Archive | May, 2012

Performance in the Pub event 4!

ANNOUNCEMENT! Commence self plagiarism:

I am delighted to announce the FOURTH Performance in the Pub, happening at the Crumblin’ Cookie, Thursday the 14th of June, at 7pm.

TICKET LINK (plus location details and event calendar export options)

Following the lovely line up of Performance in the Pub event 3, I’m ECSTATIC to be able to bring Leicester a double bill from two of the most exciting performers currently performing words what they have written in the UK today. This stage version of ‘The Oh Fuck Moment’ (orginally performed around a desk) is based on an award winning 2011/12 tour. Also including some stories from the masterful Chris Thorpe, and Poetry from Hannah Jane Walker. Hannah and Chris are bound to be electrifying, hilarious and heart stopping. You don’t want to miss this. And nor do your mates. I wholeheartedly promise you everyone will find something to love in this one. Invite friends to the facebook event over here.

More on the show:
You just fucked up. Now what?

Sometimes, fuck ups are so massive there’s no way back. Poet Hannah Jane Walker and theatre maker Chris Thorpe examine the poetic guts of mistakes in a bundle of words and poetry. Fucking up is the truest, funniest, most terrifying moment you can experience. You will make a mistake, maybe you’ll learn from it.

You should probably see ‘The oh fuck moment’ if you’ve ever stood on a rake. Or accidentally made party cocktails with bleach. Or locked yourself in a shed.

Or been caught cheating. Or followed your inclination to experiment and ended up in A+E with a traumatic wanking injury. Or crashed a plane. Or been responsible for someone’s death. Or watched someone die.

Or set fire to yourself. Or fallen awkwardly. Or fallen awkwardly on a rake. Or fallen awkwardly while flying a plane. Or while wanking.

Or put your tongue in the wrong person’s mouth. Or put your tongue in what you thought was the right person’s mouth and it turned out to be the wrong person’s mouth. Or got really angry because someone told you a story about a horse.

’The Oh Fuck Moment drills a burr hole in each of us, releasing the build up of guilty pressure beneath the surface. By the end, you’ll wear your cock ups with pride: life’s little battle scars; badges of humanity. To err is indeed human, but Thorpe and Walker don’t put a foot wrong.’ - Matt Trueman

Doors will open at 7pm, and the shows will start at 7:30 prompt-ish, with the Oh Fuck Moment as finale. Tickets are by donation, £5 helps us break even but as much or as little as you like. Donators get a STICKER. Imagine that. Sometimes I even give people cake and cookies when I’ve been in a baking mood and find myself with more baked goods than one person should reasonably eat.

TICKET LINK

And follow @performancepub on twitter, or like it on facebook. Go on. Click.

Early Days of a Better Nation scratch

So tonight I achieved my 2nd career choice; leader of a political party. Unfortunately this seemed to require acting and sounding like a politician. Though probably wasn’t hindered by my secret weapon; a Teacher Voice. It doesn’t come out very often (power/responsibility etc.) but I do have one of those voices that when raised tends to carry, and is reported to make people want to sit down and stare very purposefully at their quadratic equations. Anyway, yes, ‘leader of a political party’, I hear you cry, ‘that’s the interesting bit, expand!’. You’re probably not crying that. But I will expand anyway.

Tonight I went to a first-stages scratch of Coney’s Early Days of a Better Nation at BAC, and fascinating it was. Somehow I ended up leader of this glorious nation, and incredibly uncomfortable for it. A quick ‘what is’; Early Days… was a 2 and a bit hour long interactive (emergent, since you ask) ‘thing’, set in the opening days of a new nation – you are cast as yourself-as-member-of-an-interim-government, allocated a party according to the responses to a short questionnaire (to which I did not give short answers, sorry person who got my form), and then invited along with 4 other parties of politicians to begin deciding on the constitutional points and priorities of your government. A system of beans as pay and allowing people to cast votes is a nice mechanic which makes voting a weighty decision (but these are MY beans!), and members of a tabloid and broadsheet style press hover around the edges, stoking rumours, reporting on events and generally being the eyes and the ears of behind the scenes goings on (that is, what the parties are up to, not what they are voting for). Members can defect to other parties, and certain events occur in reaction to previous decisions that sometimes have difficult or unforeseen consequences (fwiw, I did suggest we add to the ‘universal health care free at the point of use’ constitutional point the caveat ‘for all citizens’, but never mind, I love me an american health tourist). News footage provides the beginnings of a contextualisation, and the events mirror financial crises and decisions from politics, like, what are happening now. Anyway, in the end I was elected as leader following the (SPOILER) sudden assassination of our previous charismatic leader. Our party (Green, some kind of odd libertarian party I didn’t really agree with on paper, but in the end was full of Good People, I think it was the one people got put in if they took the questionnaire a little too seriously) had the most members by this point, and so we were asked to field some candidates, I put myself forward because there were no women candidate from the party (and also because I wanted to), and after a short campaign, I won. And stood on the stage and talked to the press man, and was leader.

So, yes. That’s what it was. And why was I uncomfortable? Because ringing in my ears was something Dan Bye said to me about half way through; “isn’t it interesting, people have been given the task of doing politics, and actually what they’re doing is Acting Like Politicians” – I’m paraphrasing him, but there it is. I spoke to the press in support of my candidacy, was asked questions, and gave short succinct answers about what I believed and thought my party also stood for and was earnest but aware that probably what we were calling for probably couldn’t be implemented. And BAM, I was speaking in the language of the stuff we’re so tired of. There were parties that became extreme, others that played up (monster raving loonies), people who tried to sell votes for beans, people making important impassioned stands that not many people saw and that I respected but probably wouldn’t do, and a couple of centre-ground parties made up of people-taking-things-probably-a-little-too-seriously. There were three leader candidates at the end, and when the other candidate I was on similar political terms with was looking low on votes and I didn’t quite have enough we formed a coalition, he became my deputy and OH MY FUCK I’M THE TORIES.

That’s why I was uncomfortable, but also a little pleased, and excited and wanted MOAR POWER opportunity to Change Things For The Better and it’s fascinating that for all we’re fed up with politics we generally don’t have another language to express this kind of stuff. Sure we’re told we’re playing politicians, so there’s a degree of parodying what we know – but the set up is of the early days of a better nation; how do you build a framework which asks us to think about frameworks in the first place? Because I suppose that’s what I wanted the piece to do, which it didn’t quite do yet, but if it gets even a quarter of the way there it will be astonishing. Or maybe it needs to let us repeat the same mistakes, maybe it needs to be a space to fail, so that we go away and think ‘must try harder’.

Other thoughts, and responses to the questions on the feedback sheet, because it seems like a good way to respond usefully:

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