Wednesday 21 January 2009

Stuff seen and played and not

Mind Out - Station House Opera @ BAC
An aeon since I saw this. Andrew Haydon nailed it with 'Buster Keaton meets post-dramatic theatre'. It beautifully played out the possibilities of its device of one player voicing the thoughts of another player. Which could be read exactly as one giving instructions to another. But the brilliance of its slapstick was that you never necessarily knew which of the other four players was going to respond to an instruction, continually surprising.

Hansel & Gretel @ Northern Stage

A Christmas show directed by my friend Erica Whyman and written by another friend Stephen Sharkey. The set-up took a good while of the first half but amply paid off through the second. I loved the deftness in writing and performance with which the relationships of the fairy-tale family were made real. Sometimes I wanted it to be more graphic, to have more fun with itself, and to not be afraid of telling us the obvious. But beauteous still.

Akhe - Plug'n'Play @ Shunt
Contrary to a few, I thought this deceptively brilliant. On the surface, like Jackass versus Take Hart (RIP Tony) performed by Russian lunatics with gleeful abandon. But the sensitivity they had to each other and the event, coupled to the abandon that various elements were flung together and clambered up on and set light, the revel in deconstruction of the sacred, the pisstake of selling the artwork they made but deadly conviction to wring every pound out of us... and the electric buzz of a packed crowd at Shunt. Of course it is less dangerous than it looks, that's partly because there's great care taken to make sure that's so. And the understanding that we don't want real jeopardy, we want jeopardy that is as if it is real.

Every Good Boy Deserves Favour @ National

I've written about this for Kultureflash, which publishes recommendations rather than reviews. The stuff I missed out there for space reasons. Stoppard's text didn't always withstand its treatment, but I preferred the treatment anyway. Back in 2001 as a kind of laying to rest of his Walking Orchestra obsession, Tom Morris made Othello Music, with no text but a cast of three improvising actor-musicians: Othello on saxophone, Desdemona on flute, Iago on percussion. It was beautiful. And it's great to see him now finally get the full train set.

Not seen much really in the last 6 weeks, missed a lot of the Christmas shows I wanted to see (Cinderella @ Lyric, Devil Deep Blue @ BAC).

Nor played much either. Worth mentioning the just-announced Earth 2100 - which will be a very interesting compare and contrast with Superstruct. Similar premise, bigger budget, entirely casual making and viewing, missing the combinatorial play and its complexity... better or no, it'll be different.

Been stupidly busy with the scratch of A Small Town Anywhere and its aftermath.

Also rapid prototyping of and through organisational development: exciting stuff on the way.

And working on some other projects of other people that I should probably stay discreet about for now.

No comments: