I’ve been a Silly Cow…

Apologies (again) for the absence. I’m sure the next post will also start with that due to the months long gaps between the blog posts. Having had the email telling me to renew the domain recently, reminded me that I had the blog and how when I bought the domain I told myself that I’d try to make something of it, and I did try – but then I failed. So renewing it, maybe I’ll try again. No harm in trying is there?

So what have I been doing I hear you ask? (Well the 2 of you reading this in some random places that I’ve never heard of). Boring answer – work. My work life has changed. For those that weren’t aware, my job has always been a bit temperamental but recently this changed to being much more settled and so a lot of my time has gone towards this. Now on a bit of a break before heading back to work soon it’s given me a bit of time to breath.

The exciting answer to what I’ve been up to though is that I’ve just finished directing a play! Annoyingly I had so many ideas to blog throughout the process but as mentioned above, the job thing got in the way, and leaving the house at 7:30am and returning at 11pm several days a week, blog posts took a back seat. Which is a shame, as I’d have loved to have shared my experiences with you.

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So I directed Silly Cow by Ben Elton at the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham. It was a massive challenge considering my only other previous directing experience had been a monologue and assistant director to the youth theatre production this year. Trying to ensure a comedy is funny is so difficult. After a few weeks the jokes had stopped being funny in rehearsals and so we had to believe that the audiences would find them funny even if we had stopped laughing. Luckily every performance we got laughs in the right places, laughs in unexpected places, and no laughs in the places we though would get the most! On top of that trying to control a cast was a mission within itself. Usually a director would have a production assistant (PA) but I was without one for most the rehearsal process so I had to make sure that I did all the admin jobs that I should have been able to pass on to my PA as well as lead rehearsals, attend meetings and go to work every day! It was a major challenge. In all honesty at times I hated it, a couple of times I told myself I’d never do this again as it all got too much for me and tempers flared in the rehearsal room – however, these things pail into insignificance as they were soon forgotten about and the shared goal to produce a great piece of theatre was remembered and we got on with it. And looking back on it properly – yeah, there’s things I’ve learnt, and I need to do it again to put things into action!

Sadly I don’t have access to official audience feedback and no one came to review it, but those that I know that came to see it were all positive about it. The parentals liked it (and I’d like to think I know when they’re not telling me the truth) which is the main thing.

So, hopefully I’ll get a few more posts posted in the coming few weeks. Might even try that whole film thing I tried last summer… I’ll do my best, and hopefully get things a bit busier on here.

Thanks :)

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Eurovision – Did Equality Really Win?

Last night Eurovision was won by Austria’s act Conchita Wurst. And it was a ruddy good song that deserved to win. But the second she won my facebook and twitter were alight with comments saying ‘Equality has won’. Why? Oh, because for the last few weeks any story about Eurovision would mention the bearded lady or the Austrian drag queen. Because apparently, by highlighting the differences between Conchita and the other acts and by emphasising she was a drag queen, and for the announcer from one country saying it was time for her to shave, and the constant jokes and comments made in her direction, it means that equality is the champion.

Erm.

Is it?

It’s a lovely idea. But it sits uncomfortably in my stomach.

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Mr Gove

Originally posted on Paul Bernal's Blog:

Mr Gove Cover

Mr Gove was extraordinarily arrogant.

Painfully arrogant.

He believed that he knew how everything should be done. He believed that everyone else in the world was stupid and ignorant.

The problem was, Mr Gove himself was the one who was ignorant.

Mr Gove Close up

He got most of his information from his own, misty, memory.

He thought he remembered what it had been like when he had been at school – and assumed that everyone else’s school should be the same.

He remembered the good things about his own school days, and thought that everyone should have the same.

He remembered the bad things about his own school days, and thought that it hadn’t done him any harm – and that other children should suffer the way that he had.

Mr Gove Super Close up

He got other information by reading newspapers.

The problem was, he read the wrong newspapers.

He read the ones that told stories that…

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As the World Tipped – Victoria Square Birmingham, Friday 6th September 2013

As the World Tipped - Victoria Square Birmingham, Friday 6th September 2013

Every so often Birmingham has some fantastic free outdoor Arts events. The weekend just gone was just one example with 4 Squares celebrating the opening of the new library. I was only able to attend one event, ‘As the World Tipped’ – a stunning aerial piece in which the performers interacted with some stunning projections on the theme of climate change. For more info see: http://www.wiredaerialtheatre.com/as-the-world-tipped#!__as-the-world-tipped/the-show and for more photos click on the photo to see my flickr set from the evening.

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REVIEW – PEOPLE by Alan Bennett @ Birmingham Rep (NT Tour) [Updated]

I was fortunate to be asked to go review the National Theatre’s production of Alan Bennett’s play ‘People’ at the newly reopened Birmingham Rep a couple of days back.  I will link to the full review when it goes live but for now, follow the jump for a little preview and for the link to the full review at WhatsOnStage.com

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London’s Small Theatres

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A recent BBC news story that grabbed my attention was about the future of London’s small theatres.  A small theatre is one that has a capacity  of 300 or less.  The closest I’d got to a small theatre earlier this year was seeing performances in studio spaces but earlier this year I visited the Union Theatre in London to see the musical Bare.  I was blown away at the theatre space and at the time had plans to blog about it but they were way laid with work commitments and so never happened (although when I see the transfer of Bare at Greenwich Theatre in October I’ll endevour to blog).

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Wright Write Films #2 – Knight Rider (original series) Season 1, Episode 1

THE SELECTION… (see the selection process at the end of this post)

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Publish date: FRIDAY 26th JULY

FRIDAY = Highest RatedTAILS = TV

  • Even date – Right column…

 

KNIGHT RIDER (original series) – SEASON 1, EPISODE 1 ‘Knight of Phoenix – Part 1’

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Wright Write Films #1 – The Thick Of It, Season 1 Episode 1

THE SELECTION… (see the selection process at the end of this post)

thick of it

Publish date: THURSDAY 25th JULY

TAILS = TV

THURSDAY = Collections

  • Top TV Laughs
  • Odd date – Left column….

THE THICK OF IT – SEASON 1, EPISODE 1

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REVIEW – Up4aMeet? Crescent Theatre Birmingham & Tour

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Up4aMeet? – Crescent Theatre Birmingham, 22nd July 2013

Up4aMeet? Is the finest example of a play that doesn’t take itself too seriously, is very aware of what it is, but also genuinely funny.  What could have been a production that was funny for the wrong reasons, this is a very humorous piece of theatre packed full of topical references and some very accurate observations.

The play, set in block of flats, follows the lives of 3 very different (stereotypical) gay men, their mutual friend the celebrity booker, her failing client and the new flat mate of the oldest of the 3 men.  Along with the use of ‘Cock Shop’ aka Grindr on their phones and websites to find sex and dates the action becomes farcical with cross communication, mixed identification and the need to succeed.

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COMING SOON: Wright Writes FILM! [Updated with selection process]

W W Film

Ever had that moment when you’re going through LoveFilm or Netflix and you see films or shows you’d like to watch but ‘not right now’? I seem to have this feeling pretty much everytime I go through the options, so with the summer holidays looming what better chance to actually watch those films you try to save for later.

The plan:

  • To randomly choose films or TV shows on LoveFilm.
  • To watch said film or TV show all the way through (TV shows to watch the first full episode and potentially more).
  • To either blog as I watch or write a review after.
  • To repeat as often as possible.

The aim? Well to get my money’s worth from LoveFilm to start of with, but also to give new things a try and to broaden my tastes.  Who knows – this horror hating blogger may turn out to become the biggest fan of Paranormal Activity!

Wish me luck…

 

Want to know the selection process for Wright Writes Films project? Continue reading…

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