Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A month tonight, it'll be half way to being packed back up into Home Street.

What a thought. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Paul Bright's Confessions of a Justified Sinner. By Untitled Projects with support from NTS and Tramway and various other people.

I expected to hate and despise this show. I was feeling uncultured and un-theatre visited when I booked it. Culture starvation created an appetite where none had existed previously. 

On booking, I was promptly reminded that I'd slept through the production of the same name at the Lyceum. But I have a big giant soft spot - maybe like a puddle or a small loch - for creators of this venture Untitled Projects so I figured I might not like the story but I would, most like, find the whole spectacle very worthy of interest.

The allotted Saturday arrived and - how appropriate - it was a filthy lashing day. Perfect for a gloomy play about miserable sinners. 

Summerhall looked particularly mean and moody. But at least afforded shelter from the rain. 

The show began and we were herded to "an exhibition". I stumped around full of the sulks, moaning like a child about the impending drear, dashing impatiently from room to room, wishing the show was scheduled to last ten minutes and not two hours. Until I saw...

And that's the trouble with writing a review of this production. Saying anything much more than that sort of gives the game away. And the game is what makes this show a little cracker.

Mark Fisher does a nicely oblique job in The Guardian. Joyce gives away a little more but still keeps a little flesh concealed (in contrast to the actors at Untitled Projects' last soul (and body) baring experience, The Salon Project). But I would urge BS, my sole reader, to seek this out before reading anyone else's covert coverage. 

It's not at all what I expected - and I can say that despite at least six small sleeps throughout - and it's all the more fun for it.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Books down from the weekend so this week's rehearsals could've been a calamity. But instead, thanks in no small measure to a few wonderful people who learnt their lines some while ago, it's been almost fun.

Enhanced by pretty much word perfect children, enlivened by Claudius' Sunday we can't really be expected to do this without our scripts, can we? face, energised by the ever perky Cinna the Conspirator from Birmingham and his trusty sidekick, Ligarius and invigorated by Casca's repeated attempts tonight to describe how hence, he put three times the (not) crown away. 

The greater problem this week is absenteeism. Through no-one except the inclement autumn's fault, we were two down on Tuesday and six SIX down tonight. 

On the plus side, it meant we were treated to the delightful spectacle of Junior Caesar. 

We have ourselves a Caesar understudy.....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

In amongst incessant rehearsing and various rogue focus groups, a few snatched moments for (fortuitously) beautiful things.

Last weekend, Sunshine on Leith. The celluloid version. And I cannot say in honesty that the dialogue is the best I've ever given ear to. But the energy and the charm and the sweetness - alongside stunning performances from Peter Mullan and Jane Horrocks - meant this was a perfectly delicious birthday Saturday night out with my (increasingly less) little sister.

This Saturday, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. And my oh my, I can't pretend to understand most of the purpose or message or themes or whatever. But wow, it was beautiful.

The costumes were quite stunning. Lovely net Tshirts and shiny pants for the first piece. Beautiful tiny corsets and loose long pants in sombre muted shades for piece two. And some sort of (fifties?) homage to office wear in the deliciously frisky piece three. Plus loads of paper.

The lighting was everything that the dreadful thing Cari and I endured in the EIF wasn't. Elegant. Considered. Fabulous fun use of a scrim. Great stuff.

But quite rightly, the dancing was the star of the show. Rubbery is a decidedly limp and unromantic word to use about a troupe of dancers. Fliud would be better, wouldn't it? So let's say beautifully fluid performances. The sort that made you want to dance home.

They're in Bradford and Leicester this week if you happen to be passing through and fancy an unmitigated treat.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The peculiar satisfaction of "making" something.

Rehearsal tonight. Foul tempered would be putting it too strongly but there were places I'd've rather been.

But I got there just after 7 and there's "probably going to be late but I'll try not to be" Brutus parking his trusty steed. Two minutes later and there's Cassius and I can't get enough of looking at her most beautifully bone structured face at the moment so that makes me happy.

We trot upstairs and make tea / weird poor man's latte and start on the homework exercise and Brutus has excelled himself. Cassisus has done what Brutus would normally have done. And Casca, when he trots up, still early, has done something in between.

Fine work (director's delusion?) with the three of them on their characters. A slink through scene 2. A skip through scene 3. A brief raid on a tiny portion of scene 4 (thanks, Portia). JC and the Sunshine Band thrumming away next door.

And the scene 8 lot have all turned up and are waiting, docile as pigs ignorant of their fate, in the waiting chamber. The tiny only surviving room that isn't being occupied by the people "making" stuff. And I try and persuade someone please god someone anyone to kneel down at some apposite point in it and they all wisely (director's delusion) ignores me. Mark Antony makes about 14 sensible suggestions about how we might do things differently, Claudius weeps and punches the air and scene 8 gets better.

And by then, it's practically the middle of the night. (Like - not Mark Antony's middle of the night but my middle of the night for sure.) And they all slide off into the dark still streets, clinging colds and other lives encroaching n' all.


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Well, that'll teach me for gross complacency. 

Having stood down half of the summoned cast on Tuesday, a key protagonist from the remaining four then became indisposed for entirely valid reasons. And so the thought-provoking and valuable character work planned thus had to be shelved. The perils (again o again) of a pursuit enabled entirely by love. 

On the plus side, we covered some useful ground with the remaining three. Grace a Dieu, they at least had one (short) scene together. And we also did a little character work including producing the masterpiece above, courtesy of 11 year old Lucia, servant to Brutus and consequently (or not), a little ambivalent about Brutus' good lady wife, Portia. 

(Thanks to The List magazine for (unwittingly) letting me steal their format.)

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

I'm shedding people from the rehearsal schedule at the moment with a ruthless vigour. 

I stood five people down from tonight's rehearsal. And one who had never actually been called in the first place out of a sort of creeping paranoia.

I shed five or six more people from a rehearsal last week on the grounds that their scenes were looking pretty good, thank you very much so cue substitute character work for the others.

Hard to know whether this summoning and then dismissing in advance is detrimental to a cast member's feeling of love for the show. I worry vaguely, particularly having stood down the poor Soothsayer twice in a row, that it might leave them feeling unloved.

But I hark back to days gone by when I myself was a cast and think that I was only ever delighted when given an unexpected night off. So I'm hoping they don't mind.

The worst possible outcome is that - as last Tuesday - I merrily forget a man. There I was innocently doing groups in Glasgow. There was Cinna The Poet, fresh back from glorious holiday, desperately trying to do his bit and attend a rehearsal. 

Sorry, CP (as distinct to CC). I'll try not to be so disorganised again.