Thursday, February 28, 2008

So we've started rehearsing now for 4:48 again and I'm busy working out logistics for staging it in the new place.

In amongst this, auditioned for Les Liaisons Dangereuses and would you believe it, carelessly got cast.

Should make life interesting.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My beloved father, one of the kindest, dearest, most patient, honourable and honest and trustworthy and loyal and selfless men that you could ever hope to meet, appears to be have been booted unceremoniously out of his long-serving enormous-over-time-working job at the Nottingham Arts Theatre.

I used this blog to "campaign" for a continuation of the theatre's opening a few months back. I would now like to retract that. Let them rot in underfunded hell.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Saturday and the tech. I turn into a kind of small apologetic Hitler for these sessions I fear, listening fawningly to the technical experts (JGH in this instance) and barking disrespectfully at my cast when they ask what I suspect suspiciously to be insolent questions. But we darted through it and covered something like a half complete run of the show despite the malfunctioning second CD player.

Adjourned to the pub for tea and then back with a fluttery tummy for the show.

And it went beautifully. We were on first. The devil's slot in many respects. But the play advanced. JGH excelled himself with the lights with almost no set up time so it looked gorgeous. The music all started and stopped in the right place. Alex stumbled over her consolidated consciousness and her hellish bowl. Brian stumbled when he tried to climb onto his block and then when he tried to step down the stairs - to the point that I started to worry that he'd broken an ankle. But everything else was pretty much perfect. No-one walked out, to my immense surprise, even in the midst of the "fuck you god for making me love a person that doesn't exist. Fuck you fuck you FUCK YOU" speech. And Emma, bless her funkily dressed heart, managed to eke out a tear or two at the end.

JGH effected a black out. There was a pause. I wondered if I should start to clap to demonstrate to people that we were done. But then the curtains and people caught on and began to clap.

They were kind to my face in the interval but we all know that fake kindness is what we drama types do best so I took all of that with a pinch of salt. And the second play of the night was Leitheatre so I went into it with sinking heart assuming it would be wonderful.

But glory of glories, it was shit. Well, that's harsh. Not shit. But not up to their usual excellent standard which was good enough for me. An odd cliched choice of script didn't help. Some terrible thing called Teamwork that led you to believe we were in the trenches but actually turned out to be about corporate team-building paintballing. Maybe the premise is flawed enough to explain how unfunny it turned out to be. Though of course I was horribly biased by this point.

So I stepped up after the raffle and more glasses of cheap lash to take my place behind the heavy green velvet curtain alongside the other directors thinking "well maybe we're in with a chance". At least of coming second. And we were braver than Ae Fond Kiss...

The certificates of congratulatory participation were distributed and we took our seats of shame on the stage alongside the various assorted dignatories: commitee people, emergency panel people, the adjudicator, last year's winner. I'm concentrating on my fixed relaxed expression.

And then someone (Holy Cow?) comes third, Ae Fond Kiss comes second, we are awarded best production suddenly and I'm grinning and smiling thinking we've won like an idiot. And then they announce that the first prize goes to a group who blah blah blah and I spy Andy in the wings opposite peeking down at the winning certificate on the table and looking soberly down at the ground despite the fact that he surely sees me sitting there on stage and I'm thinking "have we won and he's being a bastard / politically correct or have we just not won...?" and then it turns out that we've won. I try hard to look casual as I juggle my broken cup and dart up to the get the shallow curry dish.

The curtains close again and I say to my fellow Ae Fond Kiss director (who shall remain nameless even though anyone who was there would clearly know who he was): "I'm so sorry, I can't believe you didn't win. I assumed you would." And he, without a trace of humour, replies: "I know. So did I."

So we're off to Kelso on April 4th. Missing my (Sarah Kane's) tragedy filled lines already so it's a bit of a relief in many ways. And a delight in many others.

Though does beg the question of whether or not I should really put myself through auditioning for our early June show, Christopher Hampton's Dangerous Liaisons.

I'm currently in a hotel in the backend of nowhere in Glasgow so I'm going to take the script for a little bath-time reading and consider my options!

Monday, February 18, 2008

By Friday last week, I was the tiredest girl in the world. I crawled through work, thanking the lord again that I hadn't made much of a fuss about the competition at work so people would write me off as Friday dozy rather than irretrievably exhausted.

Friday's One Act Play festival entries were an interesting collection. We had the Mercators presenting a non-competitive version of the "Inimitable Dickens". I slept through a large portion of this, meaning absolutely no disrespect to those involved as it was very nicely put together and Susan and John in particular did a lovely job. But I had just necked a large glass of white wine in Spiers Bar so I would have slept through almost anything.

Then we had the "Holy Cow" theatre group with a self-penned piece discussing issues of gender. They're an Indian group and it was beautifully colourful. Some lovely acting. But overall, whilst a good effort, I wouldn't have described it as brilliant theatre.

Then we had St Serfs Theatre Group with an absolutely cracking (first amateur) performance of a new play, premiered in last year's Fringe, called Ae Fond Kiss. It was brilliantly acted, nicely directed, perfectly adequately staged with some really lovely comic moments. I spent most of the play coveting the lapdancer's shoes worn by the "ageing" prostitute (which I subsequently find are from New Look so I shall be paying that store a visit sharpish.)

I had been pessimistic about our chances in the competition from the outset and kissed goodbye to any kind of anything approaching victory having seen this.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It is done.

And oh my god we won!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

They were brilliant last night. Or at least, close enough to being word perfect that no-one would have noticed any different.

We're cheating on the flash flickers and taped them earlier this week. Emma's done some magic sound engineering fiddling and they sound great. So I think we're good to go.

1 in 4 chance of getting through to the next round. Not that I'm doing this for the competition rather than the love of the art.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The final run-through tonight (supposedly) before they irrevocably take to the stage on Saturday.

They haven't done it word perfect yet.

Wish them luck!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I clearly have some kind of subliminal exhibitionist tendency. At the end of last night's rehearsal, Emma seized my wrist and softly said "your blouse has come undone". Dear dear me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Third last rehearsal yesterday. They're all getting a bit tetchy. Obviously at last realising that they shall shortly be performing.

The first run through deteriorated as usual midway through the script. The second run through was better.

But surreally those that have traditionally known their lines perfectly are now forgetting and stumbling over the easiest lines whereas others were practically perfect.

Poor Siobs was practically too hungover to speak after a wild night that started with a dinner party and ended with drink drink and more drink.

And we finished up with various people darting up to me and muttering secret concerns that they durst not / chose not to share with the assembled company.

Final panic before the show begins.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ok, so true decision for the final piece is this, a little fussed-with Gorecki, or a piece by Grieg, the Melodie Opus 47 No. 3. Which YouTube selfishly doesn't offer.

What do you think? Which is more likely to make people sob..?

I started out thinking the music might mostly be baroque. But that withered and died as Handel was quite strident and I don't have enough Bach to fill the whole thing with it.

So I've strayed across the centuries and finished up with William Orbit. I wonder if I've got the composers in chronological order.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Here we go. Last song. Sorted.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Too much work and not enough time for play. ARRRGGGh.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I'd love to use this at the end - but I suspect that might be trivialising the issues at hand slightly.

Friday, February 01, 2008

I imagined that Andy looked at me with disgust for most of my technical meeting.

I always draw a blank when I try to write descriptions of lighting so ended up drawing a series of crosses for the lighting form and a scrappy badly scaled view of the stage for my set form.

Inadequate times.

Still, I got to see the stage. The drop from the edge of the stage to the floor is higher than I imagined. The stepping up and down will take longer than I'd planned. The cast will love me for this.