Four days passed and another message intruded my inbox with deep concerns on my lack of response because they needed to arrange my flights. Their hook had worked. ‘Flights?’ I questioned, and hit refresh for two hours. Their reply was formulated into a blank itinerary in which I was to key in my address and passport details. Their cunning ploy to acquire these specifics was met by another deleted email.
Their persistence endured with a follow-up requesting my phone number so they could settle any concerns, and I warily relented. At a tapas bar I received a call from the empathetic Producer who was extremely keen for a meeting. He implored me to fill in the itinerary and he would personally take care of the rest. The next day I received an email confirmation of my first class return tickets to Pisa.
Twenty-four hours later I was airborne over the Alps drinking champagne. Despite the altitude my feet were kept grounded by the plastic dispenser cups that compensated for the unlatched glasses which had broken on take-off.
I was met at Galileo Galilei Airport by the Producer who accompanied me to my five-star hotel accommodation in preparation for the evening meeting. He returned with the company driver who chauffeured me to the upper reaches of the Tuscan hills. As the city lights succumbed to darkness, trepidation fluttered my heart. I was in the middle of nowhere with two men that were now speaking exclusively in Italian. Their exchange quietened as we swung into the mile long drive of a private country estate. The driver opened my door and I momentarily paused before stepping out.
They escorted me to the rear of the building across shadowed cobbles. I took a deep breath as the kitchen door creaked open.
My fears receded with the warm greeting I received from Maurizio Mian and his family, who were busy putting the final touches to dinner. When the feast was over, Maurizio, the Producer, and myself retreated to the living room for our meeting. They apologized for their evasiveness but they needed my complete trust and faith in the project before divulging the company’s worth of $400 million dollars. A company that could quite literally afford anybody, and here they were hiring me. Naturally I inquired as to what writing sample had privileged me so. They spoke of an earlier screenplay, and especially my short film The Stars and The Stones which the company loved. They now wanted me to write an experimental Theatre show for an event in three months time. I received very detailed specifics about the message that must be conveyed via a mountain of reading material and video clips. I was to compact these gigantic threads into an innovative show entitled Global Revolution.
After negotiating my own contract, I wrote the script in three hectic weeks and delivered my final draft for the company meeting. During which I had to sit with bated breath and watch the team read it. Fortunately they were thrilled with the work and Maurizio announced an immediate production.
We auditioned Actors; Dancers; Chorographers; and Musicians; from across Europe, over a two week period. Once the team was in place Maurizio hired an entire floor of a city hotel so that his cast and crew could stay together for the duration of the rehearsals.
During the subsequent months I Co-Directed the production with the Choreographer Jean Breeze, while also attending regular meetings with Mauricio at extravagant locations across Tuscany. The discussions centred around how we could develop the show and the world cities it could be taken to. Mauricio’s preference was Miami as he owned the Mansion that had previously belonged to Madonna. But to crack that scene, we both agreed that it would require a Director more accustomed to the Theatre. So I contacted the Curtis Brown Agency in London, and arranged for their client at the time, Paul Jepson, to fly out and discuss the possibility of him taking over the reigns.
We staged Global Revolution to a live audience of 4000 at an open air event in Pisa where it was simultaneously filmed for Italian Television.