synonymsforchurlish / posted on 9 April 2014

Despite a stunning coup de theatre at the very end that will forever change the way I eat Jamaican Ginger Cake, Ivo van Hove’s A View From The Bridge is the simplest type of show.  It’s just some fucking astonishing good actors playing a text that is brilliantly written, and within a directorial concept that is basically just those first two things, underlined in red pen.  It’s not the kind of theatre I often see.  In fact, the last time I saw something with performances of this quality, it was Scenes From A Marriage by Toneelgroep Amsterdam, also directed by van Hove.  

To be frank, I’m not certain that my nerves would stand more than 2 of his shows in a year.  I felt like I spent the whole two hours in a state of heightened alert.  All tense and adrenalin-buzzed, like motorway driving in heavy rain.  

It’s times like this that I’m glad I haven’t had much of a literature education. I had no idea what was going to happen in this play, except, of course, that I knew whatever it was was going to be horror.  I was proper gripped.  Reminded me of The Sopranos.

Basically, It’s just unparalleled quality.  Makes me wonder why Hytner and Mendes and Grandage et al even bother.  Give it up guys.  Go home.

14th April: Photo changed for a production shot. xxx

Despite a stunning coup de theatre at the very end that will forever change the way I eat Jamaican Ginger Cake, Ivo van Hove’s A View From The Bridge is the simplest type of show. It’s just some fucking astonishing good actors playing a text that is brilliantly written, and within a directorial concept that is basically just those first two things, underlined in red pen. It’s not the kind of theatre I often see. In fact, the last time I saw something with performances of this quality, it was Scenes From A Marriage by Toneelgroep Amsterdam, also directed by van Hove.

To be frank, I’m not certain that my nerves would stand more than 2 of his shows in a year. I felt like I spent the whole two hours in a state of heightened alert. All tense and adrenalin-buzzed, like motorway driving in heavy rain.

It’s times like this that I’m glad I haven’t had much of a literature education. I had no idea what was going to happen in this play, except, of course, that I knew whatever it was was going to be horror. I was proper gripped. Reminded me of The Sopranos.

Basically, It’s just unparalleled quality. Makes me wonder why Hytner and Mendes and Grandage et al even bother. Give it up guys. Go home.

14th April: Photo changed for a production shot. xxx


TAGS: young vic theatre ivo van hove view from the bridge arthur miller

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 4 April 2014

Pros and cons of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games people deciding to blow up the Red Road estate during their opening ceremony:

Pro: Did you see that episode of The Wire with all the kids watching the demolition of their project towers through a chainlink fence? It’ll be just like that I bet.  Few people will miss them.  And Glasgow has already made significant moves to fix the social problems of Red Road.  They’ve mostly been empty for years.

Con: But they stand for something.  High rise living was once the start of a utopian future. Some of the original tenants had never had an inside toilet before.  Are we so quick to turn our backs on that ideal?

Pro: Mate.  Are you seriously trying to argue that high-rise living is on the decline?  Gimme a BREAK.  This is about an event, an occasion, a spectacle.  What a massive, fuck-off statement of intent.  What a huge, ridiculous, no-messing, proper fucking awesome way to start a party.  Sport or running or whatever it is, it doesn’t matter.  It’s about Glasgow beating its chest and blowing its whistle while the chorus drops.  It’s about sticking two fingers up at everyone because you know you can.  “Hello world, welcome to Glasgow. Now watch THIS.” Fucking BOOM.

Con: Come on now.  It’s going to be the worst sort of poverty tourism.  Deckchairs and hampers from the viewing platform.  “Let’s take a look at where all the poor people grew up.  Look, over there - that’s where they still house asylum seekers y’know.”  “I hear there was asbestos.” “Oh, yes, terrible.”  “There was a fire in that tower.  No-one could get out safely.”  “Oh, yes, and prostitutes.  I heard they’d turn tricks in the lifts. Teenage girls, desperate for drugs.”

Pro: Soooo… you want to make them into a Museum of Vice…? Hello… Seriously, don’t tell me I need to remind you how fucking cool EXPLOSIONS are. You’ve been to Burning Man.  You know.  But these might just be more than that.  They’re more than just fire-eater, or a car going over a cliff, or some Hollywood CGI bollocks.  This will be a changed landscape, the way your tongue feels next to a missing tooth.  The sublime destruction of a towering object.  Endeavour, beyond a human scale.  The power of man, the insignificance of man. Terror, from a position of safety.  It will be a genuinely powerful and moving experience.

Con: But… but will it work on telly? Will it be loud enough? How will they light it?  What about the hedgehogs seeking shelter?!

Pro: Lighting?! Oh my goddddddd I hadn’t even thought about the lighting! It’s going to be like a fucking DISCO DEMOLITION isn’t it?! AMAZING. Fireworks and AC/DC!  Lasers through the dust and smoke! Fucking LASERS!!!!! Mate, I am gonna order a metric fucking TONNE of glowsticks off Ebay. This is gonna be fucking MENTAL. :)

Con: Okay so maybe I am a bit excited.

Pros and cons of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games people deciding to blow up the Red Road estate during their opening ceremony:

Pro: Did you see that episode of The Wire with all the kids watching the demolition of their project towers through a chainlink fence? It’ll be just like that I bet. Few people will miss them. And Glasgow has already made significant moves to fix the social problems of Red Road. They’ve mostly been empty for years.

Con: But they stand for something. High rise living was once the start of a utopian future. Some of the original tenants had never had an inside toilet before. Are we so quick to turn our backs on that ideal?

Pro: Mate. Are you seriously trying to argue that high-rise living is on the decline? Gimme a BREAK. This is about an event, an occasion, a spectacle. What a massive, fuck-off statement of intent. What a huge, ridiculous, no-messing, proper fucking awesome way to start a party. Sport or running or whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. It’s about Glasgow beating its chest and blowing its whistle while the chorus drops. It’s about sticking two fingers up at everyone because you know you can. “Hello world, welcome to Glasgow. Now watch THIS.” Fucking BOOM.

Con: Come on now. It’s going to be the worst sort of poverty tourism. Deckchairs and hampers from the viewing platform. “Let’s take a look at where all the poor people grew up. Look, over there - that’s where they still house asylum seekers y’know.” “I hear there was asbestos.” “Oh, yes, terrible.” “There was a fire in that tower. No-one could get out safely.” “Oh, yes, and prostitutes. I heard they’d turn tricks in the lifts. Teenage girls, desperate for drugs.”

Pro: Soooo… you want to make them into a Museum of Vice…? Hello… Seriously, don’t tell me I need to remind you how fucking cool EXPLOSIONS are. You’ve been to Burning Man. You know. But these might just be more than that. They’re more than just fire-eater, or a car going over a cliff, or some Hollywood CGI bollocks. This will be a changed landscape, the way your tongue feels next to a missing tooth. The sublime destruction of a towering object. Endeavour, beyond a human scale. The power of man, the insignificance of man. Terror, from a position of safety. It will be a genuinely powerful and moving experience.

Con: But… but will it work on telly? Will it be loud enough? How will they light it? What about the hedgehogs seeking shelter?!

Pro: Lighting?! Oh my goddddddd I hadn’t even thought about the lighting! It’s going to be like a fucking DISCO DEMOLITION isn’t it?! AMAZING. Fireworks and AC/DC! Lasers through the dust and smoke! Fucking LASERS!!!!! Mate, I am gonna order a metric fucking TONNE of glowsticks off Ebay. This is gonna be fucking MENTAL. :)

Con: Okay so maybe I am a bit excited.


TAGS: architecture red road glasgow commonwealth games demolition

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 31 March 2014

S/S14 LOOKBOOK

From The Guardian today, so no great undiscovered find, but I love this to bits, and Girls has finished now so what else is Monday night for?

My inner cynic tells me they were all done on the same day with different Instagram filters (see the curl at ten o’clock - yeah, as if she replicated THAT with her tongs every morning) but still v strong design message. Check out the telly doily.

Telly Doily. Band name.

Telly Doily and the Flicks.


TAGS: art photography found photos

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 28 March 2014

Check food is piping hot before serving

World Theatre Day. That’s a thing that exists apparently. I may have only heard of it for the first time about 13 hours ago, but it’s made me feel smug as fuck all day long. I, entirely coincidentally, had booked to see three performances today. I was THE BEST at World Theatre Day. Pretty sure I get a gold star from Patrick Stewart or Dame Judi or someone now. 

All three of today’s shows were good, but one was GREAT. I’d never heard of Anton Mirto before, and if I’d read the bit on her company’s website about “interrogating the human condition” before I’d booked, I might’ve spent that tenner on washing tablets or something. Darling, please. Show me a piece of art that doesn’t interrogate the human condition. 

But I won’t throw darts at their academyspeak. THIS SHOW HAS BEEN KINDLY SUPPORTED BY BACOFOIL. For real. The programme is a whole bunch of thank yous: for all the crowdfunders, the development feedbackers, the mums and dads, lighting designer blah blah, and then BACOFOIL. Stuff like that makes me smile so much. “Erm, yes, hello. You may think this is a strange call but my name is Anton Mirto and anyway I make visual art kind of with a performative language at its core, so yeah I was wondering, anyway I guess HOPING that you could sponsor my show with some free tinfoil? I’ll need about 7 rolls for each show and it’s on 5 nights next week. I can put your name on our freesheet…?”

The whole thing is basically just a bunch of really, really beautiful dancer types sitting at a table, wrapping themselves in tinfoil and holding poses, but it’s so striking, such a sparse aesthetic, funny and strange and kind of grotesque all at once. I mean, how can they breathe? And the shells that they make, from their faces but also arms and upper bodies too, are shed like skins and piled up on the floor like these weird grimacing horror stories. Like Goya and HR Giger and the citizens of Pompeii and a mass fucking Auschwitz grave, but then also a bit like the Video Killed The Radio Star video, or something by Devo. It’s deadpan and ridiculous and a bit like an actual advert for Bacofoil has gone horribly wrong in some atomic-era, Red Scare, brainwashing sci-fi B-movie. And that’s even before they start writhing. Five beautiful dancers are writhing on a table, svelte and lithe and all those French-sounding dancery words, all dressed in black but with these terrifying distorted tinfoil faces, each making their own SILENT SCREAM.

Amazing.

Check food is piping hot before serving

World Theatre Day. That’s a thing that exists apparently. I may have only heard of it for the first time about 13 hours ago, but it’s made me feel smug as fuck all day long. I, entirely coincidentally, had booked to see three performances today. I was THE BEST at World Theatre Day. Pretty sure I get a gold star from Patrick Stewart or Dame Judi or someone now.

All three of today’s shows were good, but one was GREAT. I’d never heard of Anton Mirto before, and if I’d read the bit on her company’s website about “interrogating the human condition” before I’d booked, I might’ve spent that tenner on washing tablets or something. Darling, please. Show me a piece of art that doesn’t interrogate the human condition.

But I won’t throw darts at their academyspeak. THIS SHOW HAS BEEN KINDLY SUPPORTED BY BACOFOIL. For real. The programme is a whole bunch of thank yous: for all the crowdfunders, the development feedbackers, the mums and dads, lighting designer blah blah, and then BACOFOIL. Stuff like that makes me smile so much. “Erm, yes, hello. You may think this is a strange call but my name is Anton Mirto and anyway I make visual art kind of with a performative language at its core, so yeah I was wondering, anyway I guess HOPING that you could sponsor my show with some free tinfoil? I’ll need about 7 rolls for each show and it’s on 5 nights next week. I can put your name on our freesheet…?”

The whole thing is basically just a bunch of really, really beautiful dancer types sitting at a table, wrapping themselves in tinfoil and holding poses, but it’s so striking, such a sparse aesthetic, funny and strange and kind of grotesque all at once. I mean, how can they breathe? And the shells that they make, from their faces but also arms and upper bodies too, are shed like skins and piled up on the floor like these weird grimacing horror stories. Like Goya and HR Giger and the citizens of Pompeii and a mass fucking Auschwitz grave, but then also a bit like the Video Killed The Radio Star video, or something by Devo. It’s deadpan and ridiculous and a bit like an actual advert for Bacofoil has gone horribly wrong in some atomic-era, Red Scare, brainwashing sci-fi B-movie. And that’s even before they start writhing. Five beautiful dancers are writhing on a table, svelte and lithe and all those French-sounding dancery words, all dressed in black but with these terrifying distorted tinfoil faces, each making their own SILENT SCREAM.

Amazing.


TAGS: anton Mirto live art yard theatre bacofoil

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 26 March 2014

A series of stills from Hype Williams’ video for Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See by Busta Rhymes (1997*)

You can just imagine the pitch where Hype was all like “I just need some UV body paint and my normal fisheye lens and maybe some dope sunglasses - y’know, the usual" but then they had a few cognacs and smoked a bit and a couple of hours later they’d booked the mansion and the head-dresses and the martial arts master and hired a fucking ELEPHANT. "Send all invoices to Universal Music please, purchase order reference: FLIPMODE."

If you’d’ve asked me when I was 13 if I was into Hype Williams videos I would’ve said FUCK OFF I LIKE GUITARS (actually I probs would’ve just raised my eyebrows at you and walked away) but it turns out I’m nostalgic for this stuff now. Oh, the damage wrought by CGI on our future pop heritage!

Busta Rhymes danced with a motherfucking elephant for 6 seconds of footage. Your move Gaga.

(*I only know it was 1997** because he goes “NINE SEVEN” with his fingers near the start. I think I would’ve guessed ‘98 if pushed, in a pub quiz situation for example)

(**That’s SEVENTEEN years ago ladies and gents)


TAGS: busta rhymes hype williams nineties music video music hip hop elephant

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 23 March 2014

Here in my car 
I feel safest of all

On Friday night I got into a car with Greg Wohead and we drove to the lake.  You have to drive down a big avenue of trees to get there, and it looks really beautiful at that time of night, when the sun is getting low in the sky.  Greg played my favourite album on the stereo, then we talked for a bit and I told him that I was having a few problems with my boyfriend.  You could tell he was a bit nervous but he was a good listener, and I soon found myself shifting in my seat, inching closer towards him.  We both went quiet, and I could feel his breath on my face.  I knew that if he kissed me I was going to kiss him back, definitely.

We were in an estate car, parked by the fire exit at Camden People’s Theatre (possibly even blocking it - I hope that went in their risk assessment), and I was wearing a wig that Greg had given me when I first got in.  I was the sole audience member in The Backseat of My Car, and I was taking the part of Claire or Carole or Charlotte or whatever her name was.  I can’t remember which it was because, frankly, within about 45 seconds I was there, I was in it, I was sitting in a car with a boy I liked and I was pretty sure he was going to kiss me any. moment. now.

Seriously, no-one can tell me that one-on-one performances like these aren’t the most exciting, most startling, most genuinely exhilarating of all.  You’d rather sit quietly behind a fourth wall?  Get to fuck.  Give me five minutes in alone with Greg in his car any day.  Just re-living it in my head while I write this is making my heart race.  

Greg Wohead is one of the best makers of this stuff of course (the more time that passes, the more I think Hurtling might have been the greatest artistic experience of my entire life) and obviously not everything at Friday’s one-on-one night could be that wonderful.  There was an ‘installation’ in the ladies bogs called Be Your Black Girlfriend that felt politically problematic, and a choose-your-own-adventure audio thing that was a bit aimless, but then twenty minutes later I was strapped into some video goggles, dressed in a hospital gown, and getting a GLIMPSE OF THE ACTUAL FUTURE.  There is only one excuse remaining for a zombie apocalypse narrative, and Aaron Reeves used it to test out the kind of tech that could kickstart a fucking entertainment revolution.  Dead Arise was like playing the lead in an action film, and the way my brain re-adjusted to the filmed environment was pretty astonishing. I was being led around a rehearsal room by a guy in a bumbag and it felt like 28 Days Later.

Imagine when the porn industry gets hold of it.

Here in my car
I feel safest of all

On Friday night I got into a car with Greg Wohead and we drove to the lake. You have to drive down a big avenue of trees to get there, and it looks really beautiful at that time of night, when the sun is getting low in the sky. Greg played my favourite album on the stereo, then we talked for a bit and I told him that I was having a few problems with my boyfriend. You could tell he was a bit nervous but he was a good listener, and I soon found myself shifting in my seat, inching closer towards him. We both went quiet, and I could feel his breath on my face. I knew that if he kissed me I was going to kiss him back, definitely.

We were in an estate car, parked by the fire exit at Camden People’s Theatre (possibly even blocking it - I hope that went in their risk assessment), and I was wearing a wig that Greg had given me when I first got in. I was the sole audience member in The Backseat of My Car, and I was taking the part of Claire or Carole or Charlotte or whatever her name was. I can’t remember which it was because, frankly, within about 45 seconds I was there, I was in it, I was sitting in a car with a boy I liked and I was pretty sure he was going to kiss me any. moment. now.

Seriously, no-one can tell me that one-on-one performances like these aren’t the most exciting, most startling, most genuinely exhilarating of all. You’d rather sit quietly behind a fourth wall? Get to fuck. Give me five minutes in alone with Greg in his car any day. Just re-living it in my head while I write this is making my heart race.

Greg Wohead is one of the best makers of this stuff of course (the more time that passes, the more I think Hurtling might have been the greatest artistic experience of my entire life) and obviously not everything at Friday’s one-on-one night could be that wonderful. There was an ‘installation’ in the ladies bogs called Be Your Black Girlfriend that felt politically problematic, and a choose-your-own-adventure audio thing that was a bit aimless, but then twenty minutes later I was strapped into some video goggles, dressed in a hospital gown, and getting a GLIMPSE OF THE ACTUAL FUTURE. There is only one excuse remaining for a zombie apocalypse narrative, and Aaron Reeves used it to test out the kind of tech that could kickstart a fucking entertainment revolution. Dead Arise was like playing the lead in an action film, and the way my brain re-adjusted to the filmed environment was pretty astonishing. I was being led around a rehearsal room by a guy in a bumbag and it felt like 28 Days Later.

Imagine when the porn industry gets hold of it.


TAGS: camden people's theatre greg wohead one-on-one performance

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 11 March 2014

As endorsed by Tom Hanks

It might be too early to write this. I’m pretty much still dazed. I’ve just spent about 40 minutes walking from room to room with a cup of tea in my hands, just looking at things. An hour ago I finished reading Stoner by John Williams, a book that all you book-fans will be bored of talking about already. You’ll have an opinion on its “great re-discovery”, on the pull-quote from TOM FUCKING HANKS on its cover, on its appearance on Random House’s Vintage imprint, which smacked of the same awful PR-driven egotism that Morrissey’s Penguin Classic did recently. I for one hate anything that could possibly remind a person of Morrissey. Also, the words “A novel”. Fuck off.



I totally adored this story, and after an initial couple of chapters on the train this weekend, read 90% of it in one sitting this morning. As soon as I realised who this man was - this quiet, sometimes determined, sometimes resigned, loving, lonely man - I read it with a creeping sense of loss. He was never going to have the triumphant Hollywood moment where he stuck two fingers up to his boss or got the girl. He was just going to live a beautiful, disappointing life, and then die.

(I told you it was too soon for me to be writing this.)

In a way, this whole market-led thing around Stoner, the EXCITING REDISCOVERY and NOTABLE LIBERAL CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT and RADIO 4 SALES TREND ANALYSIS, creates a nice glimmer of hope for all the Stoners of the world. All these forgotten, dead heroes, who toil for years to make a mark and yet make none, might still be found and celebrated one day. Stories and lives and value and memory and all that.

Even if in this case it is just some bullshit capitalist false narrative from an industry readying itself for its big Napster crisis.


TAGS: books john williams stoner

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 9 February 2014

ARSE-FIERCE

A quick Google image search tells me that the cast of Blurred Lines at the National Theatre don’t wear the same costumes for every show. A quick check of my own conscience tells me that it is inappropriate to focus on what the female cast of a show about the everyday oppression and exploitation of women are wearing on stage.

But I need to tell you about Lorna Brown’s trousers.

They were black, and high-waisted. Kinda gathered at the top and draping diagonally to tapered ankles. I can’t find a single picture of them in the production shots. I am in love. They made her whole silhouette just so fucking BADASS. If I owned a pair of those trousers I’d be like “Fuck yes look at my fucking brilliant backside. My arse could well kick your arse. FEAR ME FOR I AM ARSE-FIERCE.”

Having been to the TOTAL FUCKING WONDERLAND that is the National Theatre costume stores, I’d be surprised if any cast wore their own clothes on stage, but I think Lorna Brown might just be my new style icon. (Note the thumb ring.)

Yeah, so Blurred Lines is pretty good. Especially if you go on a Badass Trousers day. I have a tendency to recoil from overtly feminist stuff because I’m one of those “fuck off I don’t need your help” types (and I like that Robin Thicke song an’ all), but it’s really inventive for such a self-referential theatre-y thing. LOVED the opening miscellany of unnamed female characters, a nice little Bechdel Test reference. The wanky Oxbridge director at the end was almost too close for comfort too. Hopefully a few industry arseholes will think it’s based on them and have a crisis. Ha.


TAGS: theatre fashion lorna brown trousers bums feminism robin thicke blurred lines national theatre

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 4 February 2014

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

I am THIRTY YEARS OLD NOW.

I’d prepared myself for a big psychological freak-out, mourning every forgotten 3am kebab and sleeping bag sunrise, and, in an attempt to emerge from my bloated, wrinkly pupae in peace, took myself off to Margate for the weekend, because I’d seen that nice John Smith seaside film in the Estuary exhibition last year and it had made me feel like a grown-up.


With hindsight, I think I might’ve actually had my big psychological freak-out after my 29th birthday instead, so it was nice to have a relaxing couple of days looking at art and eating chips in my new Twisted Vintage necklace from the guys at work. The sun shone and my room was upgraded at the hotel. I even won an argument about modern art with a taxi driver. (I fucking DID SO win it and if he says otherwise he’s a lying bastard.)

So, let’s talk about Turner.

I understand his importance intellectually, and his skill, but I remain entirely unmoved. (Frankly, I’m not sure we should’ve been encouraging the Impressionists either.) For someone who spent his time painting ACTUAL REAL PLACES, there don’t even seem to be any marks on the fucking canvas. Not any proper lines. It felt like my glasses had been smeared in lard. All soft-focus cotton wool crap. I kept thinking about that time they discovered that all those shit-brown paintings from the olden days were actually meant to be bright blue but they just used rubbish decomposing paint. Like Turner was actually creating these brilliant, vivid, angular landscapes but he accidentally used paint that dissolved into lardy mush within a few months. It’s like he’s painted the Alps using one of those textured rollers you got from B&Q in the 90s.

The gallery itself (the Turner Contemporary that my PHILISTINE cabbie called “the shed full of shit”) is WONDERFUL. It’s architecturally stunning. A David Chipperfield design, who did the Hepworth in Wakefield too. Smooth concrete handrails backlit with this palatial white glow. It’s making me sound like a wanker, I loved it so much. The activity rooms and learning rooms all had these balcony-style walls that opened onto fuck-off great big panoramic sea views. And in the proper-proper gallery spaces, this central linking corridor with several entrances and exits. I found it by coming through the main Turner room, which was painted a colour I can only describe as “suburban yellow” (vom), but then I saw this huge monochrome Helen Frankenthaler canvas in the middle of a brilliant archway of white, completely framed by the whole entrance. I was like, see ya never Turner, imma goin in THERE.



TAGS: art turner margate architecture

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 25 January 2014

A picture I took at Sensing Spaces today


Sensing Spaces is the new exhibition at the RAA, where a bunch of famous architects have designed “environments” for us to enjoy. It was pretty good really. Even if some rooms weren’t immediately impressive, you could see what they were trying to do, or what bit of the existing architecture they were trying to respond to. There was a wooden maze that could’ve been part of a Punchdrunk thing, and a walkway full of kids building sculptures out of straws. That bit was a bit irritating tbh. Some kids are fucking CRAP at sculpture.

Turns out that now I’m nearly 30 I like my “environments” like I like my men: tall, hard and grey. The photo at the top of this post was taken in the darker of the two Grafton Architects rooms. It was kind of Southbank-y, but cleaner and calmer. The shafts of light coming from the top were blocked out of two corners, like little nests. Have you ever been the that underground sky-hole bit of Yorkshire Sculpture Park? It felt a bit like that, a bit Rothko Chapel. The central chamber was basically filled with dickheads like me all taking smartphone pics of the light. Which I guess is the whole point of the exhibition really: to show the way “environments” affect mood and behaviour.

Frankly, I’m glad all that playing-with-straws stuff kept the kids out of our bit.


TAGS: Art sensing spaces Royal academy architecture

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 23 January 2014

My First Lear

I hate Shakespeare. All of it. Even his stupid Terry Nutkins haircut. I’ve ranted about the old dead bastard for long enough now that concerned friends and colleagues have begun calling in favours and pulling strings in order to test my resistance. Thus, on Tuesday I found myself in a fucking brilliant seat in the Olivier (I’m strictly a row G of the Circle kinda girl normally) for the Mendes/Russell Beale Lear. I had a print-out of the plot from Wikipedia because fucking HELL the 3G in that building will be the death of me, and a vague instruction from an Oxbridge pal to “work out who all the Lords are as soon as you can or you’re fucked”. 


This is what I learned.

Turns out they were saying “Cordelia”, not “Ophelia”. Ophelia’s actually in a totally nother play.

Tom Brooke is going to be a huge massive ultra-famous stage star one day. Not only a name that can open a show, but a name that will be remembered. A name that will have other stuff named after it. (Plus you get to see his penis.)

I’d always thought Lear was a tragedy but there were definite funny bits. 

Having said that, I don’t think SRB was meant to be so jolly. He was like Brian Blessed’s understudy, always on the verge of slapping his thigh and ending every sentence with a belly laugh.

One of the actors was replaced by an understudy in the interval and Mendes came out to tell us, which was brilliant because it meant I knew which one Edmund was for at least an hour of it.

I really liked the oil-spill backdrop. And the storm clouds. And the grass and the flames. And the stag. And the identikit army of Hugo Boss Menswear models. And the bit where Tom Brooke ran around with his dick out. But I’m just trying to be positive really. It was mainly boring. It’s an irrelevant, over-complicated story about dull people and their collective sense of entitlement. And it just goes on and fucking ON. Three and half hours it took. Peggy Woolley divided up her estate in The Archers this week and it took her about 6 minutes. Probably less. Pat and Tony are a bit put out but everyone else is just like “guys, guys… get over it”. And they will. No eye-gouging necessary.

Think on. 


TAGS: theatre king lear national theatre shakespeare

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 19 January 2014

Something something ecology

I’m being a bit shit at theatre writing right now because, frankly, I’m a bit bored of theatre. If ever there’s a good time to have one of these troughs, it’s January, but in the meantime I thought I’d pop over here and point out two absolutely fucking brilliant bits of writing about the Beckett trilogy at the Royal Court.

You may remember that I fell in love with Not I when it was on last year (not to mention Vicky F’s gold ankle boots). First time around I saw it up-close-and-sideways from the cheap seats, whereas last week I’d splashed out on centre circle and found my experience suffered a bit. I can see Matt’s point about it being so much smaller than expected, although at the time I just made a note to get my glasses prescription checked.

Anyways, here’s a link to Matt Trueman’s piece. Like I say, I can totally see how Matt finds it a frustrating piece of theatre to watch, but I kinda think that’s the point. It’s the giving in to the sound and rhythm of it where the joy lies. Same for Rockaby, which is kinda the opposite of Not I in its pace. (Fuck know what the point of the middle one, Footfalls, was. Maybe it works as an exercise in lighting design?)

I’m getting carried away when this was only supposed to be two links to two other people’s work. Let’s try again. Focus Meg. HERE IS A PIECE BY MATT TRUEMAN WHICH IS FANTASTIC, EVEN IF I THINK HE’S LOOKING AT THINGS THE WRONG WAY ROUND: http://matttrueman.co.uk/2014/01/nor-me-a-brain-splurge-on-not-i.html

And here is Dan Hutton, who can sometimes be a bit serious for my tastes, reviewing Not I as if he was writing Not I, which just fills me with so much joy and excitement that it has precipitated my running back into the living room (to within wi-fi range) in order to post this blog in the first place. More and more I don’t give a fuck about theatre criticism unless it’s a show I’m literally on the tube home from, or it’s something like this. Something creative and readable and yet full of the little accuracies that demonstrate a massive understanding of the show/form/genre/actor/whatever in question. Hats off Hutton. Enjoy: http://dan-hutton.co.uk/2014/01/19/not-i-footfalls-rockaby-by-samuel-beckett/

xx


TAGS: theatre beckett not i footfalls rockaby royal court theatre criticism dan hutton matt trueman

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 15 January 2014

A work-in-progress list of the only good theatre company names that exist

All the others are shit (unless of course you’re thinking of one that is good but I just haven’t added it to the list yet).

Slung Low
Action Hero
Gob Squad
Headlong
GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN
Elevator Repair Service
Nofit State Circus


That’s it.

(Note the absence of the “Theatre Company” suffix.)


TAGS: theatre