty or awe inspiring conundrum. Most tourists take photos of themselves jumping in front of the stones - a strange juxtaposition of movement and the immovable; of energy and latency.
With evening drawing in we detoured past Salisbury and through the New Forest before turning onto the M3 and a fast track back to Ham. .
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.