Monday, March 10, 2008

Un p'tit rien de rien du tout

Apologies for dormancy. I'm just back from an intensive writing week, which went really well. There's something perversely -- and I mean perversely -- enjoyable about harrumphing in these pages about text-based theatre, and then stealing off like a thief in the night to spend a week by the coast writing a play. How dirty. ...Actually it's also quite a filthy play, so the whole thing is quite beyond the pale. Look at the muck in here, etc. No more details as yet -- not quite sure how under wraps the project is, and am very slowly learning to err on the side of discretion... But will post more as & when.

On which topic, I've updated a few details in the 'meatspace' section to the right concerning upcoming stuff. Maybe see one or two of you in Cambridge this Thursday?; the lineup for the performance bit also includes Mischa Twitchin & Tom Lyall doing stuff from Beckett, and a couple of pieces by mein host Jeremy Hardingham. Exciting prospects all. My performance will be a first live encounter with a piece that's automatically constructing itself in the background as I write this; could be very stupid indeed, might be sporadically interesting, perhaps a bit of both. It's a test run for something that I'm then going to be turning into a piece for Martin Williams's sound art project for Resonance FM, 'All Day Everyday' -- a series of 15 minute reflections on "the beauty and banality ever-present in the everyday", which runs for the next several weeks at 5.45pm on Wednesdays. This week is Julia Lee Barclay's cut-up piece "Future Worlds: Tricorn Init!", about which I heard great things when she presented it live during Apocryphal's recent weeklong residency at Lorem Ipsum in Hackney. Future programmes will feature work by David Grubbs, Stan's Cafe, Richard Youngs, a smith, Wolf, Brandon LaBelle, Melanie Wilson and others: so I'm in highly-esteemed company and will try not to eat my (metaphorical) fondant fancy in an unpleasant and childish way.

Busy times here at La Casa de Thompson. ...SISTERS continues to come together slowly, the cast is 83.3% in place and conversations about design are well underway and it's all pretty exciting. Rehearsals for that start seven weeks today & I can't wait to get stuck in. But between now and then I'm going to be: doing the Cambridge gig; advancing my work on the project I'm doing with Rose Bruford College, working up to a seminar presentation with Dennis Cooper at the college's symposium in April; spending some time with a young emerging company called Shady Dolls whose work looks very intriguing and who are starting to put together a new show called An Ornery Tale...; reading/performing at the Klinker in Stoke Newington (see right) -- not sure what yet; and spending some intensive time working with Theron Schmidt on our project An Apparently Closed Room, which is currently taking some interesting turns and which remains one of the most personally exciting and challenging projects in the mix at the moment. So that feels, um, ample. And there are some big bits of work coming up later in the year and in the early part of next year which I'll make a fuss about as we go along, obviously.

One last tiresome throb of the self-promotional impulse requires that I mention I have a piece on queer theatre in the new edition of Total Theatre Magazine, and I'm pretty pleased with it, given the limited scope of a double-page magazine spread and the need to remain comparatively lucid throughout. Eventually I guess I'll probably post the text here, along with the text of the lecture I'm trying out in Cambridge this week (in which Shakespeare invents post-liminal theatre); but don't wait for that -- if you don't already subscribe to Total Theatre it's worth a look, not just for my modest contributions (I have a review in there also of the last ChoppedLogic show). It's a vastly improved magazine, I think, on where it was when I first started reading it seven or eight years ago.

Well, my dears, that's a pretty unseemly post, all told, but I've hardly seen or done anything since I was last here, other than work on the stuff I've just been talking about. So it goes, at the moment. Next time I'll try to think of something atrocious to say, but for now, let's leave the cat and the pigeons engaged in their own separate affairs, and we'll all make do with these few paltry vanilla paragraphs until we meet again -- if not in Cambridge (this Thursday) or at the Klinker (next Wednesday) then soon, I hope, and with all guns blazing.

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