Monday, 28 September 2009

500 x Carruthers

But I would write 500 posts
And I would write 500 more
Just to be the man who wrote 1000 posts
Typing til my fingers are sore

The Mr Carruthers Presents...Daily blog has reached 500 posts. Some are good, many are not, but for better or worse I wrote them all, well except for a few bits of Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry and various reviewers & lyricists.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Meet The Fergusons

So Chain Gang is back, but this time it's different. The audience is no longer being asked to write it themselves but instead to come up with a storyline for it which Rob Shearman will adapt.

You can both hear and read his Episode 1 online and then formulate your own continuation of the storyline and submit it.

I've submitted mine, which I'll post here at some point whether it's successful or not.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Make Up

A duologue, but not dialogue, about tube travel. We hear the inner thoughts of two passengers as one attempts to do her make up en route.

The audience heard this via radios through their headphones, while two actors sat silently opposite each other on the tube as one of them putting on make-up. Probably her. I was only physically present once because I was working in a completely different subterranean tunnel on A Dickens Of A Christmas, but more on that story later.

Featuring Mink Ette and myself, and recorded by David Aldhouse.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Chain Again

Derailing the Train Of Thought briefly, because amazingly, Picture This was broadcast in an omnibus form on BBC7 yesterday, will be on iPlayer for the next seven days and the award-winning prose is available to read online. I hadn't thought about it for two years, then I stumbled across my attempt at an episode elevenish out of the blue and now it's back.

There's a new one on the way and I'm going to have a go at writing some of it.

Chain Gang 2009 begins September 26th at 5.55pm.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Train Of Thought

Have you ever looked at other people on the tube and wondered: what are they thinking?

Between the 12th and the 19th of December 2007, Train Of Thought was Mink Ette's site-specific piece which placed the audience on the London Underground, armed them with radios, surrounded them with actors and allowed them to listen to the thoughts of their fellow travellers.

Featuring Laura Bateman, Charlie Fish, Tin Horse, Minkette, Shireen Mula, Parrot (in the) Tank and me.

I wrote and recorded three of these inner monologues and two were included within the show. I'll upload them here over the next week or so.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Touring Deceptions

It's been a while since Deceptions finished and I was looking back through the photographs that I took on the road.

And here are the highlights:

Check out the glamour. Broken windows, holes in the walls and Asbestos warnings.

The warm weather, Andy Murray and the sign above were blamed by many for generally poor attendance at Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. Maybe it has more to do with fact that no two people seem to pronounce Yvonne Arnaud the same way.

You know you've made it when...

Brighton's Theatre Royal boasts The Colin Baker Kitchenette. I really hope he's aware of it. Some people have hospital wards named after them, but does anybody really care? No, you just want to get in, get your chemotherapy and get out. A kitchenette though, anyone can relate to that.

Despite it being June, my dressing room still had a lone Christmas decoration hanging up. Six months early or six months late Brighton's dressing room 3 is prepared for Yuletide.

Since I was at home during Richmond, it felt more like a day job, and it's difficult to even really call it touring.

Dressing room highlights in Richmond included a forgotten pair of filthy tights and a single cigarette hidden away in a drawer.

Marketing is obviously very important in order to distinguish your play from the competition. We began with a psychological drama which became a black comedy when tickets didn't shift. Here we see two distinct approaches:

In order to draw attention to this week's show, why not have its poster falling toward the window?

Another approach here to selling a two-hander: convince the audience it's a one-woman show.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle's Optional Extras

In addition to six episodes covering issues as varied as Books, Television, Political Correctness, Credit Crunch, Religion & Comedy. The DVD also features:

= Audio Commentaries on all six episodes by Stewart Lee, Paul Putner & Kevin Eldon.

= Stewart Lee vs Armando Iannucci, six red button bits.

= Behind The Wheel, a 16 minute documentary concerning the making of Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle.

= Subtitles, which as tradition dictates run along the bottom of the screen, in what is apparently (and pointlessly) called a Chyron, and transcribe what is being said verbally in the medium of sound into the corresponding written word.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle on DVD

Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle (featuring yours truly) is available on shiny shiny disc at all good stockists from yesterday.

And probably some rubbish ones as well.

Saturday, 5 September 2009


I have an even-if-you-don't-blink-you'll-probably-still-miss-me part in Exploits, a film written and directed by Alper Cagatay currently in post-production.

Exploits Coming Soon.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Picture This

The Chain Gang was a radio series on BBC7 written by the listeners, the second series was entitled Picture This and was broadcast in 2007. Rob Shearman wrote the first and last episodes with listeners encouraged to resolve the cliffhangers and write the next episode themselves (in about 300 words).

The following was my unsuccessful attempt to write an episode 11 or 12, and since it won Bronze in The Competition Award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards they were probably better off without me. Sadly the Beeb have taken the finished version down from their website so it's difficult to illustrate exactly how this would have fit into the existing narrative which apparently ended up involving lesbians on the Eiffel Tower. I bet you want to read it now.

I'd like to write you a 'Previously on...' to set the scene but it's been that long that I've forgotten most of it. It involved a camera that could take photos of the near future. Somehow there's a photo that suggests Gary is going to die, something references Alan Turing and as we join them he's absorbed something into his hand:

Deena stared at Gary in the dimness of the carriage, for what seemed like ages. She half expected the orange glow to shine from behind his eyes or out of his mouth like in a film, but it didn’t. When he spoke there was no mysterious voice, just Gary with a little extra confusion.
“Did I drop it?” he asked, unconvincingly.
“No” Deena said slowly.

Gary took his eyes off the floor and stared first at his now empty hand, then at the camera in the other.
“The camera never lies” Gary said soberly.
“Don’t” Deena pleaded.
“Why?” Gary asked, catching her eye.

A little flustered Deena asked him to change the subject. Gary started asking questions about Turing. She was aware her answers weren’t much help and was relieved when Gary said “Wasn’t he the guy with the shroud?”

She laughed, surprising herself. She felt a little more relaxed and looked around the carriage. The train hadn’t moved. And the longer she looked the surer she was that nor had any of the passengers. No movement at all. Was that even possible? All frozen. Just like a photograph.

Someone was moving though. Deena heard something. She could hear footsteps…