Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My only piece of culture enjoyed on my Maltese holiday was "Garfield The Movie" on the plane on the way back home. Apart of course from a couple of trashy novels, a couple of more serious novels and a lot of ageing architecture. Oh, and my lines a lot. "Garfield" was nonsense of course. I slept through the middle of it on account of the 7am flight and still managed to figure out most of what had happened. But I'm off to see an obscure Japanese film at the Filmhouse tonight so that should even things out in terms of my movie cultural spectrum.

First rehearsal after about two and a half weeks tomorrow. And I've even dutifully resisted an invitation to an industry awards bash in Manchester which I've always dreamt of going to for fear of distressing DG. I'm trying to take pleasure in the hangover I'll save myself.
The pretty bits of Malta.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pathetic but after 10 days away from the internet, I am childishly delighted to be back with my blog again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I've now been for almost a week without a rehearsal. I've fitted in two theatre trips so I've not been entirely culturally starved. And I'm rediscovering simple pleasures like idle lattes, frivolous cinema trips, bleaching the bathroom and hangovers of evil wickedness.

I'm off on holiday tomorrow for an equally idle week. Missing three rehearsals I think which I feel very guilty about. But I've packed my script.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Into the Woods was lovely. I spent chunks of my childhood listening to the soundtrack and dreaming of being a West End musical star. (If only I could sing or dance.) So I know and love the music but I don't think I've ever seen it staged.

And it was astonishingly good. It featured a couple of girls from Liaisons, Amber and Fiona. And Tomcat Mr Aldred. So it's always a bit more interesting seeing something when you know people in it. But they all sang beautifully. And it's such a difficult score. I was very impressed.

Most impressed of course by the two princes who ably carried their princesses around the stage without any apparent effort or sweat. Take note, Valmont.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Oh and check out DG and his web-based artistry...
This morning was much more like my dream morning. I struggled up and shockingly went to the gym. Beautiful sun rise over the beach. Did some work on my lines in the gym to while away the dull exercise bike time. (I'm sure I'm working just as hard...) Missed The Boy At The Bus Stop altogether as I was on a later bus so time for more line contemplation. And arrived at work calm, unruffled and already productive. A happy morning. As it should be.

Off to Into the Woods tonight. We wish them well with their ticket sales as their production is costing approx 5 times our measley DL (though for us, hugely extravagent) effort.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A bit of revisionist history. The Boy Who Let Me Down shall heretoforth be known as The Boy At The Bus Stop. This to distinguish him from The Man At The Bus Stop. Far too many people seem to be reading this now for my liking and I shouldn't like to upset him unneccessarily. The Let Down after all did happen a good 8 months ago so although I secretly bear grudges for ever, I don't suppose people need to know this.

So anyway, The Boy At The Bus Stop was not only at the bus stop this morning but I felt compelled to sit near him on the bus (out of politeness) and then to my horror he decided to accompany me on my walk from the bus stop to work. Does he not know that this is my line learning time??

We raced along the path and in the end, I was forced to ask whether he always walked this fast. To which he meekly replied that he was trying to keep up with me.

I think I need to consider moving house to remove all of these bus stop hazards.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I've been shipped up to Shetland to work but the project has turned into a bit of a comedy fiasco so I've been left to sit for hours in front of hotel windows with beautiful sea views. Perfect circumstances to write my dramatic masterpiece but of course my Catholic guilt won't let me do that so instead I've been tap tapping away at various work chores. Must remember to come back when I'm at a loose end and seeking Celtic inspiration some day.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Precious memories. Aren't they all gorgeous?

I feel like a proud mother hen. (Though a fat one too. Despite my best intentions to get lean for DL so he can carry me lightly, I've just scoffed a fat plate of pasta and goats cheese. Best laid clucking plans.)
Just been to the gym and the arm that clung to Matt for dear life as he hauled me across the stage last night is stiff as a rusty old hinge that's been lying on the seabed for 45 years.

I can see I'm going to develop one weird tough monkey arm over the next few weeks while the other arm will be as puny as ever.

Still, the incentive of being light enough to carry drove me along to the gym in the first place. I was very tempted not to go and then thought of the dragging scene and this spurred me on.

Usually - age old cliche - I make myself gym-go with thoughts of the next awards do or the next bikini opportunity. I guess this makes a nice change.
Poor Matt.

Last night, I smacked him in the jaw and could have sworn I heard the bone crack (though he maintains it was "just" his teeth clacking together). This during my faint when I didn't quite fling my arm high enough to make it over his head to his shoulder to pre-empt the carrying.

He staggered three to four times and had to put me down rather than carrying me smoothly across the stage. (The sack of potatoes moment.)

I ran at him across the stage to greet him, full of innocent love, and he staggered backwards at the force of my approach.

The only good thing is I managed on repeated occasions not to slap him. When he jilts me, I am roused to rage so slap him across the chops. But I fear that in my rage, I may not be capable of the gentle slap he and Mr Grimes are hoping for. I shall have to practice gentle slaps on someone. Volunteers...?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Well, the date was not auspicious enough it seems. We came third. So we do not go to Inverness.

We did however get a mention as missing out by a whisker on the Best Production Trophy. (He (adjudicator man) mentioned me by name at this point and I almost bridled with pleasure.) And we also got a mention in the best moment in theatre category for the ending of the play which delighted me as I didn't think we stood any kind of chance in this category given the weirdy nature of the play. So we did respectably.

It was a long haul. Nine plays over three days. The thing that was most shocking was just how shoddy the standard was. You have to wonder how poor the plays that didn't qualify were if this was the nature of those that did.

The winning play was excellently done. Tryst Theatre - who always do well - did Mamet's Duck Variations very nicely. The play that came second was a surprise entry, midway through Saturday evening. Can't even remember the group's name which is terrible given that it was only 2 nights ago but they did a flimsy little play (so bitter!) called A Night Under Canvas, a story of two girls who got accidentally locked into an art gallery and (predictably) ended up pouring out their hopes and fears to each other. But they went at it with great energy, very convincing Welsh accents, a nice set and the overall effect was moderately charming.

And then we were third.

We beat off stiff competition from Kelso's local group who did Camouflage, the tale of two couples on a day out to Monkey Mania, a monkey zoo type thing. One couple is uptight (and English) and the other is fat, vulgar, foolish but lovable. And guess that, the uptight woman is convinced by the fat lovable vulgar woman to stand up to her uptight man and rebel against always being treated like a secretary. Which she did not very convincingly in her irritatingly shrill voice.

Then we had Adam and Eve on a Ferry by Tennessee Williams and by a reasonably good group. This should have been good but DH Lawrence in his dying days, fantasising about a character for his next story, was a terrible actor so it was filled with missed opportunities though played out on a beautiful set.

Any Thane Goes was a retelling of Macbeth by three characters modelled on the Marx Brothers. It was terrible. A Little Box of Oblivion was a stupid story of someone who left a box on a bench in the park, the others thought it might be a bomb, cue general panic. But oh - ho ho ho - it's a tortoise. Philip and Rowena was a turgid tale of Philip and Rowena who found love in their dying days and lived out (briefly) a fantasy courtship in Venice. Then Rowena died. Philip was a terrible actor so you had little idea about whether he cared she was dead at the final curtain. And The Ritual was a weirdy play trying to make profound social comment on the herd mentality of man but had none of the panache needed to carry off such a statement without being didactic.

All in all, a series of treats. I suddenly see why the late great Eric Bennet would have his lot perform their show and then sit in the pub for the rest of the festival. It is no advert for amateur drama.

Anyway, I am now - of course - both bereft and slightly bitter. My competitive spirit would love to have gone through. My practical spirit is slightly glad that we haven't - Andy is away the week of Inverness, Siobhan was threatening to pull out so would I have recast or learnt the part myself?, Mr Grimes would have been fighting me for Alex and Matt and so on and so forth - so all in all, it's for the best. Though of course I'm already wondering wondering what I could enter next year.

I shall miss both the play and the rehearsals. Lovely cast. I think we had fun though the director can never be entirely sure. And I loved the script. I keep murmuring lines to myself.

So farewell 4:48. I'm off to practice my fainting...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It occurred to me that we'll be performing on 04.04.08. I'm sure that must be a sign.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The tech last night. It was very exciting.

We got there early and were allowed to potter around as some compensation for not being allowed to go down and visit on Easter Sunday.

The stage is HUGE. Slightly raked. Steps down to the auditorium on each side of the stage. Plenty space for the actors to stand on the floor alongside the audience and deliver their lines. It's a cracking little theatre.

A couple of the girls wandered out to get chips and then suddenly, there were the technical men saying we were positioning lights, could we / should we not start the tech..? Oh. With a quarter of my actors at the chip shop? Ok.

So we started. Actors shambled around the stage marvelling at how much further they had to walk. Everyone spent at least 10 minutes discussing the relative merits of having the rostra a further inch upstage or downstage. Everyone got very agitated about the new space available to them. (I love the inflexibility of actors in this situation. But easy for me to say as new stages at the last minute has never really bothered me but of course it changes timings and so forth. I'm obviously too much of an adrenalin junkie.)

And then we rattled through a functional run through. Without music as somehow their CD player didn't work. Good. Thank goodness for the tech. And do you know, it looks as lovely as I hoped it would on a bigger stage. All elegant and spacious and neatly choreographed. Thanks, bless them all, to the quick adaptation of my cast to the new space.

So I'm quite excited about Friday now. We shall do ourselves justice at the very least.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

We're going down to Kelso for our tech tonight. Not terribly convenient as it's an hour and a half down the road. We start at 7:45 so shan't be back early.

But the inconvenience is softened by a lovely correspondence I've been having with the organising secretary in Kelso who this morning sent me a photo of his newest grandchild.

Distracting me slightly from the fact that the poster for the regional round of the festival this weekend has a giant

WARNING: This play (ours) contains repeated use of the "F" word & a challenging theme.

slapped all over it. We hope this will lure the punters in.

I don't have the heart to tell him that the "C" word also features. It seems a bit churlish.
Went to see Douglas Maxwell's "The Mother Ship" on Friday at the Traverse. I hadn't quite realised this was a play for younger people. And not discovering it until the end, I wonder if perhaps I still have the mind of a younger person as I thought it was charming.

Really sweetly acted and beautifully staged, it was a lovely little tale of I suppose the misconceptions that govern the way you treat people. And very often shouldn't.

I think my enjoyment of the humour was perhaps rather enhanced by a couple of beers and a portion of a bottle of wine. And I proceeded to send myself further on the way to drunken-ness after the event in celebration. Thank goodness for precious 1am pasta takeout from ever reliable Dario's on Lothian Road.

Then almost final rehearsal for 4:48 on Sunday. It was pretty rubbishy. But that's a good thing surely..?