scribbles tagged ‘theatre’

empathy

Saturday, July 11th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

at school in the 1980s, if asked to present work,   I stuttered.    Teachers and classmates made sure I never had to do it, I was complicit in avoiding this painful experience.

At university I joined the students amateur dramatics group to try and practice  the problem away. In at the deep end.    I helped with the make-up, brochure design, set-painting, costume creation and most of the time enyoyed being in the background.   Then pr0gressed to my first role. Rumplestiltzkin. Lead in the xmas pantomime, few lines, all rhymed, easy to memorise. I over-practiced to take the edge of my feelings of shere terror. First night, 300 people in the audience including my parents. Minor dose of terror.   It went well.

Over time I ramped-up my speaking parts.    In a  community theatre production of Peter Shaffers Amadeus  I played Constanza Mozart, a small significant part.    The production was so good were  invited to the Edinburgh festival.   I still pause to find the words  when I’m uncomfortable.

Then yesterday.

Half an hour in  phone conversation with an amazing expert with the worse stutter I’ve ever heard left my empathsing in action in subsequent conversation.   Temporary relapse.

empathy
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fantastically ridiculous

Sunday, December 7th, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

DickThe Hexagon Theatre in Reading is running its annual pantomime, Dick Wittington.

Interactive theatre where the audience, predominatly under 4ft tall, get to shout out ‘He’s behind you’, and “BOO!” and hisssssszzzzzz as loud as they want when the clearly marked  baddie comes on the stage.   The baddie in this case was dressed in black leather with a huge fake furry chest,   long tail,   and the name ‘King Rat’.

The pantomime  hero, the principle boy,  is played by a girl wearing tights, no trousers, and thigh length leather boots  who enjoys repeatedly slapping her outer-thigh with her hand and falling in love with the leading lady who is a lady.   A man in outrageous, colourful  costumes plays an unmarried woman,    the ‘Dame’.    A young chap coordinates audience participation, facilitates the storyline and everyone’s happiness.   I’d quite like one of those.

In Dick Wittington there were doses of singing competitions, where volume supercedes musicality,  between the two halves of the auditorium.   Some songs required rather tricky accompanying hand-actions,  during which  I accidently whacked the  lady sitting next to me and generally got everything all topsy turvy.   There  are also some slow,   soppy,   songs in a pantomime.   Luckily, watching the shorter contingent of the audience wave brightly coloured lit-wands around made the soppy songs  entertaining.

For those who enjoy a heated debate, like myself, there were many opportunities to argue with the cast ‘Oh no he isn’t’….’oh yes he is’….      The occassional slap stick humour, outstandingly bad jokes and the Dames costumes that beggar belief ensured the tone of the event stayed firmly in the realm of the fantastically ridiculous.    At one point the Dame wore a dress in the form of what looked like the Tower of London.

Audience  birthdays on the performance day were announced in the penulitmate scene. I’m thinking of relocating my Brithday to mid December.

Plot spoiler (look below the next paragraph)

The plot invariably ends with the leading man (woman) and lady (woman) getting together,   the baddy being converted (normally by magic), and the dame continuing to be a dame.

Plot spoiler over (start reading here)

It was all jolly good fun.   Happy  holiday season.

Hoorah!

fantastically ridiculous
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Teatro Zinzanni

Monday, October 2nd, 2006 | tags: , , , ,  |

Teatro Zinzanni, a show called ‘dinner and dreams’.   After a poor start to the evening the performance was colourful and fun,   the food was interesting and tasty.   A very good evening. 🙂 🙂

Ratings explained

Apparantly they were expecting us the week before we turned up.   They didn’t have our reservations.   I had a confrimation number and when I subsequently checked their confirmation email had not cited the day of the performance.   I was sure I’d stated the right night when booking,   they were sure I’d stated a week before my parents arrived.

Mum looked upset,   dad looked anxious, the tent looked dark and sumptuous.

Teatro Zinzanni Bar

I asked if they could fit us in.   They waited until all the expected guests had turned up and then found 3 places for us.   It took the shine off the beginning of the evening.   That they were able to let us see the performance despite this misunderstanding was very much appreciated.   That there was room for this misunderstanding was not good.   Mum and Dad laughed through the evening of bawdy jokes and Vaudevillian sketches.  

Mum really liked the original theatre tent with bevelled glass windows.   Both parents had trouble reading the menu in the very dim candle light or hearing the waiters above the general noise of the tent.   The wine supplied with the meal was outrageously expensive and the corkage fee (if you bring your own wine) was  less, but still,  outrageous ($30).  

Nonetheless, the whole experience of the evening is worth paying for,   once.

Teatro Zinzanni
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Issaquah Village CATS

Saturday, December 24th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

The Issaquah Village Theatre staged a version of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber Musical CATs.  

It was well performed,   beautiful,   with a suitable set, fabulous make-up and sexy costumes.   I didn’t know the ‘plot’ beforehand and the performance did not  adequately convey the plot.   That didn’t really matter to me because it was such a beautiful sensual experience.    The performances were well beyond the quality of my expectations for a regional theatre group.   Karen Kaiser’s rendition of  the famous song “Memory” was technically excellent and very moving.      

I’d recommend taking the opportunity to see this production.  

For those more discerning than me this critical review  is more detailed and a little more critical.  

W

Issaquah Village CATS
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