Sunday, 6 March 2011
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
our show will be at edinburgh for one performance only as part of the Critical Incident Edinburgh day of events...
1700-1800, wednesday 19th august
at The Melting Pot, 5 Rose Street, Edinburgh
for full programme information and booking:
see also: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111212391924&ref=share
What began with identity has become all about burden: the onerous burden on Barack Obama’s shoulders of all that responsibility and all our hopes, cut through with the loaded expectation to ‘stand up and be a man’; the weight of ‘America’ in our lives and of Doty’s held rage, cut through with the burdens of citizenship and the civil responsibilitywe all bear and the media bears as a public service; the oppressiveness / oppression of western male domination, still deadly in his smart 21st century suit of apparent liberalism,still owning and wielding and maintaining power, cut through with recognition that surface appearances must always be deceptive, and individual men can want and do good things.
To all of this -and all the other things a man in a suit can mean - we offer to the audience to cut.And it is their coming up on the stage that makes the performance itself, and determines how much this is a show of destruction and/or creation.In this performance we are asking: what happens when we offer a man in a suit to an audience to cut? The answers are up to the people in the room on the day...
5 ***** review of this performance from Chris Hislop, fringe review
a huge thank you to our very creative audience for making this show with us such an exceptional experience.
we're looking for a way to make the show in london now - watch this space as they say...
footage of yoko ono's original 'cut piece' in a video presentation of her work
at Wellcome Collection
Friday, 31 July 2009
JERWOOD THEATRE DOWNSTAIRS
The Royal Court Theatre presents...
Written by Jez Butterworth
10 Jul - 15 Aug
"My dad said he jumped buses. Horseboxes. Jumped an aqueduct once. He was gonna jump Stonehenge but the council put a stop to it."
On St George's Day, the morning of the local county fair, Johnny Byron, local waster and modern day Pied Piper, is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his children want their dad to take them to the fair, Troy Whitworth wants to give him a serious kicking and a motley crew of mates want his ample supply of drugs and alcohol.
Jez Butterworth's new play is a comic, contemporary vision of life in our green and pleasant land. His previous plays for the Royal Court include The Winterling, The Night Heron andMojo.
Director Ian Rickson
Lighting Mimi Jordan Sherin
Sound Ian Dickinson for Autograph
Composer Stephen Warbeck
Cast includes Jessica Barden, Tom Brooke, Greg Burridge, Lewis Coppen, Mackenzie Crook, Alan David, Aimeé-Ffion Edwards, Lenny Harvey, Gerard Horan, Danny Kirrane, Charlotte Mills, Lucy Montgomery, Sarah Moyle, Dan Poole, Harvey Robinson, Mark Rylance, Barry Sloane
Running time 3hrs 10mins approx, including 2 intervals
We walk in to see a fire curtain showing a faded grubby St George's cross.
A strip of real park turf along the front littered with beer cars Vodka bottles and plastic bags. A couple of stumps - an empty beer glass on one - and a tin water tank.
Or the left a pile of firewood - its neatness in incongruous contrast to the dirty mess around it. and beside it an abandoned old car seat
Vaughan Williams’ 'The Lark Ascending' swells and soars.
The smell of smoke.
15 year old Phaedre comes on dressed as a fairy and sings 2 verses of Jerusalem before being drowned out by loud pounding rock music
The Curtain rises on a party in full swing seen through strobe lighting.
Lights up bright on two community liaison officers official in safety yellow waistcoats surveying the debris and then serving eviction notice from the Council on Rooster and his old silver metal Waterloo caravan. This despite the amplified dog noises Rooster is yelling through his loud hailer
From the first moment of his entrance we are held mesmerised watching him cast his spells over his court of motley youngsters left over from the party - and Ginger who has managed to miss it -and then the locals who are pulled in to his rubbishy drug & alcohol banked camp: the local professor who will wander through and enjoy the Fair day in their company tripping on the acid tabs they've slipped him; the landlord of Cooper 's pub festooned in full Morris Dancer bells and handkerchiefs for the village Fair and who needs to get high for the day to do it; the local bully boy looking for his missing daughter - the 15yr old Phaedre - and promising violence when he finds her.
And Rooster drinks and charms and swaggers and spins his yarns and weaves his magic on us all.
The second act reminds even move of a modern day Falstaff, enveloping his followers with tales of daring and fairytale and drugs and alcohol.
Then the arrival of a little boy Markey - Rooster's son - in place of the giant that might have been summoned by the drum - and his mother who is still caught in her appetite for Rooster and for his whizz despite now having a new man waiting.
Then the third act with the inevitable ostracising and street justice for Rooster before he is left to meet the official justice of the evicting bulldozer, bloodied, branded but defiantly unbowed.
The girls are vacuous and more thinly drawn than the boys and this is very much a play about men with no interest in the women beyond their relations with the main man Rooster and sometimes to other men. Ah me, it was ever thus but this is a frustrating weakness in a play called 'Jerusalem' and aspiring to give us an updated portrayal of England's pleasant pastures green turned unholy in small town small scale corruption. And while it is very funny, a number of the laughs sounded brutal to me - more the collusion of a mob at an easy weakling than the delighted sparkle of sprung enlightenment.
There is nothing especially new in this story. But it's enormous charisma and potency comes from the writing and performance of Johnny "Rooster" Byron. Mark Rylance shows us a man who is mesmerising complex funny frightened fantastical and fierce. He is Falstaff in all his vainglorious boasting, he is Don Juan purring the women into helpless devotion, he is Don Quixote tilting at windmills, the misunderstood outsider, the sensitive friend, the disgusting drunk, the mischievous prankster, the amoral dealer and the brawling thug.
And throughout this three+ hours the balance is held dangerously tight between a recognisably malevolent reality of small town low life and an heroic poetic sweep of the noble epic - pitching the misunderstood and much maligned hero against a world of contemporary monsters.
So long as you don’t care about the invisibility of the women.
Friday, 26 June 2009
conceived and performed by
Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, Russell Maliphant
Sadlers Wells in association with Ex Machina & Sylvie Guillem
Lighting Designer ~ Michael Hulls
Costume Designer ~ Alexander McQueen
Sound Designer - Jean-Sebastien Cote
Due to phenomenal demand for tickets during its world premiere season at Sadler's Wells earlier in 2009, Eonnagata returns for a limited run.
This brand new Sadler's Wells production brings together three of the world's foremost creative minds: internationally acclaimed dancer Sylvie Guillem, world-renowned theatre-maker Robert Lepage and award-winning choreographer Russell Maliphant.
Eonnagata tells the story of the Chevalier d'Éon, Charles de Beaumont - diplomat, writer, swordsman and a member of the King's Secret, a network of spies under the control of Louis XV. De Beaumont was perhaps the first spy to use transvestitism in the furtherance of his duties and until the day he died his true gender was a source of constant speculation, even provoking public bets in the late 18th century.
"The alchemist of modern imagistic theatre, Robert Lepage is one of the most challenging and chimeric directors of our time" THE GUARDIAN
For this remarkable collaboration, Guillem, Lepage andMaliphant draw not only from their respective backgrounds, but also from the ancient Kabuki technique of Onnegata - in which male actors portray female roles in an extremely stylised fashion.
The elaborate costumes of Louis XV's court will be evoked by legendary fashion designer Alexander McQueen, complemented by stunning lighting from Michael Hulls.
mostly dreadful - i haven't been so bored or cross in a theatre for a very long time.
1. Le Page swinging tin foil swords
2. Guillem telling us the whole Chevalier d'Eon story
3. Maliphant emerging from a giant geisha
4. Long boring bit skidding over tables to Bach
5. Fan dance with Empress of Russia with a large red fan and singing up from bass profundo to soprano shrilling
6. Fighting with a feather quill to a coarse poem & then writing with a sword to her mother then the old lady appears out of the table
7. Twirling sticks
8. Calico shadow show
9. Nice story from "Plarto who we call Plato" about original species with both genders two heads & double arms & legs til Zeus decides to literally cut us down to more manageable size - in half like an apple - and ever since we've been looking for our other half
10. Fighting with ring & stick
11. Short guillotine sequence with a skull head
12. Mirror tables including two tops with one mirrored bottom
13. Post-mortem under a swinging neon light
Lots of great ingredients that never quite manage to come together into anything very wonderful. The costumes are so exquisite and the lighting so visceral it often feels like watching an extra esoteric fashion show. The sound too is great and often dominant & rich enough to satisfy for itself.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Clear clean simple and utterly engaging from the bare set with one chair we walk into see (echoed with outside chair at start of second half), the simple design ideas - black costumes, interiors in first half in town, white costumes and mostly outdoor scenes for second half in country. The show puts all its trust in its raw materials: the writing, the music (made by a tiny quintet), its songs and its actors. The sense of shadows and memory whispers through it with the quintet chorus of Missuses & Misters singing through the younger rememberances and providing a perpetual observation of the foolish love tangles of the protagonists (the programme notes point out the repeated use Sondheim has made of outside observation in his shows). So the words all arrive with an easy freshness and potency and - like the Jude Law Hamlet - gives us a world and its people who make complete sense - merely the slightest lift rather than any great leap of faith needed to enter here.
Maureen Lipman's grande old courtesan is a masterclass in less-is-more timing and energy: everything she says arrives in your lap for your enjoyment perfectly formed and still very much alive, and even the familiar lines sound newly spoken. Around her central imperious stillness, the rest of the company convince and pull us lightly through their stories, even though this is wholeheartedly theatrical: all the characters sing directly out to us (again in much the same form as the Hamlet soliloquies) and the period grandness and highly coloured romanticism of the story are all exquisitely shown so we are never being duped into thinking this is real life, but we are able to float easily inside it like we might through music - simultaneously conscious and unconscious of its artfulness.
It is funny and beautiful and poignant and wistful. And sweetly irrelevant except for two moments of great sadness in 'Every Day A Little Death' and 'Send In The Clowns' (which we understood literally for the first time: when there's been an accident at the circus like a fall from the trapeze, the clowns get sent on).
Lovely birthday treat.