Monday, August 18, 2008

I thought the weariness would catch up with me sooner or later. I wrote it off yesterday as being a hangover but today, woke up feeling as if I'd been slapped around the legs (oddly) with a heavy wet fish. I dragged myself into work anyway.

Friday night I saw Arkle's Picasso at the Lapin Agile directed by one of the most charming men in Edinburgh, Ian Aldred. It featured some rather fine performances from some of the shining stars of the Edinburgh amateur scene: Nick, Matt, Caroline, Pat Hymers, lovely Karen Whytock, DG, David Helliwell. (Bet I've forgotten a dear good friend.) I did not like the play but that is just an awkward detail. And then, only one show down, I carelessly got very drunk.

Saturday was:

Coming up for Air (adapted from George Orwell's novel) at the Assembly Rooms. Very good and peculiarly poignant as he speaks of an England disappearing under housing estates and landfill sites. It was set in 1938 but could be just as true 70 years on.

In Conflict which was a really outstanding production from a young American university group playing a bunch of American war veterans who'd lost limbs and the like in Iraq. They did a cracking job and the room (one of the giant ones at Assembly) was half empty so I felt sad for them. It's worth seeing purely for the jaffa cakes that they pass around the audience. But for much more than that too.

And then Crave by Birmingham Uni students. God love them. They tried hard and it was very heartfelt. But too many things made my skin crawl and not in a desirable way. They had what promised to be a set made of jelly. Which actually consisted of several small jellies scattered over the surface of the stage. Which the actors sunk their fingers into, smeared over each other and crushed meaningfully at I suppose what they felt to be pertinent moments.

Oh it's easy to be unkind. I didn't think the jelly added much. I love the language in the play but they gobbled it up and turned it into something too much like a parody of mental illness for my liking. I thought our "C" was better. The extraordinary Asha. Caroline was infinitely better than their "M". This "M" voluptuously rolled around the stage covered in blue eyeshadow (and jelly) alternately yowling like a child and groping herself supposedly sensuously.

Still, tis only that I feel protective about this play. I wouldn't rush to see it but then I'm maybe being too fussy. They were very sincere.

Saturday night was the rather anti-climactic Club Noir.

Then hungover Sunday saw me drag up and hare out to Once and for all we're gonna tell you who we are so shut up and listen at the Traverse. My first (and possibly only) five star festival show. Snatch up a ticket if you can. It's magic.

Rushed home to bed to nap and then back out again to maybe a youth group's production of Under Milk Wood. Again, a piece of writing that I love. Again, sadly butchered but again I think they meant well. It was just a bit raggedy.

And then a motley assortment of my 4:48 cast went to see 4:48 Psychosis last night. The main actress was amazing. The liberties they took with the (precious) text was amazing. Huge great chunks of it cut. The junior doctor cavalierly changed into her lover (??!!). The notorious flash flicker dabs cut cut cut much to Siobhan's outrage. Alex's demon hellish bowl cut. The cockroaches cut. The various But you have friends cut cut cut. The whole of Ross' section cut. The 100 countdowns mostly cut and turned into one single countdown which peppered the whole piece.

They at least kept the 'comedy' take an overdose slash my wrists and then hang myself section. And the oh dear what's happened to your arm? And the she gave me eight minutes to live. They used the achieve goals and ambitions section to let her count out her overdose pills, neck a bottle of red wine and pass out. Which happened before the drugs list section so a cut and paste job.

She had a male lover who had our psychiatrist lines (aside from the friends’ speech) at the start. And then a female lover who ran out of patience eventually and left her. There was one central psychiatrist. A child who crept on and lay supportively on her when she passed out post-overdose. And an old lady who crept past her a little later. Her young and potential old selves I supposed but who knows really?

It was very interesting. The set was stunning and the lighting was beautiful. Interesting choice of music and some lovely use of projected graphics. I hankered after their kinds of budgets though I don’t have the visual sense to make use of real money I suppose.

The cast and crew in attendance had very mixed opinions. I think I quite liked it. Though I keep coming back to their outrageous trimming of the text (and still it lasted an hour and a quarter – cause of all the time the main girl spent running around in her pants throwing herself at walls I suppose). Surely Sarah Kane would not be pleased???!


Blogger Golfer said...

I'm sorry to have missed 4.48. I see that Michael Billington liked it as well as yourself.

10:11 am  

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