Monday, 29 November 2010

Microfiction Monday #59 & #13

Here this week's Microfiction Monday picture:

And here's mine:

"I don't care what you did last year, you're not bringing them through my china shop."

- - - - -

Thirteen weeks in, here's the photo:

And here's my respone:

Pressed against the bridge's crumbling rock, he prayed for the soldier's voices to move off. Instead, he heard a splash.

He was trapped.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

George Pensotti 1937 - 2010

To Moscow...To Moscow... was written by George Pensotti. Sadly George died on the 22nd of August this year after a period of ill health.

George (pictured below on the right, with Gregory Cox), had an impressive career as an actor, both on stage and on television where he made appearances in episodes of No Hiding Place, The Wednesday Play, Grange Hill, Holby Blue, Doctors and culminated in his playing an array of judges.

In addition to being an actor and writer, George was also a much loved director and teacher. Having taught some of the founder members of the New Factory Of The Eccentric Actor, George kept track of their work and after seeing General Strike 1926, he decided to write a play with them in mind. It was very clear to all concerned that To Moscow...To Moscow... was a labour of love for George (pictured below on the set of Privates On Parade).

I only really met George once, but we got on very well. It was at the first read-through of his script for To Moscow...To Moscow... and my abiding memory was that for the brief time we spoke, despite being in a busy rehearsal room with about thirty other actors, his attention was so focussed that whoever he spoke to felt like the most important person in the room.

Sadly he was in hospital during the performances and never got to see his work staged. He sent cards each night, the first was something along the lines of 'Break a leg', but the second stayed with me as it read "I'm sure you were all wonderful and awful last night". Naturally enough, the end of the play concerned Anton Chekhov's last days and the parallels were not lost on the cast.

Last Thursday, a memorial service was held for George at the Actor's Church in Covent Garden and fittingly it was a full house. Initially I felt slightly fraudulent being among people who knew him so much better than I, but one of the sentiments mentioned during the service was the line from Alan Bennett's The History Boys "Pass it on, boys, pass it on". This was mostly in reference to George's teaching, and although George never taught me directly, I have definitely benefited through the work I've done with the New Factory.

These (much better) obituaries were written for The Guardian and The Stage, by his wife, Diana Quay.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Microfiction Monday #58 & #12

It's Microfiction Monday again:

And here's my attempt:

He had been hunted for sport. Even in death he was mocked by sport. Whoever won, he still lost.

- - - - -

And here's the twelfth picture:

And my response:

Putting the wolf encounter behind her, she decided not to don the hood anymore. She still wore red though, some things were sacred.

Friday, 19 November 2010

The Tables Turned Again

Last week The New Factory Of The Eccentric Actor were asked to perform another rehearsed reading of William Morris' play The Table's Turned in Ladbroke Grove as part of an event called 'Notting Hill Roots' for an organisation called History Talk.

The event was followed by a Q & A, during which I was thankfully asked to provide neither Q's nor A's.

Once again I played Lord Tennyson (above) with the aid of a wonderful hat. And with some the cast from last time being busy I also played the wonderfully named Constable Strongintheoath. Which presumably Terry Pratchett references in his Discworld novels with the name of one of the Dwarves working in the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, Constable Stronginthearm (possibly pictured below).

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Twist And Shout's latest little innovation is words spoken by people off the telly which you can re-order. It's the internet equivalent of those sets of magnetic words on the fridge that really only come into their own when you have a party and everyone ends up in the kitchen. You can make an interesting and cogent sentence, which is philosophically so mind-blowing that it threatens to turn the world upside down, or you can do something like this:

My thanks to Jimmy Carr, Heston Blumenthal, Davina McCall, Phil from Location Location Location, the T4 girl that isn't Miquita Olivia, Derren Brown, Gordon Ramsay, Kevin McCloud & Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Microfiction Monday #57 & #11

It's Microfiction Monday again, here's the picture:

And my attempt:

They call him The Man With No Shame.
But even he thought twice about wearing the same outfit as someone else to the party.

- - - - -

The eleventh picture:

And my response:

Congratulations and welcome to puberty. This will restrict your intake of air and enforce unrealistic expectations of a feminine shape.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

We Love Live

The stars have aligned, the fates have smiled upon us and amazingly Pulp have reformed. I couldn't be happier. The Different Class line up of Nick Banks, Jarvis Cocker, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey, Russell Senior and Mark Webber are back together again. Pulp will be playing some concerts in 2011 and I couldn’t be happier. Now if only I could afford tickets.

By way of celebration, here's a performance of 'This Is Hardcore' from 2000's Reading Festival. I'm stood at the front somewhere...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Top Ten Films They Should Have Made...

Over at Ellie Garratt's blog inspired by the fact that Clint Eastwood was approached to play both James Bond and Superman, she's running a blogfest about the:

I think I've slightly missed the point because for the most part I haven't recast existing movies, but instead I've included some sequels, remakes and adaptations that I'd like to see.

Here's my top ten movies they should have made:

Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones
Sticking with Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker instead of Hayden Christensen.

Serenity II
They just should. It would be shiny.

Dr Who And The Chase Of The Daleks
Peter Cushing (and probably Roberta Tovey) star in the third Dalek film, the 1967 adaptation of Terry Nation’s television scripts from two years earlier as the time travellers are pursued through history from the Marie Celeste to Mechanus via Morton Dill...

The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe
The Hammer & Tongs Hitchhiker's was not the failure it was deemed to be by hardcore fans and a sequel could have been wonderful.

Wacky Races: The Movie
I'm amazed that a live action Wacky Races with CGI cars and hi-jinx hasn't happened already.

The Secret Of Monkey Island
When I saw Pirates Of The Caribbean I knew there would never be a Monkey Island movie which is unfortunate since it was awful. When such a mediocre film had two such successful sequels and a third on the way, I began to wonder...

Strontium Dog
As 2000 AD's stony-faced figurehead Judge Dredd gets a second cinematic outing, but I'd be very interested in seeing Johnny Alpha on the silver screen. Would geek-du-jour Simon Pegg be interested in playing him again?

Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor need to get over whatever they fell out about and get on with making this.

The YouTubings of Somegreybloke have left me wondering what a big screen version would be like?

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
With Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker instead of Hayden Christensen again. I really don't like Hayden Christensen.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Microfiction Monday #56 & #10

Autumn is here and Microfiction Monday is back, here's the photo:

And here's my attempt:

She shivered.

There was definitely a chill in the air.

"I must be getting old", she sighed, "I remember when all this was green."

- - - - -

And here's the tenth, picture:

Here's my response:

Apart from at Christmastime, Santa didn't expect letters.

The restraining order was a missive too far.

He'd been a very bad boy...

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Death Of The Death Of Tintagel

Tonight is the last night of The Death Of Tintagel. There is apparently another review in the TLS, bus since I can't seem to get hold of a copy it'll have to wait, but more extraordinarily we even made the Malaysian press.

You can still buy tickets here

The Death Of Tintagel Cast & Crew
Ygraine: Vera Chok
Tintagel: Freddie Machin
Belangere: Caroline Kilpatrick
Aglovale: Adrian Gillott
First Handmaiden: Grace Willis
Second Handmaiden: David Black
Third Handmaiden: Catriona James

Writer: Peter Morris
Director: Vik Sivalingam
Producer: Anna Sulan Masing
Marketing: Jessica Stanley
Lighting by Jason Osterman
Graphic/Web Design: Federico Zinelli
Sound: Austin Spangler
Music: Alejandro Pelaez
Stage Manager: Teresa Gage
Costumes: Charlotte Randell
Props: Marc Barnes
Marketing & Party: Danielle Addley

TLS Review and Crossword Answers to follow...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Malice In Wonderland

A few months ago, the actors from A Dickens Of A Christmas 2008 heard from the liquidators, that despite our best efforts (and being featured on Watchdog), none of the money owed to us is going to be heading our way.

I was resigned to this, despite really needing the money. I had left a good job as a hospital porter for an acting job. That was always the plan, but then the acting job defaulted on my payment. As a result of this show, 2009 began for me with my finances in a shocking state and this blog was born out my frustrations and in an attempt to remind myself what I did, whilst going through a period in which nobody wanted to pay me for it. As the credit was crunching, nobody seemed to want to pay me for anything.

Once again my finances are in a less than impressive state and as if to add insult to injury, Dickens impressario Adrian Walker is back with a new show, another Christmas party this time based on Alice In Wonderland. Talking to Event Magazine he said: "In 2008 I had only paid myself £20,000 in salary up to the point the event was supposed to take place.", it's difficult to have sympathy when I can think of a group of people who would love to live on only £20,000, but then I'm sure Mr Walker accustomed to better.

Another quote in the article: "That it failed was my fault, I hold my hands up, but I’m not some guy who is going to fly off to Rio" paints a picture of a bungling businessman who made a mistake and I'm willing to believe that could well be the case, but this is still the same man that pulled a show after selling more tickets than the capacity of the venue, rather than running the event at a loss and being able to disappoint fewer revellers, pay his employees and face fewer angry creditors months later.

The Event Magazine article also states that Walker claims that some people that attended his event in 2007 have already booked for this one. I would be astonished if any from the year after would do like wise.

As a result of our experiences in 2008, Walker's Amazing Events was blacklisted by Equity and he is organising this event under a different company name: GRI Events. In these times of almost puritanical austerity I would hate to see people out of work and at Christmas no less, but it would be remiss of me not to warn all actors, stage technicians, promoters, caterers, security staff, waiters and potential customers and partygoers to think twice about engaging in this.

Tellingly, at the time of posting, the website's testimonials page is not working...

Monday, 1 November 2010

Microfiction Monday #55 & #9

Microfiction Monday celebrates Halloween:

And here's mine:

She's heading down your street.
Calling "Trick and treat."
Misbehaving at your door.
Nobody told her it should have been "Or."

- - - - -

And the ninth Microfiction Monday.

Here's my response:

He wept when he finally saw the sea. They'd trained for the surfing contest in the absence of water. The horse was always going to drown.