Sunday, February 28, 2010

Polished By Love. A petite but pretty firework show.

We did not go through to the next round. Maybe some of us might question the adjudicator’s taste (though never that of the emergency panel) but if the adjudicator favoured weighty plays of substance that dealt with the topical, terrifying issues of the world like dementia and prolapsed wombs, who are we to argue?

The show itself was great fun. Aided and abetted by Stephanie’s real cousin (as opposed to her slut cousin) who does a day job for Charlie Miller so loitered in the dressing room curling and coiffing before we went on stage. It must have looked lovely. Umi’s friend’s photos from the tech were fantastical enough to surely please the most demanding of directors. Not fantastical enough however, apparently. We could have “pushed things further”. What, like stupid fairy who went rather overboard with her magic casting sound effects..?

Three shows and a good deal of nit-picking later and we were consigned forever to the scrap heap of the one act play festival. Although we’re in worthy company there. The Proposal also received nothing. Susan’s masterful bridal flourish received nothing. And nor did what I hear was an adorable little play from Lorraine and Big Village. So perhaps we’d rather be on the scrap heap.

But I’m sounding bitter and I wouldn’t wish to do that. On the plus side, I’m untangling the weeks old heap of clothing on my chaise longue at last. I’ve finally scoured my way through weeks old washing up heaping up on my draining board. I have some clean socks again so don’t need to resort to those good quality pretend socks that you get on airlines. So some small equilibrium is restored to my small world.

And I have a bumper week of watching the professionals to do it to compensate for the loss of wand waving and feather flouncing and screeching screeching to my spirits. I’ll miss bad fairy. Maybe she can make an appearance now and again when I’m really riled. I’ll carry my wand with me always, just in case.

(I have tried to post this approx. eight times. Perhaps at last, it will work and my gentle readers can rest easy, knowing they're well and truly updated. Albeit from a week ago.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Much more out of focus than I would wish but...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Well. Last night was great fun. Snarled up at work so I missed the first play but by some accounts, this wasn't the biggest loss. However, it is all of course, a question of taste. And I would have liked to see Don Arnott do his stuff. Aside from That One Moment When The Mask Slipped (TOMWTMS), he's been unfailingly kind to me. So a pity but perhaps it shall come to pass at Grangemouth.

Then our worthy Proposal. And what a happy antidote to a drudgy grumpy day at work. The play is nonsense (sorry, Chekhov, if you're reading this) though the Michael Frayn adaptation is elegant as ever. Craig was a marvellous hypochodriac, all flailing arms and fluttering heart. He was great fun. And Lorraine is just marvellous. I love watching her act. I love that the last thing I saw her do was grief stricken Greek noblewoman Eurydice and here she was posturing and pouting and hurumphing like a proper Russian peasant. Cracking play from Mary. Beautifully moral supported / stage managed by Gillian. Marvellously sound cued by Ross. I liked the was it Bach early doors? I coveted the clouds on the cyc. All in all, a production to do us completely proud. I was fair chuffed as Susan might say.

Speaking of whom, Susan as you've never seen her featured in the next play. A cliché strewn portrayal of life on the streets. But Susan is another one that I love to see on stage. She's beautifully versatile. In this play, she featured in a mud-spattered wedding dress, body warmer and rainbow gloves accompanied by her trusty shopping trolley and invisible dog, smudge. She was magic.

And that was Thursday night.

Today, despite taking a theoretical day's holiday, I'm completely disorganised in advance of the opening and only night. Too busy trying to rescue lost cats and tending to my left eye which has thoughtfully puffed up to thrice its normal size. Just so I look truly evil on stage tonight.

Wish us luck. Most especially stage debut Russell with his jingling jangling keys and curly sheep horns. Pray that I do not laugh in the peasant dance. It's very very exciting.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dress rehearsal last night. Little bit of a shambles. But that's a good sign, right?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

O what a night.

The ill-attendance gave Anita and I the ill-placed confidence to address the haggis. She's rather more Scottish than I so she delivered the real version - along with imaginary stabbing of the stomach as no real stuffed stomach was present - and I delivered the translation. O how funny we were.

But the night's entertainment didn't peak there. We had a toast to the ladies riven with sexist jokes downloaded straight from a sexist jokes on the internet website. Another fellow rambled through a rambling collection of thoughts, observations and speculations - collected exhuastively from the internet - about Burns' enduring popularity which sent me very close to sleep. A Canadian man inexplicably read a Canadian poem about a man getting burnt alive. And a woman past her youthful peak warbled through a collection of self-penned songs with vaguely Scottish themes.

Suddenly I see my sometimes traditional theatre group as a pinnacle of youthful verve, vitality and contemporary culture.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tech last night. All very exciting. If a bit shambolic but you expect that from a tech, right? We got to experience the pyrotechnics which was thrilling. And I'm childishly un-cavalierly glad that performance night wasn't the first time I had to flee from their firey charms.

The most delightful thing was not being director and barking yourself hoarse at the bumbling pack of fools shambling about the stage who are never quite as quick on the uptake as you would wish. Poor Brian.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The things which have given me most pleasure over the past couple of weeks:

- "my" suave and seductive Valmont transformed into a cumbersome and clumsy oaf

- Russell as the most (mostly) conscientious sheep ever to shuffle across a stage

- my fairy wand
Dark and handsome, love iiis calling.

Round and round in my head.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Then last Friday, a snippet of culture in the Manipulate Festival at the Traverse. I under-appreciated this festival to my sadness, on account of work up to the gunnels and rehearsals and a leaving night for a boy I worked with. But did dart along to see Renaissance on the Friday night.

Three pints in probably wasn't the best time to see an incredibly artistic, fast-paced entirely black and white cartoon. Elegant. But I slept, missed vital twists and turns of the plot and never really caught up again. But at least it made me feel as if I was being cultured, even if I was really only sleeping in a cultured location.
Nation was the end Saturday in January, a month I must admit to being glad to see the back of this year. The National Theatre's live relay to cinemas across the land. Terry Pratchett. So not my cup of tea. Fantasy "young girl washed up on an island, meets savage boy, they learn wisdom from each other and both end up better for it" story. So not my cup of tea. Lots of music and movement and puppets and song and cool set and beautiful costumes. More my cup of tea. Oh and beautiful young people acting in it. Even more my cup of tea.

But sadly not enough my cup (yes, laboured the metaphor long enough) to keep me rooted to my seat as the siren call of South Shields hauntingly lured me from the cinema in the interval.

But then I felt bad when I saw Terry give his prelude to his Dimbleby lecture on the Monday night in favour / support / defence of assisted suicide. A worthy cause to my mind. An act of incredible bravery I thought. And felt a bit bad that I'd not liked his play more. Not that it would be a great deal of help to him if I did or I didn't.

But it (Nation, not the Dimbleby lecture) did teach me the valuable lesson that even the most shockingly flimsy, unlikely and implausible stories can become adorable when acted sincerely and well. A useful lesson.
So back-tracking.

The Friday after the Wednesday of the crazy round the town vomiting was the HATS show. I'm not quite sure what HATS stands for. Holyrood Amateur Theatrical Society perhaps. Relative newcomers to the trying hard at theatre scene in Edinburgh, they did a Blithe Spirit last year that was memorable. And their show this particular Friday was a little double bill, noteworthy largely because it featured lovely Larry, Neil, Gillian and obviously a collection of other people but I didn't know them so that didn't count.

I approached the outing with a little trepidation on account of the excitable billing that the show(s) had been given by their cast members. But they were in the Pleasance Cabaret Bar which is remarkable to this jaded town centre drinker for the comparative bargain bar prices. So I figured a night drinking with a little theatre as light relief couldn't be that bad. And indeed, I was right. It wasn't that bad.

The first play was a curious little thing called Feet. It was hard to figure out exactly what the story was but it appeared that one day, everyone's feet had disappeared, they immediately forgot ever having had them before, except one man could kind of remember and got into lots of bother as he tried to tell people what they should have known already. I daresay it was very allegorical. But Neil did a nice angst ridden footless but full of the truth man and there was some very plinky modern kind of live music running throughout so it was perky and quite fun and then it was the interval.

The second play was some kind of spoof on some kind of spy genre so it was quite possibly hilarious but as a most of the Bond films virgin, I suspect many of the hilarious spy jokes passed me by. But this featured Larry in a fine leather coat, Gillian in a fine pair of high patent shoes looking very disapproving and hmm, I think Neil was in some kind of dishevelled suit as his ordinary life crumbled around him because spiteful girlfriend didn't understand that he had an important spy job, honest. Time is blurring the story of this one a little in my head. But you know, they seemed to have fun. And a good idea to have a double bill. And the place, hats off to them (geddit?), was packed. And I think we raised a bit of money for maybe it was Waverley Care. So that is not a bad thing. The less said of the compére (hmmm, accent (grave??) the wrong way. Don't know what to do about that. Maybe I'll phone Brian), the better. But I'm sure he's a wonderful kind man when he's not trying to be a stand-up. So again, forgiveness and compassion must be the order of the day.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sad to read on the Sun front page this morning about Vernon Kaye's apparent (textual) cheating ways, I wondered thoughtfully (as this has never been thought before) whether celebrities were more prone to cheating or just more prone to being found out.

"Do you know what?" said Sean, consideredly, IRN-BRU in hand (dear faithful drinker - 7:30 in the morning drinker - in tobacco terms, that would count as addiction), "I don't care".

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ok, so I'll settle for installments as I'm getting fretful about the length of time I haven't blogged for!

Poor Brian. Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, The Fairy spent last Wednesday running round Edinburgh throwing up. So many toilets ruined in so little time. She hasn't wielded so much disinfectant in quite a long time. So although she turned up for the rehearsal looking fair(l)y pale and wan, she lasted approx an hour and an half before admitting defeat to the other attendees. Brian, to his credit, contained his anger and despatched her to a vomit-punctuated trip home.

And then she was o so feeble the next night. So he kindly restrained himself from commenting on her shrill voice. Or perhaps the retching had made it hoarse. But at least we had the main principals, most of them anyway, at Thursday's rehearsal and indeed, this pale fairy saw flashes of loveliness in the scenes she wasn't in. So thinks it might be quite a sweet little show. Sorry, she means a very sweet little show. 19 Feb. Get in your diaries.

On the plus side, she was well the next night. Which meant she could go see the HATS shows. Of which, more anon.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Hmm, let's see. Quite a lot to catch up on. But I shall keep you in suspense for another day or so with the promise of a bumper post to compensate...