Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Ellroy is Back
It may sound nuts but the writing in Home of the Wriggler was influenced by Ellroy's increasingly boiled down style. Given how epigramic his last novel was I he has continued the boiling down process this one will consist entirely of acronyms.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Kindle @ A E Harris 2
Nina Smith puts in a great performance as The Aide (essentially the narrator and guide through this promenade performance), charming and terrifying by she is Peggy Mitchell gone worse. Three gurning cooks show up, they are charged by their Queen with cooking us, the audience, a meal. This is a tall order, not because there are thirty of us, but because theirs is a post food dystopia. Every where we look there is ‘stuff’ piled high, but none of it edible. There have been all kinds of disasters, natural and man-made and as a consequence, the world has been stripped of every edible morsel, except of course the people.
Much of the show is scene setting. The Aide and The Cooks explain their world, history and challenge. We are given time to explore the scenery, which is spectacular in scale and rewarding in its fine detail. When everything has been explained and explored the time arrives to enter the spectacular white dinning room and to eat the exotic dishes the cooks have managed to summon up for us.
Opinion was divided about the meal. The set-up led people to be cautious about the food, but I’m not squeamish I thought it was all delicious. This period of eating was an enjoyable opportunity to talk with fellow guests about the show and its themes. With eating over the drama wraps itself up with the evening’s strongest piece of text.
Whilst Kindle’s cranked up performance style isn’t one I usually seek out, I did enjoy it in this context very much. Their use of live music, including singing and a small band was always strong and their use of the space spectacular. As always when promoting a show independently the challenge is always to draw an audience. I would urge people to go to say you’ve been. You will probably enjoy it and even if you’re not a fan at the very least it will give you some fantastic stories to talk about over dinner.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Arts Council Annual Review
Nick, Charlotte and I rocked up for it on Thursday and it was as uneventful as ever, which is probably no bad thing, drama in these meetings would probably only ever be bad news.
There is now a video trailer for those who are intrigued.
Does this mean I was out of the news-loop when they were announced, or has journalistic 'outrage' been exhausted where contemporary arts are concerned? Anyway, it was interesting to see who has chosen to do what where.
I was pleased to see that both Lone Twin and The Pacitti company have come up trumps, good luck to them. It's a challenging spin on the fund's terms that The Quay Brothers are coming over to collaborate with artists in Leeds.
To save this from becoming the blandest blog in the UK I have to say the West Midland's project, a Giant puppet of Lady Godiva leading a participatory performance with a cast of thousands, doesn't spark my interest, but then I'm just me, I'm sure others are excited by it.
Follow the link to make up your own minds.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Where’ve we been? We can’t tell you because:
1: Charlotte is on holiday and we don’t want the paparazzi getting to her.
2: Craig and I have been working on a Steps Series installation which must remain secret until half-term is up in Leicestershire (there's a clue there for the tenacious).
Monday, October 19, 2009
Things to See and Do
If the good folk of Birmingham value @ A E Harris as a venue then it would be great to see a good crowd turning out for that show and making it a success.
Whilst @ A E Harris has Kindle installing and devising their vast new show in one area, Little Earthquake are quietly working away devising their new touring show, The Houdini Exposure in a smaller corner of the space. Earlier this year I enjoyed their previous production and expect more magic (literally and perhaps figuratively) in Wolverhampton’s Arena on 30th & 31st October.
Finally: time is running out to get my life logistics sorted for seeing Action Hero perform at Warwick Arts Centre. I saw their piece A Western in Edinburgh and liked it very much. It was very simple, engaging and nicely judged. It will be interesting to see how this piece relates to that one.
The evening was quite snappy. Craig in his Stan’s Cafe Award Suit appeared to be providing the nights glitzy celebrity sheen until it turned out Patrick Stuart was on hand dish out the glass sculptural items. Previous awards ceremonies have used recorded snatches of famous TV theme tunes to welcome people on stage, here the music was incomparably better, being provided live by the Hot House Big Band. In a further impressive innovation the organisers had booked Stage 2 Youth Theatre to run the technical aspect of the show, which was all very slick. All the awards were ripped through at a brisk pace and we were off into the night, for a small celebratory beer – slightly over-dressed for the pub, but who cares.