Feel remarkably together and well prepared for the day. Alan is at breakfast and hadn’t gone to sleep until two as he had the room over the bar. ‘It was like Christmas down there,’ he says, rather morosely.
He goes and I’m alone in this recently-refurbished, rather ornate dining room with ‘Adam’ pretensions and a giggly waitress who reports loudly my every word back to the kitchen.
I’m driven down solid, leafy roads to a cul-de-sac in Ben Rhydding and up to Briargarth, which is my home for the film. A long, detached, stone house of (probably) Edwardian vintage, with a porch and gables. Carpenters, painters, sparks swarm over it. Loud banging, shouts, and, amidst it all, actors –myself, Maggie and Liz – wandering gingerly, waiting to take possession.
Gradually the first scene creaks into action. Round the table, eating Spam. We reach around for our characters, absorbing all the clues and helps and hindrances of this brand new place in which we must act as if it were all too familiar.
Maggie, brittle and tense so often in non-acting moments, gives so much out when she plays the scene that it’s exhilarating to be with her.
A hot bath and a lager. Then walk down into Ilkley – clean, ordered, respectable, with oriel windows above the shops, glass-canopied arcades and ornamental flower beds. It’s like the Garden of Eden after Gospel Oak. Choose Chez Francois – a wine bar – for a solitary meal. Read of Bunuel and the Surrealists in Paris in the late ’20’s and ’30’s. Similarities with Pythons. Bourgeois against the bourgeoisie. Bunuel sounds rather like TJ. Very interested in sex and the Middle Ages and blamed the media for all the world’s ills.