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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Category archive: Theatre

Saturday April 12 2014

Back quite late from LLFF14, and too tired to say much about that now, other than that I am enjoying it very much.  So here instead is a blatant quota photo of some painted people I snapped, down by the riverside, from Westminster Bridge, last Thursday, late afternoon:

image

It’s a tough life, having a painted face for a living.  She’s saying: I’ll be home soon.

I thought about cropping this snap, but if in doubt, not, is my inclination on that.

Thursday December 12 2013

Photoed by me today:

image

The golden dancing lady is the one on top of the Victoria Palace Theatre.

Saturday November 16 2013

And here’s a really good photograph, to make up for the really bad photograph in the previous posting.  I say really good photograph.  What I mean is a photo taken by me that is okay, of a really good photograph, taken by a seriously Real Photographer.  Limited edition, perfect paper, perfectly printed, framed, the works, worth hundreds of pounds:

image

Yes, it’s Dumbledore, making himself smile for the camera.

He’s been having his ups and his downs lately, it seems.  As do we all.

At the Do I attended last weekend, just after taking the photo in the previous posting, this photograph was one of the items being charitably auctioned.

This is the first charity auction I can remember attending.  But, despite my ignorance of how to do such a Do, let me offer you a tip, for if you ever organise a charitable auction.  Be sure to hand round a cash bucket immediately after the auction bit of the evening finishes, to enable all those who feel ridiculously guilty about not having bought any of the things being auctioned to part with a manageable amount of cash, without being encumbered with a unnecessary Thing, or worse, a Complicated Experience.  If they had done that at this Do, I reckon they might have increased their money by twenty percent or more.  They’d certainly have got twenty quid out of me.

Friday January 25 2013

When journeying across the river to Vauxhall, as I often do, I now tend to take the bus, in fact I have been doing this ever since I got my Old Git Pass

Which means that I have tended to miss out on shots like these:

imageimage

Mere clutter, you say?  Not for me.  For me, these are Big London Things, with clutter in the foreground.  On the left, Strata.  On the right, the mighty Shard.

The circumstance which caused me to shun the bus, despite the extreme coldness of the weather, was all the drama to do with the – see immediately below - cranes.

The Shard one reminds me that I have been watching a lot of Wagner on DVD lately, specifically Gotterdamerung (add double dots to taste).  Operas like Gotterdamerung bring out the worst in European stage directors and stage designers.  They tend to set the thing, not in the mythic world indicated by Wagner, but in a modern aircraft hanger, space station, hydro-electric power station, typically rather run-down or collapsing.

The architectural clutter in the foreground is provided by a piece of New Brutalism that is now being demolished.  Reinforced concrete sometimes looks at its most dramatic when they are trying to remove it.  It really puts up a fight, doesn’t it?

Thursday November 29 2012

Earlier this evening, or last night if you think today begins at 12 midnight (and has thus already begun) rather than when you get up next day (in which case for me it has not yet begun), I went to a Comedy Improv Evening, at the Leicester Square Theatre, in a small downstairs room.  It was a laugh, which is what you obviously want with comedy.

The format was clever.  They had a interviewer guy, who interviewed a borderline comedy celeb, and then a gang of comedy improvisers improvised comedy, taking their cues from what the celeb said.  Then another borderline celeb, then more improv.  Then a final borderline celeb, and a fnal dose of improv.  It added up to just over an hour.

So, for instance, comedian Nish Kumar, borderline celeb one, talked about how he got a bit bored seeing his face on a poster everywhere in Edinburgh.  Yeah, I know, a not very subtle way of saying: I’m doing okay, I’ve got my face up on posters in Edinburgh.  But it was okay.  And the improvisers did a thing about how Stalin got bored with his face being everywhere.

Then they had one of those women who had high hopes for herself, having trained herself to do Shakespeare and such, but who now has a job selling eyebrow trimmers or something similar on a TV shopping channel.  She was really funny, switching between herself, so to speak, and herself doing her shopping channel spiel.  And then they improvved a bunch of act-ors selling each other eyebrow trimmers, in the style of a Shakespeare comedy.  How we all laughed.

Those were just two bits I happen to remember.  There was lots of other stuff, and never once did I sneak any looks at my watch.

The final borderline celeb was an actor who had been in various movies, doing scenes with famous actors, many of which were cut out of the final movie.  Ah the joy of hearing about the misfortunes of others.

It worked well.  The borderline celebs got to put their faces about and to be used to get an audience together, but without them having to do lots of rehearsing.  And the presumably less well-known performers get a bigger audience.

My two favourite performers, among the gang of improvvers I mean, were Joseph Morpurgo, and one of the ladies, called, although I could be wrong, Idil Sukan.  If Idil Sukan was actually a different lady, no matter, because they were all good.

Recommended.  But, alas, there is no run for you to go to a later performance in.  There was just the one show, and the one I saw was it.  Besides which, if you go to another show of theirs, it would be completely different, what with everything being improvised.

At the website of these amusing people, there is, on page one, at the moment, the plug for the show I just saw, already linked to above, with pictures of the three borderline celebs.  Where it says What Monkey Toast Is, they describe what they do.  (They certainly do not describe what monkey toast is and why they’re named after it.) But where it says “Upcoming Gigs”, there is currently nothing.  So, no more shows fixed.  But I don’t believe that this will be their last.

I don’t know why they’re called Monkey Toast.  I’m guessing comedy troupes are like race horses, in that they have to be called something or other, but the main thing is not to take a name that’s already taken.  So, you call it Purple Bilgewater or Our Daughter’s Wedding (a real pop group of former times, that one) or The Funny Peculiars, or some other daft thing that if googled gets you nowhere, simply because you have to call it something and can’t spend all your time arguing about what.  As the comedy troupes multiply in number, the names get dafter and dafter, like with the horses.

This posting might have been funnier and shorter if I had worked harder at it instead of just stream-of-consciousness-ing it the way I actually did.  But that way it would probably not have been written at all.

Tuesday October 25 2011

Thame Gazette:

A ONE man show is coming to Thame.

Devised, written and starring professional actor Clive Woodward, You, Me, Colin and Helen will be on show at The Players Theatre in Thame on Saturday for one night only.

The show is based upon Clive’s experience as an actor who has worked on major feature films such as The Kings Speech, A Bunch of Amateurs starring Burt Reynolds and Brighton Rock, starring Dame Helen Mirren, TV programmes such as Spooks, Midsommer Murders and Lewis as well as theatre productions, a TV commercial, BBC Radio plays and corporate acting work in role play, films and live events.

Poor chap, having a famous name (which as an actor it would be most inconvenient for him to change), but not being the one who is famous for it.

It reminds me of the guy in Office Space whose name is Michael Bolton.  His friends urge him to call himself “Mike” instead, but he refuses.

“Clive” can’t be shortened, or really changed at all.  Clivey?  I don’t think so.

I get emails every time Clive Woodward gets an internet mention, which is how I heard about this.

Patrick Crozier has just dropped by and says maybe most acting people don’t know who Clive Woodward is.  Apart from being Clive Woodward the actor.  Maybe so.  Thank you Patrick.  You just destroyed the point of this posting.

Wednesday April 06 2011

At the top of a London Tube escalator, an appropriate juxtaposition, n’est pas?

image

Another sign of the times I spotted in Egham earlier in the week, here.

Wednesday March 09 2011

Indeed.  Another snap taken last night, just before the big advert below:

image

I like the whiteness, the hinges, the signs, the bike at an odd angle, and the fact that (see sign on the right) that it’s the Noel Coward Theatre.

Here’s the sign, closer up:

image

Alas, we are once again up against the limits of what my camera can do in artificial light, which this was.  Underneath “overbury” it says: “A passion for perfection”.

That bloody Tom Peters has got a lot to answer for.

The bike behind the theatre
Sneezing chat
Everybody draw Mohammed every day!
Andrew Hughes on making heroes of cricketers
London Bites @ Sway
What next for Guido Fawkes?
Dream magic that spoilt the magic
“Dying is a fulltime business. You haven’t time to do a lap of honour.”
The impossibility of God but the possibility of Michael Flatley’s cure and of super-super-flees
And here is a real quotation
On autobiographical ruthlessness
John Carey on Shakespeare and the high-art/ popular-art distinction
Avoiding barbarism in the street
Pictures with words
Hear ye hear ye
A picture of a Wheel seen through a field of corn
The Emperor Jones
A dreadful age
Struggling Actress quote of the day
Cats can be taught!
Me and Alex talking Gilbert and Sullivan
The Pirates opens in New York
Hellcab at the Old Red Lion
Another quota photo of the Docklands towers
Screen back
Oscar Wilde defends society
Jeffrey Archer - blogger
Jeffrey Bernard is unwell but very entertaining
Debussy denounces Massenet but Puccini follows him
Roll playing
Midsummer Night’s Dream now downloadable for free
Shakespeare Sunday
Rylance’s Richard II – and how Richard II pre-echoes Lear
Rylance’s Richard again
King Kevin