paines plough

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 26 October 2012

FROW (that’s fashionspeak for ‘front row’)

I am a half-way back kinda girl. Central, but with a bit of distance between me and any stage blood. I don’t want to feel like I’m at the tennis, up so close that I have to swing my whole face round every time the dialogue passes between actors. I want to be able to look down on the action and see everything, like some kind of divine being, sent to judge the authenticity of the skirting boards chosen by the design team.

And then on Wednesday the show I thought was unreserved wasn’t unreserved at all. And not only that, my ticket said C8. And not only that, THERE WERE NO ROWS A AND B. I was in the very middle of the front row for Black T-Shirt Collection by Inua Ellams and my coat wouldn’t fit under the seat and everytime I crossed or uncrossed my legs they were RIGHT THERE in his line of sight and OH MY GOD last time I sat at the front for anything it was 7 Day Drunk by Bryony Kimmings and that DID NOT END WELL FOR ME.

But then I discovered that sitting at the front can be really intense. It was like Inua Ellams was perched on the end of my bed, telling me the best bedtime story of ALL TIME. (Seriously, he makes doing the voices not even sound like he’s doing the voices.) So tonight, for Paines Plough’s double bill of Simon Stephens shorts, I sat in the second row (the FROW was full of teenage girls - pffft) and although the first piece, T5, wasn’t that successful (headphone narrative, completely unwarranted hotel room setting), the second was the INCREDIBLE Sea Wall which I’ve seen performed before but which I’d forgotten enough of to have it definitely feel like just me and Alex sitting on the end of my bed.

Actually, that would be a fucking incredible business idea. Bedtime stories by professional actors, live and intimate in your own home. (NOT THAT KIND OF INTIMATE.) 30 min shorts by amazing playwrights which start with a hot chocolate and end with a lullaby. Perhaps Sea Wall (dead daughter ahoy) and Black T-Shirt Collection (suicide by incineration) won’t be the best percursors to a restful night’s kip but I can work on the details later. And this’ll tick so many fucking outreach and participation boxes on the G4A bid.


TAGS: theatre inua ellams black t-shirt collection paines plough london sea wall simon stephens fuel theatre

synonymsforchurlish / posted on 24 March 2011

I am having such an awesome week that I’m basically the smuggest motherfucker you ever met.  I wish I could say ‘motherfucker’ without enunciating it all quite so… well, quite so Cheshire.  Even reading it in my head it sounds like a white, middle-class girl saying ‘motherfucker’, rather than, y’know, Ice Cube just doing his NORMAL TALKING.  Maybe I’ll grow into it.  There was a time that I felt silly saying ‘cunt’ and now we’re totally natural bedfellows.  Metaphorically speaking OBVIOUSLY.  One of the reasons I’m such a smug cunt right now is because of ALL THE SEX I’m having with my smokin’ hot, red-blooded boyfriend. Yeah, mmm-hmmm, true dat, etc.

So anyway. THEATRE.

The History Boys is a bit meh, which I believe is modern day parlance for ‘was that it?’  It was the West Yorkshire Playhouse revival that I saw, and I’d never seen the NT version or the film, so I was a relative blank canvas.  I guess if my expectations were higher, it would’ve been an even greater disappointment.  It just seemed to go nowhere and do nothing, with a few minor laughs here and there to break up all the homoeroticism.  I just didn’t understand how everyone could just shrug off molestation as if it was some contest for house points that went hilariously awry.  Maybe this was just a bad attempt at a good play…  Maybe I should watch the film…

After that, I wasn’t so enthusiastic about Tuesday’s ticket to Love Love Love by Paines Plough.  It’s a Mike Bartlett play and I was a big fan of Earthquakes In London last year (until all the weird futuristic bollocks at the end anyhow), but I was being all "yah yah the death of the pros-arch etc etc" about the whole thing and looking forward to fucking about with headphones at Fierce fest.  And to be fair, the first twenty minutes or so didn’t fill me with hope for the form.  Two brothers (the younger of which looks about 20 years older than he should be) argue about music and telly and girls and all the standard 1968 stuff.  Cue mentions of The Beatles, dope and the protest movement.  So far, so *yawns*.  But then this AMAZING WOMAN shows up and is PROMPTLY SO AMAZING THAT THE SCRIPT SEEMS TO ACTUALLY QUICKEN IN ORDER TO KEEP UP WITH HER AMAZINGNESS.  She was Lisa Jackson and she played Sandra and I LOVED HER.  In fairness, I loved Mike Barlett’s writing too from that moment forth.  He told us the story of one couple as they meet, raise a family, royally fuck things up, and then retire.  1968, 1991, and now.  The last part really struck a chord, as you see a lot of the decisions I’m in the process of making coming back to bite their daughter on the arse.  These are scary times we live in.  I may be a smug bastard, but I’d be a whole lot fucking smugger if I had a £40K pension and two paid-off houses.  *sigh*

And so to yesterday, and Fierce Festival in Birmingham.  IT WAS WELL SUNNY!  17 DEGREES! I TOOK MY JUMPER OFF AND CARRIED IT!  The main thing I was there for was Symphony Of A Missing Room by Lundahl and Seitl (staged in the art gallery) and I never would’ve guessed it could be as awesome as it was.  I thought it’d be a few nice binaural sounds swishing about in my ears and maybe a couple of people looking enigmatic in doorways.  Turns out they strap you into massive white goggles and manipulate you around the building with their fingertips, whishing you through walls and into tunnels and over precipices.  There was a bit where I SWEAR they took me onto the roof and I suddenly got all oh-God-what-it-they-chuck-me-off-the-edge about it.  I had to reassure myself that this was the second day of the show and I’m sure I’d’ve heard about it if six people plummeted to their deaths every hour.  I chilled out a bit after that.

Oooh, and I also did karaoke with a Sergeant from Rochdale in Quarantine’s booth at Moor Street Station, and then I went to London and saw Submarine with Neil (THAT’S MY BOYFRIEND Y’KNOW) at the posh cinema in Notting Hill.  I interviewed Joe Dunthorne in a fanzine I made yeeeeeeeears ago and it’s awesome seeing his book being turned into such a cool film.  Hope it makes a gazillion people read it and make him rich.

Oh yeah, and then I decided to change my dissertation on the day I had to hand in my dissertation proposal, which might not be my finest hour but certainly feels good.  I’m gonna do it about theatre criticism now.  Tenner says all my recommendations call for MORE SWEARING.

I am having such an awesome week that I’m basically the smuggest motherfucker you ever met. I wish I could say ‘motherfucker’ without enunciating it all quite so… well, quite so Cheshire. Even reading it in my head it sounds like a white, middle-class girl saying ‘motherfucker’, rather than, y’know, Ice Cube just doing his NORMAL TALKING. Maybe I’ll grow into it. There was a time that I felt silly saying ‘cunt’ and now we’re totally natural bedfellows. Metaphorically speaking OBVIOUSLY. One of the reasons I’m such a smug cunt right now is because of ALL THE SEX I’m having with my smokin’ hot, red-blooded boyfriend. Yeah, mmm-hmmm, true dat, etc.

So anyway. THEATRE.

The History Boys is a bit meh, which I believe is modern day parlance for ‘was that it?’ It was the West Yorkshire Playhouse revival that I saw, and I’d never seen the NT version or the film, so I was a relative blank canvas. I guess if my expectations were higher, it would’ve been an even greater disappointment. It just seemed to go nowhere and do nothing, with a few minor laughs here and there to break up all the homoeroticism. I just didn’t understand how everyone could just shrug off molestation as if it was some contest for house points that went hilariously awry. Maybe this was just a bad attempt at a good play… Maybe I should watch the film…

After that, I wasn’t so enthusiastic about Tuesday’s ticket to Love Love Love by Paines Plough. It’s a Mike Bartlett play and I was a big fan of Earthquakes In London last year (until all the weird futuristic bollocks at the end anyhow), but I was being all "yah yah the death of the pros-arch etc etc" about the whole thing and looking forward to fucking about with headphones at Fierce fest. And to be fair, the first twenty minutes or so didn’t fill me with hope for the form. Two brothers (the younger of which looks about 20 years older than he should be) argue about music and telly and girls and all the standard 1968 stuff. Cue mentions of The Beatles, dope and the protest movement. So far, so *yawns*. But then this AMAZING WOMAN shows up and is PROMPTLY SO AMAZING THAT THE SCRIPT SEEMS TO ACTUALLY QUICKEN IN ORDER TO KEEP UP WITH HER AMAZINGNESS. She was Lisa Jackson and she played Sandra and I LOVED HER. In fairness, I loved Mike Barlett’s writing too from that moment forth. He told us the story of one couple as they meet, raise a family, royally fuck things up, and then retire. 1968, 1991, and now. The last part really struck a chord, as you see a lot of the decisions I’m in the process of making coming back to bite their daughter on the arse. These are scary times we live in. I may be a smug bastard, but I’d be a whole lot fucking smugger if I had a £40K pension and two paid-off houses. *sigh*

And so to yesterday, and Fierce Festival in Birmingham. IT WAS WELL SUNNY! 17 DEGREES! I TOOK MY JUMPER OFF AND CARRIED IT! The main thing I was there for was Symphony Of A Missing Room by Lundahl and Seitl (staged in the art gallery) and I never would’ve guessed it could be as awesome as it was. I thought it’d be a few nice binaural sounds swishing about in my ears and maybe a couple of people looking enigmatic in doorways. Turns out they strap you into massive white goggles and manipulate you around the building with their fingertips, whishing you through walls and into tunnels and over precipices. There was a bit where I SWEAR they took me onto the roof and I suddenly got all oh-God-what-it-they-chuck-me-off-the-edge about it. I had to reassure myself that this was the second day of the show and I’m sure I’d’ve heard about it if six people plummeted to their deaths every hour. I chilled out a bit after that.

Oooh, and I also did karaoke with a Sergeant from Rochdale in Quarantine’s booth at Moor Street Station, and then I went to London and saw Submarine with Neil (THAT’S MY BOYFRIEND Y’KNOW) at the posh cinema in Notting Hill. I interviewed Joe Dunthorne in a fanzine I made yeeeeeeeears ago and it’s awesome seeing his book being turned into such a cool film. Hope it makes a gazillion people read it and make him rich.

Oh yeah, and then I decided to change my dissertation on the day I had to hand in my dissertation proposal, which might not be my finest hour but certainly feels good. I’m gonna do it about theatre criticism now. Tenner says all my recommendations call for MORE SWEARING.


TAGS: theatre fierce festival love love love paines plough the history boys west yorkshire playhouse lundahl & seitl symphony of a missing room uni dissertation quarantine film submarine