Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I snuck in In The Loop on Sunday. Guilt-free froth as you can pretend it's about politics. Lovely stuff.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Great excitement yesterday. The Man At The Bus Stop was at the other bus stop. (Bear in mind that this was a Saturday.) And boarded the bus ahead of me. I assumed he would sit on the lower deck as when double decker buses used to run the route to work, this was his habit. However, on this day, I found him on the top deck. Sitting next to someone.

If I had a better memory, I might recollect whether or not he was sat next to the same chap that he’d been with in my local pub however long ago. But my memory is weak so it may or may not have been the same man. But the likelihood is that he has a close relationship with whoever it was as The Man At The Bus Stop drew out a small book as soon as he sat down (next to the other chap) and began to read. The other fellow chatted to him now and again but largely he read. Till they disembarked. So some small excitement.

And someone won the Scottish Final. The Kirkton Players I think. With a cracking production of Two by Jim Cartwright. Luckily for me, it was performed on the Sat night so I caught it. It was very well deserved – in my humble opinion. Tryst came second so do not go through to the British final. Mean ha! I sold all my icecreams so that was my small personal triumph from the night. And as the buffet was oversubscribed, we peculiarly ended the night eating kebabs in Tollcross. You couldn’t have wished for a more glamourous finish to the night. Richard Wilson would have been proud.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Scottish Final of the One Act runs yesterday, today, tomorrow in Edinburgh. It's the first time "we've" hosted the final in some long time. 30 years or thereabouts. Approx 130 odd teams have competed across Scotland and now they are reduced to the final eight. There was a definite buzz about the Churchill last night. It seems that all of (dedicated) amateur theatre life has drifted into town and is ready to drink and make merry.

I approached the theatre on the bus. A perfectly timed number 16. The first to be spotter was the adjudicator's silent companion. Always a different adjudicator. Always the same silent companion. I think his name might be Michael. He always carries a plastic bag. Anyway, he was walking in the opposite direction which confused me a bit. But then I saw Nigel trudging towards the theatre armed with a bottle of Coke so that was alright. Then JGH sitting on the wall outside the theatre eating fish and chips. And by the time I hopped off the bus and arrived at the theatre, the number of wall sitters had swollen to Trevor, Andy, Sean and A Man I Did Not Know but did not dare to ask for an introduction to in case I had actually met him thirty times before.

The theatre was much livelier from 6:15 onwards than it would be on a regular theatre going night. Susan bustling around handing out passes to qualify me to take ticket stubs and vend ice-creams. Iain in his lounge suit behind a desk looking anxious and amused as people flooded in to seize tickets. Margaret dear Margaret always so kind. Assorted waifs and strays that I haven't seen for months or years in some cases. Pretty Karen Whytock who failed to audition for Antig and could have been in because she marries in May and not August as I'd feared. Killin Gordon, always a small vat of wine in his hand, swooped in and gave me the kiss of pity. I heard a rumour that we had 3 girls from Orkney in the building.

I felt very dewy eyed about it all. I guess I'm as well to make the most of it as we may not see this again for 30 more years...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I raced from work last night to the SCDA library to return – at long last – multiple Antig copies. To discover to my horror that it newly closes at a quarter before eight. I galloped up the stairs in the nick of time to catch dear Douglas. Who told me about his new shelves, the new opening times, the flagging ticket sales for the Scottish final this weekend, how handsome Russell had looked in his kilt at Killin, how we had to come to this weekend’s ceilidh as I had been just about getting the hang of stripping the willow by the time it finished…

I love my trips to the play library.

Monday, April 20, 2009

So I saw the much-vaunted Waiting for Godot at the King’s yesterday. Ian McKellan. Patrick Stewart. Simon Callow. And someone else.

The set was stunning. A kind of crumbling and dilapidated yard-scape with the back of some houses or warehouses lined with pipes, a couple of sides of balconied buildings, some bits of fences and higgledy-piggledy paving stones and a floor board lined stage. Oh and a spindly tree. With 3 to 4 artful leaves added to it in the second act.

The lighting was stunning. Lots of gobos. Lots of bright to dusk effects. And a few pointed sound effects here and there. I guess to make the audience realise which bits were important.

The play was less strange than I’d expected it to be. Though I say that but I did nap through a portion or two of the first act so I’m probably not best placed to judge. I’m sure it’s all very meaningful. And I can see how this study of futility could appeal in the current economic climate. But I certainly won’t have understood much of it. I should try reading it for starters.

Patrick and Ian were magic. Yes, Ian was more of a ‘character’ with a suitable somewhere northern tramp’s accent. Patrick eerily like Ian Aldred Stewart played showman who delivered his lines with aplomb rather than becoming the patient hobo in front of your very eyes. And Simon Callow was extraordinarily larger than life but having read his autobiog, that does not surprise me. And the poor mostly silent man who dragged his bags around on the end of his lead seemed to do a very serviceable job.

But it was beautifully directed. The interplay between McKellan and Stewart was quite marvellous to watch. The timing was exquisite. The vocal range would have satisfied even the most grudging SCDA adjudicator I think. The choreography such as it was, was lovely to look at and appeared effortless. And it was funny, a lot of it. As Ross said, if we had got our hands on it, it would have been a much more tortuous offering.

This aside, my weekend has been cultureless. Too busy eating, drinking and socialising. With a couple of gym classes thrown in to ease my fattened conscience. So my Antig rehearsal schedule still sits unfinished. If only I was an insomniac…

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What a nice week I'm having doing nothing. Well, not exactly nothing but not much. I did a little work and watched a rubbishy movie on Monday night. I met up with Stephen and Sarah and their two very fine children on Tuesday after work and then footered around with a rehearsal schedule when I got home. Tonight, body balance and pretending to be a tree, a little work, The Apprentice, footering around on the internet and a little more rehearsal schedule and I have a very similar plan for tomorrow. I could get used to consecutive evenings of relative idleness. Roll on idle May.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We spent a productive Easter Sunday watching The Man Who Lives Opposite at this computer. I continue to be astonished that the poor man doesn't just move house.

For the record, I finally binned the last of the tuna / bean salad this evening. I don't think I shall be enjoying this combination for a little while to come.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I'm in a hotel room in Aberdeen. I felt all nostalgic and full of love for (Nottingham) home when I first arrived as the bathroom has a claw footed bath. Though one that is infinitely smarter than the claw foot we have at home.

And I'd already been dwelling on cosy home thoughts as Easter is looming and for teenage me, Easter was all about the smell of paint as my father went DIY wild, snatched morsels of easter egg (me, not my father) and Champion the Wonder Horse on children's television. I love Easter as a consequence.

But I've just had such a comic battle to get on to the internet to email a document I patiently wrote on the train on the way up here trying to be efficient and then almost but not quite almost wept when I couldn't connect to anything like the internet after intervals of trying from 3pm this afternoon through to 8pm with two research groups in between to the point that the hotel have given me their laptop to connect to the bloody wifi which my computer, unvirus riddled now refuses to do, that most of my nostalgia has withered in my hunger for a little glass of white wine. (Long sentence to show frustration!!)

Still, here now, email sent, twitter twut so soothed, I can turn my attention to the shamelessly frivolous and the Apprentice.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Well the highlight of my weekend was seeing Siobhan ‘speak’ with the voice of Brian on Friday night. Curiously not inappropriate and very entertaining. I also very much enjoyed watching Ross pretending to be a paedophile, DG pretending to be happily married, young Steven in a very fetching fez, Iain Kerr pretending to be a young girl and Christopher Barbour pretending to be a woman.

I loved Gordon’s graffiti. Katrina and Tupulos live on. And the miraculously levitating flag at the close of Cloud Nine. A fine well done to all involved. Apparently the adjudicator loved it. Though I was darting off to my lovely Gail’s leaving do so did not loiter to hear his wisdom. Besides, adjudicators aren’t my favourite people at the moment. And it should always be all about me.

Two other cultural highlights. I sat through Eyes Wide Shut at the Filmhouse. Which I believe to be the only Kubrick film I’ve ever seen. A disgrace. Anyway, the plot was absurd, not to say ridiculous. Neither character was sympathetic. But the flesh (collectively) was gorgeous. And the cinematography was equally lovely. I think I might do an extract for the one act next year. Assuming JGH will make it look as beautiful.

And then final auditions for Antigone. Sixteen auditionees. Eight parts. Ulp.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009