Well, done and dusted! And excellent it was too – no problems with lines last night, and everybody was just really "rock and roll" as Dave would say. Very good performances throughout – one of our best. I want to do it again now, but I can’t. Pah.
First night last night, and it went very well – except I flubbed a line, but that happens. Didn’t throw me too much. It was in the speech I thought I’d have trouble with, too; one I’d gone over and over again until I could just parrot it back. But everything else was just fine and dandy. We’re sold out, so no tickets on the door I’m afraid.
Didn’t blog much about our last production, possibly because it was an absolute bloody nightmare in many ways! But as always somehow happens, everything came together in the last few days to produce an excellent show. The show was Now That’s What I Call Ubu!, a compilation of edited versions of Jarry’s Ubu plays, with a framing story and linking bits written by my lovely and talented wife and additional scenes by Rhys and Anne, two other members of the company.
I think the audience were a bit shellshocked. It’s an hour and a half of mad slapstick insanity. "Did you enjoy it?" I’d ask, and they’d look at me with glazed eyes and slightly blown minds and say, "er.. yeeess?" It was certainly an experience.
Annoyingly, only the first play – Ubu Roi is really remembered, despite the fact that the other two plays are actually better. They weren’t performed in Jarry’s lifetime, though, and Roi caused a riot.
The next one will be a bit more sedate, hopefully – the Bard’s Love’s Labours Lost. I’m terrified; I’ve never done Shakespeare – but I’m looking forward to it. It’s a shame we’re going to lose a lot of the current company, who are students. A really lovely crowd. Best of luck to them all.
And Road is done; a fantastic show it was too. And a fantastic aftershow party too, for the first time in a while. It’s good having some young people in the company! There are more pics on the Castaway website.
Our latest Castaway production is Jim Cartwright’s ”Road”, set in a deprived Lancashire town in the bad old days of Thatcherism. It’s turning out to be awesome, and runs from Wednesday to Friday. Here’s the blurb:
Castaway celebrate eighteen years of producing cutting edge theatre at the Arts Centre with Cartwright’s classic play from 1986 – probably the most important play to emerge from the decade. Set in a tiny pocket of derelict Lancashire, Road is an uncompromising depiction of working class life in Thatcher’s Britain. Your host is the drunken Scullery. During one booze fuelled evening he introduces us to a veritable pot-pourri of characters -beer flows, music plays, dreams are shattered and one record helps four young people tomake a startling discovery. Castaway’s large and talented cast embrace Cartwright’s raw poetry with vigour and energy… and (of course) a stunning soundtrack compliments the action!
Tickets are available from the Arts Centre if you’re quick.
Incidentally, the Wikipedia page above mentions that it was done in New York at one point. With Kevin Bacon (as the Soldier, Brink and Joey). Apparently it didn’t entirely work.
UPDATE: damn, really should have posted this before today! All tickets gone. Actually, that’s pretty gratifying – but it does you people no good at all!
Return to Albion is done. It went very well, I think. Certainly a lot better than we thought it was going to go: It was a devised piece (an almost oxymoronic term which means we wrote and developed it ourselves during the rehearsal process), and up until last week it really felt like a whole bunch of sketches and monologues. But it really came together in the final rehearsal week as the fat was cut away, revealing the common threads that had always unified it. Got a whole bunch of laughs, too, on the second night in particular.
I only had a small part, as I mentioned before – the Amazing Barry, a washed-up stage magician reduced to working on the streets. I shall miss him.
Sadly, I’m stuck in the office again firefighting while my castly cohorts are having their aftershow. Buggery.
Our latest production, Return to Albion, is going well, but it’s a bit of an odd one for me – because of work pressures, I’ve had relatively little involvement in the rehearsal process, and my scene is quite self-contained; also, work pressures continue so I can’t really get my head into the whole thing. Still, it’s an excellent show and we wrote it all ourselves! There will be pictures.
Went brilliantly – bloody marvellous production, but one of the hardest we’ve ever done in many ways: it was very difficult getting people together to rehearse, and the language was astonishingly difficult. We could have had better audiences too, but then the publicity er.. wasn’t. Oh well. Pictures soon!