Friday, 29 October 2010

The Echo May Whisper

The Death Of Tintagel has been reviewed:

Reviewer: Chris Bearne
28th October 2010
4 stars

"Magic in the Dark Tower"
Its genesis a long-forgotten symbolist marionette piece by Maeterlinck, the man remembered perhaps only for Pelleas and Melisande (and The Blue Bird. which was eventually to emerge as a gem of Hollywood arcana), this new treatment of The Death of Tintagel by Peter Norris (sic) is a surprise and a delight, something rich and strange, compelling and cathartic.

The scenario could be written on the back of an 1894 envelope : Matriarch Queen summons home with murderous intent her grandson, Tintagel to pre-Arthurian keep ; sisters Ygraine and Bellangere can do little to save him ; the Queen's handmaidens will prevail and bear him off to death in the underworld …

And this was written for puppets? Unpromising? Not in the hands of this writer and this company.

In black box theatres, on a good day with a good play, you can hope for immediacy and atmosphere … the spectacular, maybe not. Surprise. This piece is directed (by Vik Sivalingam) and staged with economy of means and abundance of imagination (set by Nik Corrall, costumes by Charlotte Randell), including at least two transformational coups de theatre that are literally breathtaking. I can reveal the plot, but these you have to come and experience for yourself. All this was enhanced by clever and resourceful lighting (Jason Osterman), hackles-raising sound (the Chorus and Austin Spangler - loved the amplified shears!) and some beautifully-gauged music by Alejandro Pelaez.

I seem to have begun with how the thing looks and sounds, and I'll leave it that way - it is a hallmark of this production, and pretty exceptional in fringe theatre - but this is not to detract one iota from the text or the company's delivery of it. The ongoing "thing" about the speaking of verse has become a bit of a bore, I know - why do so many actors gabble classical text, these days? - but here we have new verse writing, quirky, poetical and arresting … and delivered with relish and clarity, in particular by Vera Chok (a compelling Ygraine) and Freddie Machin (engaging and poignant boy/man Tintagel). As the eunuch Aglovale, Adrian Gillot (sic) is particularly adept in understating the text, as befits his unavailing yet illuminating character, while Caroline Kilpatrick's ever-almost-lacrimose Bellangere's words rightly speak louder than her actions.

This leaves the chorus, the "handmaidens" (read Fates), whose task (apart from offing Tintagel, that is …) is to induct us into the world of the dark tower, the powers at play, the inevitable outcome and the language in which we are to hear all unfold … oh, and a few gags into the bargain. Yes, there is light relief in there, I'm glad to say, but of the kind that is wholly in keeping with the sardonic attitude of this fateful threesome, whose otherliness is beautifully expressed in both costuming and movement, the latter I would think offering more than a nod to Maeterlinck's original marionette vision.

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We are also Time Out's 'Best of Fringe' again:

You can still buy tickets here

Monday, 25 October 2010

Microfiction Monday #54 & #8

It's Microfiction Monday once more. Here's the photo:

And here's mine:

It was the longest of summers.
The summer that would change everything.
The summer that would change who they were.
Except for one of them.

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Here's the eighth, here's the photo:

Here's my response:

Lily was starting to wonder whether this baptism thing was really worth all the hassle.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Death Of Tintagel This Week

The first night is the 25th of October, the show runs until the 6th of November (except on Sundays) at 7.30pm.

People Show Studios,
Pollard Row,
E2 6NB

Buy tickets here

Time Out has made us their 'Best of Fringe'.

In addition to the show itself there will be a post show Q&A on Thursday the 28th of October entitled: 'Do Killer Vaginas Have Teeth!?'

And a Halloween Party on Saturday the 30th of October called: Dark Tales, at the Tart bar, 117 Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M 6AA (behind the Fluid bar) at 7pm, £3 or come after the show that night.

Our designer Nik Corrall has put together a fantastic little trailer, which unfortunately I don't know how to post here, but you can see it on The Death Of Tintagel's facebook.

Buy tickets here

Monday, 18 October 2010

Microfiction Monday #53 & #7

It's Microfiction Monday again. Here's the picture:

And here's my attempt:

"Which will dry first, your cement or my tears?" She asked.

The man had no answer to give.

- - - - -

And here's the seventh, the picture:

My response:

For hours and hours it had always been over the next hill. Until now.

They had arrived.

P.S. This is this blog's two-hundredth post.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Kill Tintagel

In a play called The Death Of Tintagel it is not surprising that there are people who want to bring about his end. Unfortunately for Tintagel there are more people against him than there are on his side. His grandmother, the Queen, and her handmaidens are out to get him, but probably more sinister than that is the fact that his sister Bellangère and friend of the family Aglovale are fairly indifferent to his fate.

"You can tell what happens just by hearing the title."

In the light of the apparent popularity of a recent spot the difference contest that wasn't (sorry about that) and because Aglovale is far more interested in his crossword, than he is in Tintagel's ultimate fate. I thought that a genuine puzzle might go down quite well and possibly make up for misleading you. Apparently the first ten people to finish this win a prize that has been described as ginormous:

Monday, 11 October 2010

Microfiction Monday #52 & #6

Microfiction Monday is one year old. Here's the photo:

And here's my response:

She was the only passenger on the train. This was not a going to be a train robbery that would go down in history as great.

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And here's the sixth, here's the photo:

And here's mine:

The rainbow twanged.

The rainquiver lay empty.

As the rainarrow shot off into space beginning an infinite journey to brighten up the universe.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Save Tintagel

No, not a campaign to protect Tintagel itself from overzealous property developers, but instead a team made up of those who wish to prevent the death of Tintagel in a play called The Death Of Tintagel. It's safe to assume that Tintagel himself is in favour of his own survival, but he is unfortunately blissfully unaware of his plight. His sole champion, is his sister Ygraine.

I don't fancy their chances...

Monday, 4 October 2010

Microfiction Monday #51 & #5

Microfiction Monday is back again. Here's the picture:

And here's my response:

The clatter of hoofs on roofs disappeared as the clouds swirled about them. Anji was alarmed at how easily she was getting used to this.

- - - - -

And here's the fifth one, here's the photo:

Here's mine:

The fire broke out.

Tearing through the house leaving no stone unburned. Until it was free.

Now, it's out there.

Friday, 1 October 2010

A Dog's Life

Another photo I submitted for Saltpeter Production's Be Inspired to help publicise its production of The Death Of Tintagel. The quote, above left, seemed more than a little appropriate to accompany the photograph below. I took this photo in North London. It stank.