A Substitute for Life and Lucid

The RADA Festival takes place each year in the summer term there are many productions to see and workshops to attend as well as art installations it has been fantastic to see so much going on.

I only had time to catch a couple of productions.

The first was Simon Brett’s play A Substitute for Life performed in the Gielgud studio theatre at RADA was quite an intense hour.  The Second was Lucid by New Public which was a physical theatre performance and I hadn’t been to one in such a long time.

In A Substitute for Life Tim Hardy played Francis Kenworthy a man we are introduced to and who through that hour offers us a portrait of a man who has arrived at this point in his life and reveals his story incrementally throughout the performance.

Hardy’s performance is compelling.  The piece itself is  and Hardy is confined to his desk for much of the performance. Hemming him in and concentrating his performance from the waist up. The character of Francis is brought vividly to life with a stammer and a love of literature or at least that is how we are introduced.  He narrates his own history and does so assuming some characters who had the most impact on his life.

The play is a tantalising slow reveal of a man who has suffered at the hands of all of the adults in his life and ill equipped for adulthood.

The tension in his play is based on the contract between the protagonist and the audience, who are in essence hearing a confession and as each new piece of information is revealed the relationship between audience and actor evolves. It was an in-depth character study wonderfully rendered.

Lucid on the other hand was incredible.  An ensemble piece about what happens when you dream. An hour full of vignettes which take you through nightmares as well as those amazing dreams where everything goes right. A devised piece that moves through several forms, mime, dance, karaoke, dance, combat a riot of recorded sounds and music soundtrack the impeccably choreographed moves.  From rage and despair to euphoria and every beat in-between.  

Glorious, clever and very funny.

Lucid moved me in ways I didn’t expect. If you get the chance to see its well worth your time.

A Substitute for Life is will be playing at the Edinburgh Festival

More info on New Public

Ham4Han

Ham4hanI am beyond excited. This evening I am headed to Victoria to see Hamilton at the Victoria Palace.

I completely fell in love with the sound track when it came out and I’ve listened to it on repeat for months. In fact listening to Hamilton got me through some very tough projects when I worked in a school. Ugly crying at my desk as I listened to act two. It sounds depressing but it worked.

Tonight I will go to the room where it happens and with any like the cast will blow us all away.

I fully expect to sob through act 2.

Bring it.

I’m back…

IMG_7101I’ve been missing in action somewhat.  There has been rather a lot of life since I last committed blog. In my last post I was packing up the old house in Wrexham psyching myself up for the move and all that would bring.

After that post I went and lived with my parents for a fortnight before joining my partner in south east London.  I’m  well settled into the new job having survived something that was really intense.  Its a busy job which I love but I’ve survived it at its worst I am going to be fine next year.

The downside is that it really did eat my brains for six months.  But then I have a bit of a record when it comes to joining intense jobs.  Moving away from having a very hands on manager who scheduled my entire week.  The management here is very different and its quite freeing even if my confidence took a heck of a beating as the work has been immense.

And now the dust has settled and I have time to reflect. Firstly I did it. No small achievement taking over something mid cycle and despite a few close calls I did not crash the process and indeed as the memories of the stress fades, I can state that yes I love this job.

The next part is proving interesting though.  I have plenty still to do but my brain isn’t quite so saturated and I have enough processing power to start thinking about how I can make my life more varied again and get used to writing things again.

I’ve been reviewing books for a while and yes – I must get back into that because I do find it a useful thing to do. Especially since I have a lot more time to devote to writing. The other thing I’m going to start doing is writing about the theatre I see because I get to see a lot of productions these days and I have the urge to document my response to things.  I don’t want to review but I do want to talk about what I’ve seen and how they have effected me.

So that is the plan in a nutshell.  Write more, read more review more. Talk about everything.

I’m also getting back into running which fell off completely after the move.  I hope you’d like to join me on my journey into all sorts of shenanigans.