Friday, August 27, 2010

All I have to do today is get to Normandy. This seems miraculous to me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Less said about that, the better.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beautiful Burnout.

It was my own fault. I'd somehow got it into my head that I was going to get a 5 star show. Fuelled by an incredibly enthusiastic review by an infrequent theatre going friend who loved it so much that he'll see it again down south.

He I think is the key there. It's a boys show. Better yet, a show for a boy that doesn't go to the theatre much and is consequently astounded that theatre can be like that. How condescending.

I say all that and I'd give it four stars in a heart beat. Four and a quarter if I was someone who dealt in decimal places. It's a collaboration - I'm sure you'll know - between Frantic Assembly whom I love and the National Theatre of Scotland whom I hold equally dear.

It's a joyous fusion of multimedia, a boxing ring, a gorgeous revolving stage with a pop-up fridge - and let's not forget the Black Watch effect theft when the boy pops out of the washing machine - and some stunning choreography. And a cracking soundtrack from Underworld. The story I found vaguely unsatisfying at some points - as Lyn Gardner says, you've seen it all before - but it's so spectacularly executed that you don't mind that at all.

It's just that, as Jeanette said, it wasn't Black Watch. But then they don't come along very often.

Skidaddle from that to the exceedingly chilly Spiegelgarden for (sad days indeed) a hot chocolate to warm us up as we slid increasingly quickly towards the outdoor heaters.

And then Smoke and Mirrors. Now this was a recommendation from a man who should've known what he was talking about. Let's perhaps just accept that his tastes might be different to mine.

This was a kind of baby La Clique. With less acts and more time with the front man - an eccentric and extraordinary and slightly punky Master of Ceremonies. There was an amazing magician. Three rather stupendous acrobats. A pretty girl who got thrown about and did some trapezey things. A rather superb tragic tap-dancing clown that made me want to cry. A bearded lady (yes, it's true). A rather fine band. And this punky front man who yowled and screeched and did soulful beautifully but mostly screeched his way through their set. Until a final tragic end of the line song delivered in a withered rabbit costume underneath a shower of rain in the dimming half light. Well, this was a kind of tragedy that my show-broken heart did not need in the dead of the cold last night of my Fringe night. But they weren't to know that.

So neither La Clique nor No Fit State Circus. But maybe I should stop seeking to recreate former glories. As what is done, is after all, done. Learn the lesson, child.

Monday, August 23, 2010

So. What I will miss.

Chris’ “most high miracle”. Or maybe his bitch flirting in the Laura days.

Brian saying in the most lecherous tones possible “and I shall be her father…”

Yvonne's “what is it? A spirit…?” or maybe her “how beauteous mankind is".

Fern and the corset. And the backcombing. And the boots.

Hilary and the green azured vaults. A close rival for the stuff that dreams are made on speech to my mind.

Neil, the finest Musical Director a girl could wish for’s most hideous rendition of All My Trials.

Russell and the “no, as I am a man” finger point which snuck in suddenly midway through the run.

A succession of increasingly pantomimey gestures to try and draw attention to the baby boat.

Cari weeping with laughter as she staggered off stage most nights.

Do you oooh ooooh ooooooh realise?

Matt’s increasingly concealed with scarves person.

Tommy reciting Matt’s lines in what passed for wings on the barge.


Ross, god love him, appearing in the cabin doorway when he should rightly have been soaked to the skin.

Gillian’s “look sir look sir”.

Helen, the wicked. Just all of the wickedness. And the sudden yelped curse when she forgot a line.

Jacques and “I cried to dream again”. Or the “anything” moment. Though a close run thing with Rent.

The baby boat making it past the window on the night of Thom Dibdin.

Russell’s tassels. Brian’s tassels. Jacques’ filthy shirt. Neil and Tommy’s tails. Yvonne’s shedding dress. The jewellery.

Herr Direktor forgetting the cakes.

Dear John Kelly frowning and “well it’s not how I would have done it but you’re doing it very well”.

The ugliest programme ever assembled by womankind. (Thanks for the fixing, Brian.)

Most of us, at one point or another, htf. Even Matt.

Missing the other Tempest, htf.

Stupid dancing in Guilty Pleasures.

Jacques wincing and fidgeting through Camille.

Sofi’s. Sofi’s. Sofi’s. Followed by meats and cheeses at Brian’s.

The rain stopping at the start of the second act on the final Saturday night.

For all your efforts and all your labours (and trials), I thank you. I almost shed and also did shed inane amounts of tears yesterday. It’s been an absolute privilege to work with you all on this marvellous most magical show.

2011, anybody?
If my Tempestuous boys and girls are feeling anything like me today, the day is a bit of an effort.

So please, take this and cheer yourselves up.

I'm still kind of vaguely hoping you'll all come pouring through the door at 6pm.

Do you think you could, even though there's no show, just to spoil me for one last day..?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Snapshot. Tea on top of the boat in patchy sun. Now I'm sitting at my desk rewriting this conference speech as the actors lounge round the corner. Hilary's spraying hairspray all over everything. Tommy - or could be Neil or Matt - is playing the guiter. Cari and Yvonne are over at the pub, dog-hairing. There's much tearing of vouchers in a bid to win us this Evening News award. Jacques just cried out "Claire will never know" - should have been concentrating on them and not this. Foolhardy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Yesterday was, to my easily pleased mind, a practically perfect day.

An intellectual show (well, by my standards) at 11:50 at the Assembly Rooms. Lunch with @uberpiglet at Valvona & Crolla. A stupendous show from No Fit State Circus at the marquee on Leith Walk at 3pm. Tabu, it's called. I would have given it five stars if it weren't for the fact that Liam obligingly despatched someone else to review it too and printed the (five star) review that very day. A bit of footering about at work as - with impeccable timing - I'm speaking at a conference on Monday. Our show. To which Simon Callow almost came. And handfuls of my clients / workmates actually did come. (The only blessing here was that the bitch top fashioned from belts never came to anything...) Skidaddle back to Assembly for kittenish Camille. I wish I could be as cute as her. She rather put my backing vocals (if they may be called that) to shame. And then Guilty Pleasures at Assembly in Princes Street Gardens in one of the Spiegels. And there were pleasures and they were guilty. Particularly when I hauled myself up out of bed to do it all again this morning. O the Fringe. I love it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mary Orman came to see the show last night and sent me an email this morning saying how much she enjoyed the show and how much we all looked like we were enjoying ourselves.

Well, rightly observed I think.

I have a gorgeous cast, a darling show and am having the most fun. (See how I'm sucked into the world of thespy superlatives. Except that it's all true.)

Only four more shows to go. It breaks my heart.

Oh and Decky, by the way. He horribly truncated my review but it's a magic show. Superb oroduction. Only, as Siobhan says, we were ten years late in the seeing it. But as with most things in life, better late than never.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So. Catch up.

Three reviews printed. One in the British Theatre Guide which is my favourite to date - for obvious reasons. One from Broadway Baby which I hate - for also obvious reasons. And one from Thom which I feel a little ambivalent about.

The show has been going beautifully to my mind. No one has fallen overboard yet - audience or cast member. No fire has broken out in the hull of the boat, burning burning all those aboard alive in only fifteen minutes flat. No car has been left defiantly parked on the quayside as the clock ticks down to curtain up. Most remarkable of all.... no, I won't say it. I shall comment when it's done.

The only bleak black mark on the horizon (I'm terribly mixing metaphors at the moment) is that bitch director struck again yesterday and infinitely kindly but infinitely cruelly, let go one of Ariel's bitches for the remainder of the run. Luckily, bitch director has been so good at being a bitch recently that she can step into the breach with barely even a break in her stride. Hence, the peculiar vanity of a run of 8 performances to date, six of which have featured Mme Dir. Bitch. Not quite how I would have dreamt that it might happen as I've always questioned the wisdom of directing and featuring simultaneously. The only consolation is that my actors all perfectly know what they're doing already so with luck, there aren't too many horrible guddley moments slipping past my inattentive eye.

When I'm not bitching, I've been dabbling a little in reviewing. Hampered slightly by the day job but I am now embracing three precious days mostly out of the office. I feel honour bound not to mention that which I have seen in a reviewing capacity until it's printed. So I shall comment no further here. But I did, in a not reviewing capacity and in the midst of all the mayhem, have a rather fabulous night at Club Noir on Saturday. A joint collaboration with Scottish Opera. It was quite magic. I'd recommend it but it's been and gone so I can't. Unlucky.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's very odd, this doing a show at work thing.

This morning, there's one jade green sequin on the office bathroom floor, a relic from Miranda's act two costume change dress.

Monday, August 16, 2010

An email sent to Susan last night:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In between shows. The perky cast at play.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gorgeous little matinee today on a sun soaked afternoon despite several rather severe hangovers. Perhaps they should drunk and wild more often.

I'm sure tonight will be sluggish as a consequence. After pasta and a quick sun bask, they're all looking a little slouchy. Perhaps a true tempest will whip itself up to wake them.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Three days late and at what personal cost (thanks R & J for your ongoing sympathy) but at last, the dream is realised.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Poor neglected blog. I'm feeling the guilt that I haven't written anything here in such a momentous crunch time weekend and now early week.

But unfortunately every moment that I haven't been a) doing my day job or b) sorting out what for a while seemed to be an unending to do list, I've been c) continuing to attempt to unravel the ticket debacle.

However, in short, show started last night officially. It was good.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Wow. (Though remember it's a lie.)
Extra tickets gone back to the Fringe office.

And there aren't very many of them so be quick, boys and girls.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Don't tell anyone but I think we might be getting there.

The ticket fiasco is almost behind us, for which we must be eternally endebted to Russell (and Neil, Mary and Brian but principally, maximumly inconvenienced ticket sales virgin Russell). This is a giant diplodocus-sized burden off my spindley shoulders but after one final question to ever-patient Ross, I think I'm ready to take a deep breath and release all remaining tickets to the Fringe office.

Therefore, don't get too excited by this:

But it actually isn't so very far from the truth.

My to do list is gradually diminishing. I still have a longer list of things to do than can reasonably be accomplished before Sunday night with part of a wedding inbetween. But who am I to moan on? I don't have to store bundles of ornate and antiquated lines in my head as I go.

So I wasn't quite getting the waves of nostalgia thing at last night's rehearsal but the to do list (TDL) was longer then. But despite that (in spite of your heart I think - alas poor heart), I ended up curiously alone with my actors on Tuesday night's boat. The past few rehearsals seem to have been filled with entourage. Props people and set people and costume people and organising people and prompt people and hangers on along for the ride.

But this night saw my prompt lurking at a discrete distance, the actors lurking in what passes for wings and so I got long stretches of time where it was just me and them. I wish it could be like that for all the audience members. 'Cause it's the most magical thing.

And any minute now, it ceases to be mine. Tomorrow night, the production team will crowd in. Then we have the move-in which will be noisy and busy and no doubt chaotic but purposeful. And then what'll pass for a tech. And then it's our so-called preview night. And then it's entirely theirs - the actors I mean - and the audience's. This, I shall miss.
Ok, forgive the slight melodrama. It was a fraught afternoon.

They went on to deliver a mostly marvellous run through.

Two lessons:

- don't stay up til the dead of night preparing the show programme and then get up at the crack of dawn to go to the gym
- don't take yourself (myself) so seriously. It's only a show....

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

It is a measure purely of my state of mind that the unavailability of a dress shirt makes me want to cry.

Onwards and up.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Tempest | Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2010

Tempest Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2010

I received a request for a link to the ticketing website and I'm not clever enough to embed a link behind a picture so here's the fool's version.

Purchase away!