The Attic by Alan Jackson at Pentameters Theatre
The Attic, by Alan Jackson, at the Pentameters Theatre, a fringe venue in Hampstead, north London, from 13 to 18 March 2012.
Directed by Lizzie Hutchinson, starring Andrew Floyd.
In the Edinburgh of the 1960s and 70s, Alan Jackson was a celebrated and widely published poet. However, by the late 1970s the poetry that powered through him - fiery, eloquent, haunting and uncompromising - started to animate him in a new direction. The call was to obey the poetry, not just deliver it. Telling friends that he was going to go and ‘stand in his own fire’, Jackson went to live in the attic which he rented as a workplace (but was not meant to live in). Over a year-and-a-half he went through extreme highs and lows, experiencing spiritual battles and encounters which he wrote down as they were happening. But as always with Jackson this was not only about a single self being remade (‘in the fire’), but about meanings, ideas, the shape of our time; what is happening to us.
The Attic presents all this in the order in which it unfolded, with a linking narrative