Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Strangers in Paradise has ended. I feel I should declare a day of mourning/just some mourning other than just mine, and suggest that we all wear black but that wouldn't make much of a difference for some of us. But seriously, its death is sad. We should mark it. And reiterate the fact that David is a very cool icon.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

on being a struggling artist
To those of you who were involved in the play reading the other night, it was awesome, and thank you. To everyone, I am now in a complete quandary. While the reading didn't fulfil my worst fears (i.e. the play is actually okay, and not impossibly long or dull) it did lead me in a completely different direction to the one in which I've gone with the second draft, which I've just handed into the Royal Court. Which means I have to go on to writing a third draft, and that this play shall be my eternal albatross. (At least until I get to writing the play which is actually about mental illness). Ah well...

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

comparison of Highsmith heroes.

I have often (far, far too often) remarked that while I would love to become Tom Ripley, I can only really see myself becoming Bruno- if Patricia Highsmith started writing my life that is, or I went off the rails again. The reason is this: Tom Ripley is a romantic ideal. He starts in the first book by becoming that ideal. It’s a mistake to say the virtue in the series is that he gets away with everything and gets what he wants without a price, because this isn’t true. Often he is tormented by guilt, often his plans go wrong (witness Ripley under ground and The boy who followed Ripley, if you want tragedy) but overall he accomplishes his goals. He doesn’t romanticise murder, he says at the beginning of Ripley’s Game that “there’s no such thing as the perfect murder, there are, however, a lot of unsolved murders”, but he has a status quo he wants to maintain, and he does so regardless of the cost. Often this actually involves him being noble, heroic, and unselfish. And he comes from being the boy who doesn’t fit in, who is talented and clever but not wealthy and surrounded by all these people who get everything they want without any effort, and he ends up getting the better of them, and at ease with himself and his surroundings. He gets an happy ending, and an harpsichord.

Bruno (from Strangers on a train) is different. He begins as an outsider as well, despite being wealthy, just because of the way his mind works. He is hopelessly romantic, with a list of numerous things he wants to do just for the hell of it- most memorably to give a thousand dollars to a beggar. He does so, and the next day the same beggar’s still on the street corner. And he has plans for perfect murders. But they don’t work, because of human variables and people being easily scared, and the fact that you can’t meet with someone, see them once and then never meet again if you’ve made that connection. And what he sees as the ideal relationship with Guy, and Guy comes to realise at the end, does exist in one sense but neither of them are fully aware of it ‘til the end of the book, by which time it is too late. And it doesn’t work either, because they were just supposed to be elements in a plan, to be strangers, and not to connect.

So although Ripley himself has some romantic thoughts, he ends up being the romantic ideal, the perfect social climber, whereas Bruno, the eternal idealist, is doomed to be a failed romantic, and drunkenly sing Foggy Foggy dew (that last bit is for those of you who’ve read it)

So that’s my Highsmithian ramble over.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

and the door of the newly refurbished hall fell apart...

< The "triumphant" re-opening of the festival, at which your narrator was an humble steward

First off, Frank Turner should be an icon. Go and google his lyrics or music to see why. He's rather brilliant, and manages queues going through the middle of his gigs very well.

Secondly, yes, I saw Billy Bragg, he was excellent- I only saw part of his set because I had a job there, and therefore had short breaks, but it was very good.

Now, the triumphant re-opening deserves to be reported, not least because of the RFH's reputation for being, um, a disaster with a very good restaurant. (Not that the events aren't wonderful, just that it's not brilliantly designed).

The great queue debacle: Frank Turner's gig was scheduled for 8pm to 8.45pm, in the foyer . A classical piano concert by Helene Grimaud in the auditorium was scheduled for 8.30pm to 9.15. The queue for that arrived about 8.15, and wove its way through the gig. During this I had to check whether we were allowed open the doors on the walky talky, with a loud gig going on around me and lots of people in a tizzy about their lack of concert piano. There were technical problems with the gig. We got mistaken clearance to open the doors, and then had to close them and drag people out. All this still during Frank Turner's gig. Therefore he, in a moment of genius, decided to unite his fans and the queue by having everyone sing along to Dancing Queen and We are the Champions. It worked. It was possibly the only time I'll be glad for the existence of ABBA. (And I was a gentleman and apologised to him afterwards)

Helene Grimaud
one of the technical problems appeared to be that the piano needed to be tuned, and was in an hurry during the great queue debacle. During the concert quite a few people came out in confusion, and then it finished 15 minutes early. This was because Mme Grimaud stood up in disgust half way through the second piece, said the piano was appalling and untuned and stormed out.

And I also had to steward a large brass band in and out of the auditorium. the joy of temping.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Excuse the random bloggyness, but so much of my life is a tad rubbish at present that I wanted to do an happy post: I love my job. Or rather, I love my internship (I love the money I gain from receptionisting). I get to read scripts, most of which are bloody dull/awful but my opinion is actually valued, occasionally I come across something really good and it means my day is vaguely improved, my colleagues are nice and understanding about my general weirdness, coming to work basically in fancy dress is fine, I get tea and coffee and some stationery, I have something to do during the day and I am in the company of people with whom I don't mind going to lunch (this is such a blip in the past 7 years or so, it is absolutely awesome). Plus I have the pleasant knowledge that I am, in my pathetic and small way, working in theatre. And I get champagne sometimes.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I am DESPERATELY in need of a chaise longue. Reading Proust (have the day off today), in funny brain foggy state, drinking lapsang souchong... come on, the thing that can make this perfect is a chaise longue. And someone to reassure me that Marcel is only upper middle class, and I should feel less excluded by this book because I'm not French.

Also a recipe for keeping one in touch with sanity: repeat quietly to yourself "I am not Blanche Glover and it is extremely unlikely I shall become her". I am at the point of wanting to stick this on post its around my room for use in times of panic.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Why Leonard Cohen should be immortal, or at least have his life extended a fair bit.

Well, my mind is a trifle addled from the amount of Dan Simmons I've just read and various other things (if you know me, you can probably guess this) and my choice of music probably isn't helping my addled brain, but making it feel a tad better, so I'm going to leave it on regardless.

Anyway, Leonard Cohen should be made immortal/have his life extended unnaturally. Preferably we can avoid him meeting the same fate as Tithonus, but ageing a bit should happen. This is for the following reasons:
1) if you keep any idea on current affairs, we are in danger of all sorts of catastrophes happening. We need someone to chronicle this doom. Who better than Leonard Cohen, he'd probably just sit there finding it interesting material for a song. which means that despite the increasing doom, there would also be increasing good music in the world, which would comfort the survivors of the apocalypse. It's all good.

2) if you listen to the changes in Cohen's voice between say "So Long, Marianne" (in what was known as his "still trying to sing" phase), "Bird on a Wire", "I'm your man" and "Because of" it gets steadily deeper. And it was pretty deep at the beginning. Therefore it should continue to get deeper until it is able to bore holes in rocks and is a useful construction tool

3) since so many other singers acheive figurative immortality through his songs, its only fair that he should achieve literal immortality

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