Tuesday, December 22, 2015

We've started. #likes. 

It's exciting. I'd forgotten that directing attracts devil's looks ("exercises???") but if you put that to one side, it's lovely to be back pranking around again.

 So it's a story about two teenagers, Nina and Rosie, who both set up YouTube channels. They attract some attention for so doing. And the play itself sees a TV presenter, the lovely Lily, despatched to their school to interview them. 

 "Everyone" goes a little bit wild at the thought of the impending brush with celebrity. "Everyone" being only a couple of the teachers and the two girls to make the cast a manageable size. 

So the play looks at what happens when ordinary people bump into not so very famous people and how it all shakes down. With odd bits of commentary on self-image, the value this culture places on looking nice, the transience of small-scale fame, prioritising prospects over people and probably various other bits and pieces thrown in for good measure.

It should give us plenty to talk about. It's certainly making character development work fun. 

(The following are diary entries from Nina and Rosie on the joyful day that their respective YouTube channels attracted 100,000 subscribers. Please note I'm aware that "diary" is spelt wrong but I liked the picture of the pony.)

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Mamma Mia.  

A lovely feel good film. 

(Peculiar given the subject matter - the nature of the parentage of a young lady who wishes to marry and wishes to be given away by her dad. But her mum slept with three men in the space of the possible conception period and isn't sure who he is. Passing no judgment but an unusual choice of story for what has turned into something of a family show.)

I was down in London a couple of weeks ago and took the ten year old along to the stage show, under the impression that it was her all-time favourite movie. "Oh", she said with politely discrete disdain when I revealed the tickets, "that was my favourite movie WHEN I WAS AT NURSERY." 

By then it was too late to change the plan to - I don't know. Trainspotting The Stage Show or The Blue Room. So off we traipsed to the Novello Theatre on the Saturday night, me humming Abba songs in a bid to liven up the mood. 

And actually - of course - it was a lovely show. Interestingly, we had a bunch of understudies for the younger parts - the daughter, her boyfriend and perhaps another young friend had all been rotated into their parts from other smaller parts. I hoped for a rags to riches discovery story of fresh young talent bursting onto the stage and being Discovered. What we got was a series of not quite properly adjusted sound levels in all of the songs that the young girl lead sang. I'm not sure we can blame her nerves particularly. I think we should blame a very vigorous band and a heavy reliance on miked up voices that somehow - even then - didn't carry the voices over the music. 

But the "older" (for they were probably about my age) actors were a complete delight. 
(Like this is the girl that plays the mum. Hardly 'older'.) 

There's the mum. Her two girlfriends from way back when they were all in the band together. And of course the three dads. All of whom were complete stars. Completely at home on the stage. Beautifully inhabiting their roles and a consequent joy to watch. 

The show has been running for years. And years. And years. I have no idea how long they keep anyone in any one part but the odds are good that a good number of them are pretty sick of it by now. But their apparent delight in the songs was as infectious as you could hope.

The theatre was packed with very devoted fans and we even got a buoyant curtain call accompanied by three singalong numbers that had us bouncing to our feet to 'dance' along - as much as you can in the gaps between the rows of seats. 

For (pretty - subject matter aside) harmless fun, I would recommend this show whole-heartedly. 

It was so good and so fun that it even choked a spontaneous 'thank you so much for getting the tickets' from the previously disdainful child. That'll teach her to underestimate the long, cunning, insidious roots of the things you love when you're young.
Ok. That wasn't so bad. 

Monday, December 07, 2015

So this is it.

This poor wee blog has been so very silent in recent times because most of my spare seconds have been poured into writing a play. Which will be performed. (Unless the cast mutiny and refuse.) In the SCDA One Act Play Festival. It's not quite the Traverse but let's be honest, they kindly agreed to take me. I'm still waiting to hear from the Traverse.

So tonight is the first read through. I feel sick as a dog because - oh ho it seemed like such a good idea at the time - get the actors to sign up on trust, without having seen anything more than a two line précis of what their character got up to - and now the chickens have all streamed home to roost as it's the read through and I shall hear what they all think - except for the thoughts they're too polite to say - and ouch. Let them be gentle with me.

I'll keep you posted.