Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The final auditions went swimmingly on Sunday.  Hundreds of people and hours long. Aside from accidentally calling one of the auditionees an axe murderer, the worst thing that happened was I forgot to put on eye make-up. People continued to email me that very morning asking for audition pieces so in my haste to be conscientious, I packed eye make-up to take to the venue as I ran out of time at home. And FORGOT TO APPLY it. Everyone was too polite to say anything but I did hear a few people murmuring "pale eyes" behind my back.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Auditions. The first night.

Loads of people have been in touch to say they're interested.  In stark contrast to my previous dark, rapey, kidnappy, abusey plays. It's almost like people mostly prefer stories that are funny and sweet and entertaining.

You never quite know whether buckets of interest will translate into loads of auditionees.
But people kept filing in to the audition rooms on Wednesday. Some people who've been in touch with me already announcing their interest and others who had just pitched up. I had to do my very best match all these new faces to names in an instant job and still ended up repeatedly bailed out by my much more socially astute Assistant Director and Musical Director.
Because we have this on-stage band, this raises the glorious spectre that some of our characters could sing. Pre-auditions, I was only bold enough to think this might be Titania and Oberon, Lord and Lady of the (other worldly) nightclub. 
My head has now moved to something more like Glee. Not entirely as a consequence of attending a Glee competition last night which contained the youngest child - along with about 300 others. But this may have a little to do with it.
As Wednesday's auditions were ridiculously replete with X Factor style moments where these young things, who'd written "a bit" or "maybe with a guitar" as sheepish responses to the foolish question I have on the audition form about whether or not you can sing, turned out to have the voices of angels. Or Adele. Or (insert name of Broadway musical star). Or some sort of incredible inauspicious looking soul artiste.
We three witches - AD, MD and I - sat behind our desks inwardly gaping. Before turning to each other the second the door shut on the latest auditionee with a slightly shell-shocked wow.
Round Two on Sunday afternoon. For what might tip into a beautifully boisterous Midsummer Night's Dream And The Singing Ass.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Having a fine old time playing about in Pinterest trying to put together a mood board for my 1930s style Midsummer Night's Dream set in a jazz club.

Unhelpfully, I find it very easy to find pictures / photos of dresses I like. And I'm not remotely interested in finding pictures of clothes for men that I might like.

Currently trying to talk myself out of trying to persuade someone to make me palm trees.

Auditions officially start tomorrow. Break legs, everyone. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This is a little sneak peak. The full size beauty is coming soon.
Two extremely different films.

One featuring puppets pretending to be real people. One featuring real people pretending to be fake people. Well, superheroes.

Anomalisa versus Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Batman V Superman is a piece of nonsense. Whoever thought it was a good idea to take two characters from effectively different worlds and smush them together? The result is as smushy as you'd expect. Suffice to say I traipsed along to please others younger than myself.

Having said that, it has an impressive cast. Ben Affleck (assuming you think he's impressive). Holly Hunter. Laurence Fishburne. Jeremy Irons. Amy Adams. It's very nicely art directed. Lovely desaturated colour. Christopher Nolan is (one of) the executive producers so it's touched, at least, by apocalyptic expertise. It's suspenseful in a sort of mushy half-hearted way. The plot is very lively if not particularly easy to follow. And if you just want to watch a pack of handsome people chasing each other about and blowing stuff up, it's spot on.

There is one reason and one reason alone to watch this movie to my mind. And that's Jesse Eisenberg. You'll have seen him on screen before but man oh man, never like this. For sweet faced Jesse is (spoiler alert!) playing the baddie. And he's a seething steely gibbering maniacal frantic feverish baddie. I found myself thinking of the late and great Heath Ledger which, for a boy that cut his mainstream teeth on The Social Network, is hopefully a worthy compliment.

Anomalisa could hardly be further from the empty-headed whizz bangs of the so-called Dawn of Justice. (I dread the sequels if this one was only the dawn.) Anomalisa sees Charlie Kaufman continue to blunder about in quest of the point of all this strutting and fretting our hours upon this tiny stage. I'm not sure he finds it but he does shed a light on how much we look to other people to give us a reason to get up in the morning.

The film tells the story of well and truly over life Michael, eking out an existence on the small town public speaking circuit, paying cursery attention to his family back home while plaintively, passively, ploddingly hopeful for something more. The nuts thing is that Michael is a puppet. But a puppet so real, placed in settings so incredibly carefully created, that you quickly forget that "he" isn't real.

So the film is more or less instantly a masterpiece, I'd say. As it's so incredibly beautifully realised. (Stop-motion, silicone puppets, 3D printing for the facial expressions. Hours and hours and HOURS of work.)
But it's also a careful, considered and kind study of how we continue to wish for something better. How we fail to see the good in what we have. How we fancy that some perfect solution lurks just around the corner. And how we'll happily drag those closest to us down in this search for the thing that's surely hanging out waiting for us. Just over the rainbow.

Friday, April 01, 2016

The Rose and Crown (EGTG entry to the SCDA One Act Play festival) romped home at the Eastern Division at the Lochgelly Arts Centre last night.

The cast all did excellently. It was beautifully lit. Expertly directed. Very nicely costumed and the set worked a treat.

As we managed to miss the first show on account of traffic and the third was non-competitive, I can't comment on the competition but I hope it continues to romp forward to the Scottish Final on Saturday.