Friday, October 26, 2007

I went to see A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Kings last night, courtesy of JGH (for which great thanks are in order). And it was magic. Inventive, imaginative, hugely colourful, enormously energetic. One of those rare productions when you burst out into the street afterwards full of the springiness of life. Check out Joyce Macmillan for a more informative review. But go see go see go see.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Belatedly downloading my pics from my recent holiday in la belle France, this is the view from my genial host's house. Think it might serve me as a screensaver for the time being too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Great article in the Guardian today by Michael Billington about the state of British theatre. Although I was amused to notice that he didn't mention Black Watch when he talked of seminal productions depicting the Iraq war. Residual London snobbery.
I also blog at work. It started to show willing and now has become something of an obsession as no other bastard tends to bother so I add it to my list of things to worry about - god forbid that an advertising agency has a blog that isn't kept up to date - and try and write some rubbishy tenuously-connected-to-my-job post now and again. Unfortunately I can rarely think of anything clever so end up blogging about things I have eaten or Alan's inability to clean out the tank of his / the department's fish.

Some months back - in June to be specific - I wrote a brief review of the Edinburgh College of Art End of Year show. Most of it, to my humble mind, was pretty rubbishy. But I was very taken with the work of one particular guy, Kristian Evju, who did a mix of rather lovely paintings and illustrations. So I wrote about this on the work blog.

I noticed the other day in passing that we had some thousands of comments on the work blog. So I started pottering through past posts to find out what they were. And indeed, most of it was spam. However, to my surprise and delight, Kristian Evju had somehow or other discovered my post and thanked me for coming to see his show. The miracle of the internet. So I promptly emailed him, hoping this would charm him into giving me a fine painting for free in gratitude.

Unsurprisingly, it did not. But he did point me towards a more regularly upkept blog of his. So I shall pay close attention to this. Maybe he'll have a January sale...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I think The Man Who Lives Opposite is about to move out.

You may remember that by way of a day job, he buys properties, does them up and sells them on. And he's currently in the process of doing up The Flat Opposite. So gone are the days of watching him hunched in the window bay typing typing long into the night.

In these renovating days, he potters around in stark high wattage stepping up stepladders and slithering plaster onto the walls.

I think he is possibly trying to provoke me into some kind of declaration before he leaves. As on Sunday evening, he performed the whole DIY show half naked. Topless you understand rather than the other dreadful way round. It was nonetheless very distracting.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In a pathetic attempt to earn my keep as general manager of our November show, I took a rehearsal last week in the absence of the director. I say 'took' but that probably overstates the case rather as I didn't actually do all that much beyond sitting in front of the actors in the prime central omniscient seat making stupid facetious comments as they shambled around like a pack of confused animals gathering in the slaughterhouse pen.

However it demonstrated neatly to me that somehow directing a large cast doesn't need to be so bad. Or maybe this lot are just incredibly tolerant, obedient and kind. Either way, I had a great time. I was loving 'directing' but not having any responsibility for the end product.

Incidentally, despite my best efforts to be 'poached' by Arkle to direct for them next year, I feel my hopes may again be dashed as I hear on the grapey vine that he's already talking to potential candidates. And I clearly am not one. What will I have to do to make him think of me..?!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another mystery solved. Some cruel readers might suggest that I should get out more but I have wondered periodically over the past weeks and months wondering how The Man At The Bus Stop actually gets home.

You appreciate the dilemma. Every morning, there he is at the bus stop. And yet he is never there at the bus stop when I return home from work. Of course I do not spend hours standing at the homeward bus stop night after night, lying in wait for him in the kebab shop doorway. But I have never seen him in all the various 6pm to 9pm waits that I have had. And so I wondered.

Last night, mystery solved. I set off for my infrequent run when I got home last night, padding along the usual track beside the sea. You understand that my great fear is to be seen when I'm out running, for shame at the sweat, at the shabby gym kit, at my unathletic stance and shambling running style.

So imagine my displeasure when I see The Man At The Bus Stop walking towards me, winter-coated and scarfed, clearly on his way home from work. I give him a sweaty grin as I pass and am thus forced to run much further than I was actually intending to so I don't appear lazy and unfit.

The encounter has obviously spurred him on to new chatty heights. This morning at The Bus Stop, I deliberately hung back so that he would have to get on the bus first and couldn't conceivably hang back to let me on first. Thus avoiding any awkward spoken encounter.

So I was standing safely behind him in the queue but at the last horrible moment, suddenly he stepped away from the bus, gestured to me to let me on first and said "there you go". Previously I think his chat has been limited to a "hi".

Clearly he feels that now he's seen me in my shabby gym kit, he has the upper hand. A dangerous precedent.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

You can tell it's autumn. The Man At The Bus Stop was wearing his winter coat and scarf this morning.

There was a potentially embarrassing moment when he clambered onto the same (early to avoid him) bus this morning and then shockingly got off at the same (early to avoid him) bus stop. But to my immense relief, he didn't tread towards my favoured verdant short cut but instead took the urban route to his destination. I didn't see him again.

Mizzly autumn times.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I "only" lost £312 on my festival show. Obviously this is, in many respects, a disaster. Biggest loss I've made to date. Sharp contrast to my last festival show where I made a profit of £300. And hot on the heels of the £200 I lost with CCC, I must now be the biggest drain on the group's resources after our voluminous cash-guzzling storage space.

But I'd convinced myself with typical pessimism that I was going to lose £500. So I feel absurdly almost cheerful. Money saved, don't you think..?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A great little video from the Traverse of the get in and get out for the Walworth Farce, Damascus and I guess the one that featured a climbing wall from the looks of the set. All in one day.

Poor bastard props people for The Walworth Farce in particular. I do remember standing watching them with a terrible kind of awe as they struck right into the set the second the show finished that Saturday morning that I went to see it. The vid is a fine tribute to them.