Thursday, July 27, 2017

At last, the teenagers are back from holiday. Between them, they were probably away for the total holiday period. (Must remember not to do shows with young people...)

Alan, co-director, is amazingly versatile as an actor but even his skills are stretched thin as a 14 year old stage school brat. And my presentation of Brad The Lad was nothing but ludicrous. So I'm glad they back.

And they all aced it last night at the rehearsal. I'm a little worried they shall steal all the glory from the grown people who've been patiently working away for three months. The young person's prerogative, I suppose.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Well, this is nothing but exciting.

Courtesy of PR whizz, Hannah, we've had an interview featured on The List's theatre editor's blog. You may enjoy it here.

Our big fat bribe marvellously worked, also with The List. Though I'm sorry it wasn't as exciting as the bribe offered by the Smut Slam Cabaret.

And here's a tidy little preview piece in What's On Edinburgh.

I shouldn't take such a childish pleasure from seeing my name in print. (For the right reasons - for the time being. Just you wait, cmf, until the reviews start to slate it. You won't enjoy seeing your name in print so much then.)

But for now, with thanks to Hannah, I am over the proverbial moon.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

I am in love with my cast. Desperately unrequitedly in love. I'm at that absurd stage where, practicalities aside, I would rehearse every night if they'd have me and if silly real life didn't get in the way. 

They're all behaving. They all seem to be working on their words. We're a week and a half into books down and some portions are pretty much word perfect. (Other portions are farcically imperfect but I'd rather have flashes of brilliance than uniform drudgery.) And they're all patient (how was it that Justine ended up across social media in a Star Trek outfit?) and kind and lovely and I'd like to spend all of my days with them.

The acting reached an astonishing peak last night. The kids are now all away on holiday. Of course they are - it's three whole working days since term finished. And for Ruby, since school finished altogether and forever. So we have the hilarious procession of stand-ins. Last night, I was both Ruby and 16 year old Brad.
Brad gets the climactic scene in the play. The denouement, such as it is. And he has this ranting speech about what art really is. So I delivered this speech in my best 16 year old yoof speak. And as I was speaking, to my amazement, I saw a tear on Ty's cheek. Amazing, I thought, the power of the words. The power of the acting. How this wonderful speech puts all the pointless frivolity of the play - of this silly rarefied world - into sharp relief. And how powerful my yoof speak must be to so move him.I felt humble.
We finished the scene and I cawed incredulous: "oh my god, were you crying?"
"No!" (appalled). "I think you spat on me."
Oh.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

There was a little moment at tonight's rehearsal. One of the props ladies had arrived unexpectedly and I had to stop myself falling prostrate at her feet as I'd been worried that - you know - she'd changed her mind. 
The actors had arrived. I darted down to let the (lovely) prompt in. Came back up to re-arrange the furniture into the daft configuration that, for this show, represents desk table chair low chair chaise longue. 
And as I humphed furniture, I thought that they, these actors, were having a very sustained and fluent conversation in the kitchen. And then I realised they were saying lines and then I realised these were lines that I wrote. And then I realised that this thing has life now, independently of me. It's out there, amongst these small seven cast anyway, and it's theirs now, not mine. And it was nuts and marvellous.

Monday, July 03, 2017

The wonderful Judith Fieldhouse working her magic at the weekend just gone to create the (tall order brief) "perfect image of beauty". Helped by the very beautiful Carolina. These are sneak previews from her very own camera. I can't wait to see the end result. Judith is in the middle of a feast of graduation photos at the moment - I'm glad she didn't sneak a mortar board onto our model's head on autopilot.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dammit. So it's still running too long. Full run last night and it sat, albeit with some dithering, at one hour and 48 minutes. I'm aiming for a nice neat 90 minutes. So the great debate is how much will they speed up when they're consistently concentrating. 

Ty /Gregor said last night, with great surprise, "it's actually really funny. I hadn't realised". In fact, I think his actual words were "it's a hilarious farce". Which I had to take issue with like a pedant as it's not farcical in the slightest really. But I hope that my dark mind has yielded something that's darkly funny. Certainly, we're all laughing away watching it in that slightly slavishly adoring way that comes from seeing it too many times and anticipating your favourite bits. But we are undoubtedly biased.

I continue amazed at how much I love rehearsals. I arrived 8 minutes late from a train back from London last night and by rights, should have had no appetite at all for such frivolity when I'd been up since 5:30am. 

But beyond furious irritation when the actors were mostly late and - I'm guessing - hadn't travelled from another country to the rehearsal rooms, they won my heart again. They're acting now, you see, as well as urgently trying to learn their lines (books down on Monday!). And everytime they do a few little lines particularly well or get just the right facial expression, I want to jump up and hug them. And the final scene. Boof. 

I wait with equal terror and anticipation to see whether people (an audience - for we must have one at some point I suppose. But oh the bad language. Thank goodness I didn't make young Brad say the worst of words. Think of the grandparents!) are appalled or thrilled. Or just ambivalent. What larks.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rehearsals lope on. To my surprise, I'm dearly loving it. Now the terrible scrutiny of is the script good enough is over (more or less), I'm left with the comical delight of seeing people I don't know (and some I do!) wrestle with words from my head.

It turns out my head (my lack of background research) failed me when it came to the Scottish judicial system. Last night, the lawyer in the cast told me sheepishly that the scene I described when the photographer is taken in for questioning by the Police would never have happened.

We ran the show from start to end on Sunday and it was - at a kind estimate - twenty minutes too long. At a mean estimate, thirty minutes too long. I think over-running in the Fringe is the height of rudeness so am currently on an editing rampage. It will clearly speed up when they know their words and know where to stand. But it'll be nice to leave them pause for thought too.

So the implausible prison scene, despite containing a beloved (by me only) line about a man whose eyes were filled with blood (the ultimate horror surely in a play of aesthetic overload), is gone. And it turns out that 'most everyone had secretly thought it didn't work but no-one was vulgar enough to mention it.

I love that, three weeks in, they feel that they can speak their minds. This is a good sign, right?