Congratulations to the team behind Black Watch, my all time favouritest play ever ever EVER and now winner of four Olivier Awards! Whoop! It (quite rightly) got Best New Play, Best Sound Design, Best Director and Best Theatre Choreography.
John Tiffany directed Black Watch, and I’ve got a ticket for his new play Be Near Me, which comes to the Lowry at the end of next month. I’m trying really hard not to get over-excited about it, because I have a habit of building things up and up until I come out of the theatre feeling like shit because even a brilliant performance could not reach my inflated expectations. Still, I can’t fucking wait to see Be Near Me (which I keeping wanting to call Be Here Now like the Oasis album - hope that’s not a sign of things to come…)
The dude who did the choreography was a guy called Steven Hoggett, and I tell you, that guy deserves a tribute tattoo across my forehead, he’s that good. You wouldn’t think that a play about a group of soldiers dealing with their harrowing experiences would warrant much dancing, but that’s what makes Steven Hoggett’s choreography so special. You barely notice it. He uses set pieces to tell the story of the Black Watch regiment through the ages, and to communicate the endless routine and boredom of being on a tour of duty when you’re seeing little action. That’s what makes it so affecting, and so dark; a few twists and turns and a country dancing step or two can bring about this massive sense of oppression. The expectation of the past on these young men who have joined an ancient regiment is just so stifling, and Hoggett turns it all into movement. BRILLIANT.
Well done Team Black Watch.
I have found somewhere to live in Leicester - whoop! It’s an attic room in a six bedroom house and, during the ten minutes spent in the company of my new housemates, none of them demonstrated any personal hygiene problems, kleptomania or an affinity for hard house music. And when I got off the bus yesterday morning, the Café Nero near the bus station was playing John Martyn so this is clearly MEANT TO BE.
I read the final chapters of Rabbit, Run on the way home last night, while listening to () by Sigur Rós in order to drown out the commercial radio on the driver’s stereo. It pretty much turned me to emotional pulp and I had to face the window so no-one could see me quietly sobbing about how totally unfair life is sometimes. I’m not going to tell you what happens in Rabbit, Run, but I can say that it’s a story about someone with whom you alternately empathise and become enraged, and Updike leaves it up to the reader to decide whether he’s a victim of circumstance or his own worst enemy. It’s a story of complex realtionships and the pressures of being a grown-up, and it’s written for an audience who are the same; a bit good, a bit bad, a bit uncertain of the future. It’s the kind of book that makes you examine yourself a little more deeply, and to be honest, that’s not always the kind of fiction I go for, let alone enjoy.
Well done John Updike.