Friday, January 30, 2009

They made it to page 27 last night before collapse and decay. I should add that the scene only runs to page 30 so that's a pretty good show.

And I have finally - after endless rounds of questions and comically frustrating round robin email 'discussions' - sent off an email confirming that we would love to accept the Quaker Meeting House's offer of a festival slot.

I just need to quickly come up with a 'vision', a script and a cast for that one now. Still, I've got six months.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Russell bought me a giant earflappy furry hat for Christmas which neatly shrouds my head. And which led to a terrible moment this morning where The Man At The Bus Stop almost shoved me aside to get onto the bus, clearly not realising that it was ME under all the earflaps and fur. Luckily at the last second, his manners rose to the surface and he grudgingly stepped back to let me on first, clearly spying at least that it was womankind underneath.

But such indignities aside, I had my technical meeting last night for the one act. Which was eerily like Pop Idol as I was left to wait, very politely, in a side room which meant I could hear the 'judges' laughing and joking with the previous contestant in the next room. And then I was shown through. I've never known such formality. And allowed to say my piece which was short as my technical requirements aren't very technical this year.

I just need to bash together some sound effects now and then we're good to go.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I need a filing cabinet for the play is the context. So have been putting out e-feelers.

While I was absent in Cumbernauld this morning, dear good friend Siobhan spied a filing cabinet on the street, alerted dear good friend Brian, who drove past the location in question to see if it was still standing exposed and vulnerable in full view of greedy snatching eyes, only to find that it had already been uplifted and spirited away, presumably by the council or else by some other greedy thief.

What friends!

We deserve to win just for the efforts that have gone into procuring this cabinet!

Monday, January 26, 2009

My rehearsal was going swimmingly last night. First rehearsal without the scripts and they had - it appeared - being working super hard on their line learning. To the extent that I had one of my slight panic 'how on earth am I going to eke out another 7 rehearsals' moments.

But luckily as it turned out, we got to approx page 20 and their lines mostly collapsed around their ears. So there is yet work to be done. But they're doing ever so well.

Aside from sound which I badly need to get something organised for, we have most of our props. Gordon turned up more or less in costume. The lovely Esther was in attendance in a prompting capacity. It was one of those lovely making progress rehearsals.

Extra delightful as I always assume the first rehearsal off book will be shockingly bad. So. So far, so good.

On cinematic matters, I had less of an extravaganza this weekend than I'd hoped on account of sacrificing a precious afternoon timeslot to walking Naomi's baby labradoodle on the beach. But the weather was sunny though brisk so it seemed like a good sacrifice.

And I did manage to catch The Reader which was sentimental. Good. But sentimental. Though my cinema trip was rendered perfect by a fellow cinema goer. We got to the dramatic climactic moment when she sits in her cell and takes out the tape recorder and takes out a pad of paper and you know she's about to begin her epic personal odyssey and the man behind me hissed out "she can't read". A smart observation. But moments like this make it all fun, do you not think?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Perfect (if almost unbearably tragic) for a grumpy Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Once the shock of the first week back at work is out the way, I love this time of year. A cinematographic (is that a word??) orgy.

I saw The Wrestler on Saturday night and that was outstanding. I hadn't realised it was directed by the King of Real Life Bleakness, Darren Aronofsky but my goodness, he did a fine job. And Mickey Rourke has been rightly showered with praise. A fine study in presenting a basically unsympathetic character in an enormously touching manner.

And then I'm just back from trailers for Milk, Revolutionary Road and Frost / Nixon, all of which I'm very much looking forward to seeing. And we watched the much vaunted Slumdog Millionaire. I confess to slight disappointment but perhaps only in the wake of The Wrestler which was a brilliant piece of film-making. Slumdog, though boasting the cacophony of India as a backdrop, was maybe a more predictable tale. But who am I to judge??! I'm delighted for Danny Boyle. And the kids are just adorable.

Sandwiched between these two, I snuck in another rehearsal for my Pillowman last night. DG - hooorah - back at last from Texas so I had a full complement of actors. And I felt my first little flicker of actually this is going to be really good excitement. Maybe not quite the Wrestler but we'll give it our best shot.
Special consideration will be made if an actor auditioning for either role has an identical twin able to work on the project.

I have never seen the like on a casting call!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Well. I've been offered a prime week 2 8pm til 10pm timeslot in the much coveted venue 40, known the rest of the year round as the Quaker Meeting House.

How very exciting.
We 'choreographed' the scenes of violence yesterday. Needless to say, the boys were much better at suggesting ways of making it look evil than I was. I'm not a natural fighter, that's for sure.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Well it was a gorgeous day this morning which slightly softened the blow of getting up at seven thirty on a day which was neither a school day nor a going on holiday day. Surely the only reason to get up before 8 at a weekend.

Rushed and darted over to our store, rushed round the corner expecting to be dazzled and aghast at the giant skip spectre looming on the horizon. Only to find it had not arrived at its promised 9am time. And an hour and a quarter later, it had only just tipped itself off the lorry to place itself heavily on the street outside.

I need not have worried that we would be inundated with volunteers itching to get started as we waited and waited but few made an appearance. Seems that the prospect of preparing for the skip was rather more attractive than actually skipping the stuff. But I must strive to only appreciate those that did show up and help - for after all, who would want to on a blue sky cold as ice Saturday morning..? - rather than churlishly cursing those that didn't for how far does that get me? No distance at all. So.

And actually, the skipping itself was fleeting. I'd had a vision of a skip that filled my skyline but it was only a measley 6 foot deep by 14 foot wide fellow. Barely big enough to take our scrap wood. Let alone all our dismissed and discarded furniture. It's just as well I filled all the domestic bins with our props last weekend or it would have made even less of a dent in the proceedings.

We attracted an astonishing amount of attention from innocent passers-by as we darted twixt store and skip laden with wood shards and large flat pieces of stuff. And one innocent bystander ended up taking a few small wood shards from the skip itself. He was a maintenance assistant it seemed so welcomed the scraps.

Anyway, tis done. We could fill another skip next weekend. But we have a less hazardously full entrance corridor now and a fraction more free floor space so I guess we have achieved something wonderful.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Well full of remorse, I've cancelled tomorrow's rehearsal as I'll be down sarrrff and back who knows when. Start as you mean to go on, eh?

However I have rescheduled for Sunday which promises to be another bumper theatrical weekend with the filling of the skip, the rescheduled rehearsal and a panic production meeting for our forthcoming full length spring production, Cloud Nine.

I love it really.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It was decided a couple of months back that we should make a concerted effort to tidy up our store, a mad place at a secret location in Edinburgh (left unpublished in case a dear reader decides to firebomb it as a vendetta). We have all of our costumes, all of our set, innumerable pieces of furniture, sacks of curtains, racks of shoes, shelves of hats and shelves and shelves of props in there.

It's a veritable Aladdin's cave - or would be if it weren't cold, dimly lit, featuring a crumbling ceiling that once shed concrete that narrowly missed my head, riddled with moths on the costume mezzanine, featuring a house mouse on the ground floor and thickly coated throughout with 20 odd years of dust. And currently stacked so highly to the gunnells that it's almost impossible for poor dear Andy to do anything much in it in the way of constructing new things.

So the decision was taken. After some to-ing, the skip was booked for a week yesterday and this weekend was set aside for clearing, cutting and preparing.

I approached the weekend with trepidation, more than slightly resentful at the thought of spending much weekend after a wild week at work in the place of dinginess. And I couldn't even attend the full shift as yesterday afternoon was given over to celebrating Miriam's seventh birthday. But it meant I had to rise up unseasonably early yesterday and again today, with much muttering and grumbling to myself, and off I set across town.

The fact that I'm writing this at whatever time in the early afternoon is tribute to the fact that excellent headway was made. Yesterday morning, I wildly threw loads of props - after careful selection by Brian and Fiona - into surrounding bins. So the bin men shall find a golden papier mache cherub amongst the usual urban detritus on collection day. Russell, completely beyond the reasonable realms of duty, helped Andy and Sue and Ross and Jo, sawing and cutting and dismantling wooden items.

And they adjourned for lunch and I sloped off to the shower and then the party.

Today a smaller faithful crew met. Andy, Sue, Lorraine and Brian sawed and sorted. Iain and Gillian and I played tetris with the furniture, uncovering the most disgusting and delapidated chaise longue that you could ever hope to see. Along with what they tell me is called a radiogram which surely would fetch a bit of money if it went to the right home. It's been used once in one show and god knows of course we might need it at some point again so back against the (never been seen before - by me at any rate) fireplace against the back wall. I wish I had used it to add to the junk and clutter in Private View but of course it's been buried til now under 15 years of chairs but now can rise to show itself on stage another day.

And by this point, so much was heaped up to be skipped next weekend that we felt (well, I admit to leading the discussion as I could ill be bothered to spend an afternoon there too) we'd be better to reconvene when the space was all nicely freed up. So off we went homeward bound.

And actually, having dreaded this weekend all week, I've had a lovely time with some lovely people doing this great good work. I've also at last returned a sack of stuff that I've been storing in my house taken from the secret store nigh on two and a half years ago. We must contrast my cavalier skip-happy attitude with poor dear Andy bidding farewell to thirty years of imagination and woodcraft. So I salute his ongoing efforts and endeavours. And thank you to all that helped. Very much appreciated. A fine dusty start to 2009.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Well I had all of my boys last night. That made things easier. Though flu boy was still full of the ailment. But he managed to stagger through (sit through to be more precise) a fully blocked run through. So that was nice.

Now DG is off to Amerika so we're skipping Sunday but will meet again next Thursday to practice the violent encounters.

Something to look forward to.
Something to aspire to, perhaps.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Well I've started.

Things began rather badly with one of my actors not turning up. And then proving to be uncontactable. And all the while I knew that I had his home phone number stored away in a little book at home but nowhere near our rehearsal rooms so that was fairly frustrating. And he's a dear conscientious boy so it seemed that if he wasn't there, there was probably a good reason so it was also slightly a little concerning.

Anyway, as it turns out, he had only half a good reason. He had forgotten. (Worst reason.) But he was riddled with flu and had been for days so that softened the worst reason a little.

DG was very kind and said he thought that actually it was for the best that flu boy had not been there as we were able to make sophisticated character developments that would then confuse, befuddle and confound the missing actor which is exactly the effect that the action is intended to have. We shall see if this pays dividends on Thursday.

In the meantime, thank you, DG, for your kindness.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Sadly thwarted this morning as Russell and I dragged out of bed far earlier than you should on a holiday and hurried across town to see a 10am showing of WALL-E at Cineworld. But it was not to be. We were turned away because we didn't have any children in tow. I'm planning a letter of complaint...
Oh, and of course, wish a happy new year to all my readers.
Another new year and a flat full of half drunk bottles of wine, tubs of twiglets, trodden who knows what into the floorboards and discarded mincepies.

As an improvement on last year's party, I have no abandoned mystery fleece adorning my spare room but have taken the radical step of washing last year's fleece to aid its journey to a charity shop.

And now there is nothing festive left to do but to eat up the leftovers and take down the tree. I'm loving that my gym is shut for three precious days - a perfect excuse for unadulterated laziness.