Friday, June 29, 2012

Hunting out photos for an article I've just written for the company website on the Festival. And I found this loveliest of things. I hope we attain the same dizzy heights this year...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Last night, 4 out of five of them at the rehearsal. Out of choice rather than mother of invention necessity. So that was pretty nice.

Even six minutes late Patrick arrived with two minutes to spare.

After the warm up which I'm trying utterly lack-lustrely to stick with, I set them a now becoming familiar exercise. So they're starting to learn not to groan wearily as I assume my Mary Poppins voice and outline the experience to come.

A writing exercise last night. I got them to write a letter to....(no spoiler alert needed) Someone. So we had this blissful moment of just peace. The early evening sun filtered lazily through the window. The trees waved lazily out on the Meadows. Emma drew conscientious but perhaps not anatomically correct pictures of character costumes.

And like a plump and proud mother hen, I watched them tongues hanging out writing and smiled. (And wrestled with my yearning to whip out my phone and snap pictures of them concentrating hard at work but was rendered immobile by an inability to explain, if (inevitably) challenged, why I wanted to snap them so much at this innocuous moment. Well, for the blog of course. But some of them are New. They won't know that.)

Into the scene. First time we'd done That Scene. Mary Poppins made them launch straight in, not a block(ing note) in sight. And man alive, they did it beautifully. Heartfelt-ly. And Mother Hen looked on and thought they wouldn't disgrace me if this, that very night, was 6 August and they were performing to their first audience. As they meant it so much.

(Silly so in love with this play.)

Now luckily, we can still make all sorts of small tweaks and refinements before we get to August 6th. So we won't be entirely idle. But man, they're impressive.

Thank you, god of casting, for doling out such pretty clever ones. It does make things easier.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thought for the day. (For Dad. From Mum.)

(Not mine, btw. Dad in my Fringe show. Just to be clear.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Costume discussions are kicking off.

The above suggestion from our very versatile AD.

If you happen to have a similar pair lying about, please shout.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Because you ought to publish one set of pics before you go on the next holiday, right?
In brief:

Porgy & Bess by Capetown Opera = excellent

Cosmopolis from Mr Cronenberg = almost excruciating though nice cinematography

The Angels' Share by Mr Loach = delicious

Good use of a weekend.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

(Very) assiduous readers will remember a sentimental little post a while back about a zumba class teacher overwhelmed by homesickness or sickofnewhomeness who played for the class at delirious full volume what she claimed was the song of the moment in Brazil.

I can now reliably report that - well, it may not be the song of the moment but - they're still listening to it.

And it popped onto the stereo in tonight's zumba class. Different teacher, less love for the song but it made me smile.

Until -a shock. For this teacher offered us a translation of the lyrics to help us understand the gestures which formed part of our routine.

It's a cheerful bouncy tune. Some sort of celebratory lyrics I supposed. But no. A million times lewder than that.

(Translation as offered by our class teacher.)

"Wow. Wow.

You're hot. You're hot.

I boom you. I boom you."

This leaves less to the imagination.
A particular plot point has been bothering me since I first re-read the play.

We got to the relevant scene at last night's rehearsal so I canvassed the actors' opinion. (Don't tell them anything you think. Ask only what they think.) "Well of course it's this because this....", said Patrick, as if it was exceedingly obvious and clear to all. "Of course it is", said Mum later in the pub. "Well, didn't you always...." said AD Emma and her voice trailed off as she realised that no, I didn't.

And now I think about it and indeed, it probably is this because this.

Lucky they know what they're doing. I'm just the person with the room keys really.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Character work at last night's rehearsal.

Sounds like a nice chap, no?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Three rehearsals in and the Carrying Inane Things to and fro has begun.

Today, sitting downstairs on the bus in the luggage compartment, I have two assorted drinking glasses, a bottle (empty) of rough sherry, a can (empty) of Diet Coke, a copy of The Sun, an ashtray, a candle, three watches, a pair of glasses, a novel about a blonde girl with big eyes and not many clothes and half a loaf of bread. (To be fair, this last item is lunch-related rather than props related.) All safely housed in a Paddington-style suitcase. ("Appropriate for the time period?" quoth I. "I don't care," quoth my AD, "I want to use it." Just so.)

So equilibrium is restored to my strange land of part-time make-believe.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This is a list of the sound effects required for my festival show.

Front door opening.

Front door opening.

Front door shuts.

Front door shuts.

Front door shuts.

Front door opening.

Toilet flush.

Front door shuts.

Toilet flush.

Toilet flush.

Front door opens.

Pretty gripping, no?

Friday, June 08, 2012

I got back into my flat at 6:50pm on Tuesday. (Thanks, BS.) Rehearsal number 2 at 7:30pm. Home. Bed.

Wednesday I went back to work. 6:30pm: committee meeting. 7:30pm: general meeting and reading of our autumn show, Richard III. In an action eerily reminiscent of me, DG was up til the tiny hours two days before putting the finishing touches to the edit so it would be ready in time.

Thursday. Work. 7:30pm for rehearsal number 3. Home and - well, I carelessly started watching Proof when I should oh so really have gone to bed.

Friday. Work. And now, Red Riding Hood-esque, I'm off to see (grand) Mother.

Friday, June 01, 2012

If I may be so bold as to predict, greed will be my downfall.

Last night. One spare night in Rio de Janeiro. And a glorious converging of fortuitous circumstances.

We passed the Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro en route to the Modern Art Museum. To spy that Haydn's Creation (A Criacao) happened to be opening that night. With some sort of balletic addition. So pictures as well as noises. Perfect for my simple attention span.

So we shambled up the marble steps with time to spare, covered in the dust of the roadside and the sweat f a day dragging swiftly and efficiently around the streets trying to pack in the maximum number of attractions, To discover not only the most beautiful theatre I feel I've ever seen (can't find speech marks on this keyboard. Well, that shall limit my linguistic constructions)("Oh", said Brian, (found them) "but it's just a copy of the blah blah blah in Paris. Haven't you seen it" (or a question mark). Be assured that I have not.) but that the attendees at this most beautiful theatre make rather more of an effort with their appearance than they do at the EFT. Evening dresses and suits galore. I was in the sole pair of jeans I've been wearing incessantly since arrival on account of the climes being rather colder than anticipated, a grubby T-shirt and (o the shame!) a pair of trekking shoe things. I tried to suck my stomach in so my whole body would disappear and The Beautiful would not judge me.

The curtain (red velvet, proper) was drawn back. (Singers, soloists and orchestra all crammed into the luckiyl capaciouos pit.) To reveal rows of lighting bars crossing the stage horizontally and the ballet company at the back of the stage stretched out in two lines along a barre in multi-coloured practice clothes (lime green track suit pants! O my!) stretching and warming up. As the music began (remember I know nothing of oratorios), the lighting bars were drawn up into the (god what's it called - question mark - the bit of the stage above the stage - question mark - oh well) Bit Above The Stage. Beautiful. A backcloth was lowered over the dancers. Stage to black. I guess that was the overture. Or the starting bit. For then the danecrs started appearing in their silvery leotardy things as featured in the programme so this was clearly it properly starting.

And it was lovely. Lovely orchestra. Lovely singing. Lovely soloists. Lovely dancing. Beautifully fluid choreography with a strange sudden precision introduced now and again. And yes, sometimes it was a little Chorus Line and sometimes it was a little bit Kylie but by and large, it was very balletic and beautiful.

But back to the greed. I'd stupidly stuffed down a giant bowl of yakisoba befrore curtain up. Eyes, as ever, bigger by far than this stomach. And so approx four 'dances' in, I was sleeping and napping. So it would be inaccurate to say I saw much of the first half.

I managed more of the second half. Maybe most of it, in fact. No idea what was going on as I don't know the piece and I don't understand German and I can't hear song lyrics as they're sung at the best of times. But you know, it was a lovely lovely lucky experience.

Calling on my sole word of Portuguese, Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro - obregada.