Sunday, 23 February 2020

General Strike 1926

The next show I was involved in was another of the New Factory Of The Eccentric Actor's mass cast historical epics. As the name suggests this one concerned the General Strike of 1926.

It was presumably intended for performance in 2006 on or around the eightieth anniversary of the strike, but it wouldn't be staged until September the following year.

I played a journalist and Charles, a toff turned bus driver who was enjoying the strike enormously.

This show was enormous fun and the cast were fantastic. There were 68 members of the cast. Here are just two of them: the late, great and much missed Matthew Eggleton on the left and the phenomenal Annie Firbank to the right.

Over the course of three nights there were somewhere in the region of 450 people in the audience. On the last night, just days before her hundred-and-second-birthday, Hetty Bower, a real life general striker, in the audience. She stood at the end of the play for her own rapturous round of applause.

It was featured in The Guardian's theatre blog.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Twitter Twatter #78

The end of November and all of December 2019 on Twitter:

Monday, 17 February 2020

Carruthers Ten Years On; February 2010

February 2010 on the Carruthers Blog. It was a particularly moribund time. Some of the Sex Therapist posts have not aged well.

I suppose I still quite like the silliness of Stool Sample and Brushed. It was also nice to see these reviews of our videos.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Twitter Twatter #77

Some Twitter nonsense from the last days of November 2019:

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Behind The Bike Shed

The first Behind The Bike Shed was held at Cafe 1001 on the 17th of March 2007 and with a repeat performance a week later.

The cast were Hilde Drevsjomoen, Raif Esendagli, Michael Everhard, Anna Sulan Masing, Verana Meneses, Joanna Strong, Sarah Wills, Nicola Young and I. All the scenes were written by Anna and myself.

Among the dozen or so sketches was Generic (the same script played three different ways as an experiment), Planet Of The Apes (now people would probably compare it unfavourably with Gogglebox), Bacon (about meaty confusion) and Jock (a riff on a Trainspotting obsession that came ten years too late).

It also included walk and faces, although sadly the links to the videos no longer work. They are probably lost forever...

The second performance was the better of the two, after we had learned how an audience might react to each scene and help push future shows in a more comedic direction. It set the pattern for later Bike Shed shows: venues other than theatres, multiple sketches and a mix of lighter and darker humour. Looking back, Anna clearly intended it be a more serious endeavour, but the scripts we were providing were only ever an attempt to make each other laugh.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Twitter Twatter #76

November 2019 on Twitter

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Insecure Writer's Support Group #2

Has it really only been a month since the last Insecure Writers Support Group? So much has happened since then that it doesn't seem possible.

This month's support group is co-hosted by Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson. Thank you to them.

Since last month's support group I've taken part in the twitter pitch, which was encouraging if not wholly successful for me. I'd be interested to hear how everyone else got on.

By far the biggest change since last month is my wife has gone back to work after her maternity leave and I am now taking care of our son three days a week. I'm still worrying about time to write, but now there is even less of it and no one else to take care of him. I have broken writing tasks down into a series of microtasks, so I can get something done in the few moments of down time. I'm writing this during one of his shrinking number of naps.

I'm thinking of writing something about being a stay-at-home Dad in what is definitely a Mum's world, but I'm not sure if anyone would want to read it. I think it could be pretty funny rather than just middle class white guy complaints. In the short space of time so far, I've been made both very welcome and very unwelcome.

This month's optional question is: has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

The answer is neither a straight-forward yes or no, but more of a sort of. I was involved with a theatre group and someone chose a series of photos to act as stimuli for scripts for sketches. I selected these two photos:

And then wrote Four Doors Down and Dog Lady, but if I'm completely honest the photos reminded me of ideas that I'd already had rather than inspiring them in the first place.

For seventy-three weeks, Susan at Stony River used to run Microfiction Monday. Does anyone else remember it? She would post a photo the week before and invite everyone to respond to it with a 140 character story. It was a great writing exercise. Eventually I did them all and I really missed it when her site went down. I hope she's OK. Maybe the IWSG needs its own Microfiction Monday. Would Insecure Writers be interested in joining in?