Top photo: straight on.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Top photo: straight on.
"GIVE THE 12 POINTS TO BELARUS!"
"WHAT ABOUT BELARUS?!"
"AGAIN NO POINTS FOR BELARUS?!"
"BELARUS ARE STILL ON 3 POINTS!"
echo around my lounge room. And you know the best part, it worked. After sitting on a measly 3 points for ages they finished on 18 points ahead of the wooden-spooners UK on 10. Everybody made double figures and this was a good thing! Spread the Love Europe. Share the Moment.
(To clarify, I actually didn't think Belarus 3+2 with Butterfly were very good but, come on! 3 points!)
My favourites were:
- Greece (Opa! Energy and really awful hair)
- Serbia (The most amazing hair you have ever seen in your life - and as for the cheekbones!)
- Albania (good song, not-so-good shoulderpads, but they can be excused because of the disco balls!)
- Belgium (although more bling, nice song, but not very Eurovision!)
- Germany (ok, I admit, it's grown on me, the beginning is v. Beyonce but I think it works. Good on her!)
- Lithuania (completely robbed in not making the final, sparkley shorts and all!)
Trends of the show included:
- The Colour Blue (fiddles, shoes, lights, dresses etc)
- Scarfs (see Russia!)
- Wings (see Malta and the seagul and Butterflies for Belarus)
- Fake instuments - Lithuania (forgiven, it was FABULOUS)
- The Hair - Serbia (Forgiven, it was HILARIOUS)
- Adam and Eve, apples etc - Poland (Unforgivable - yes, far to complicated for 3 mins and didn't work at all!)
- Duelling Pianos - Armena (ok.)
- Seagulls - Malta (Hmmmm, lovely dancing but really, it didn't fit in and was strange!!)
Things I am over generally:
- Back up singers being, boring and sort of tacked on as an addition. Use the space!
- Power Ballads - I WANT TO DANCE! It is Eurovision, after all.
I think that is all. I am sharing the moment with you in presenting Lithuania - Eastern European Funk by InCulto
Friday, May 21, 2010
As it seems to be a bit off-centre, feel free to follow the link below.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The pose was adapted from a pair of shoes owned by my mother - which the little monkeys are all over!
Monday, May 17, 2010
- Avatar - at the National Media Museum in Bradford (UK) on IMAX in 3D - won me over!
- The Princess and the Frog - go Disney!
- Micmacs - directed by Amelie's Director = wonderful
- The Girl With a Dragon Tatoo - pretty good, although a lot was left out
- The Habit of Art (NT Live series at cinema Nova) - fabulous. But what do you expect? when you mix theatre and film it is bound to be good!
I really love going to the cinema, it is incredibly exciting and incredibly involving. I try and see as much as possible. Don't think that I have left anything off this list... we'll see!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Daisy (the main character) is a 'ordinary woman' who as her life is revealed is actually very special and unique - I think this story/ biography of a twentieth century woman and her family was incredibly moving, incredibly written and deserved the Pulitzer Prize that it received. I especially enjoyed the 'Work' chapter where Carole Shields demonstrates how using letters as a writing tool can be effective and wonderfully written - not clunky and formulaic as it so often can be.
So keep on reading - it's more than worth it!
Coming out of The Blue Room, I had the most embarrassing moment of the evening: when making small talk to a Theatre Academic I incoherently muddled something about it not being as political as I expected. Cue the obligatory “Not Political?!” question that sat much more awkwardly in space than any of the play. This review is as much an attempt to puzzle out my own reaction as to praise the quality of the performance. Because of course, The Blue Room is inherently political – it’s just the politics at times did not speak to me as they perhaps should.
The Blue Room was adapted by David Hare from some Arthur Schnitzler dialogues written at the turn of the twentieth century dealing with the sexual relationships between various couples. Hare wrote a two-person show that explored sexual encounters between men and women in contemporary society. For this production the director took the unusual step of ten actors fulfilling the ten roles.
The large cast of this production was incredibly talented. Ensemble casts are difficult to manage, but this one was excellent and using them to form the structure of the play gave a beautiful symmetry to the performance. Each realisation reflected a great deal of character work and was realised on stage with flair. It was a pleasure to become absorbed into their encounters. But perhaps we could have become too captivated in their humanity for a broader political critique?
In her director notes Sara-Tabitha Catchpole writes of her interest in approaching the work from a “feminist methodology.” It was certainly a commentary on the politics of the body between the sexes. Yet, at times it was as if the particular character traits and circumstance could explain away the encounter. We became too involved in each of the crafted characters and their distilled situation to the extent that seeing the entire play as a feminist commentary was could be undermined.
In seeing each character as a separate identity, it allowed us to become perhaps too endearing towards the Student, too sympathetic for the Au Pair, too dismissive of the Model, because the fact that they are one and the same was not visually there a constant reminder. Double casting characters is a theatrical convention that de-familiarises what is on stage to highlight a political agenda. I feel that in the strength of character acting there was an ‘Everywoman and Everyman’ dynamic that was missing. Casting the same actress as a The Girl, The Au Pair, The Married Woman, The Model, and The Actress really would have slammed home with a sting the roles that the women are positioned into by the men. Then again the audience would then have missed out on such a variety of impressive performances! Beware the annoying reviewer with a theatre studies degree who is arguing with herself because however you produce this work the body-politic informs the performance and that dynamic did come across strongly.
Now, to return to the quality of this show and how impressed I was: not only with the actors but with the experience as a Theatrical Event. (Yes, it deserves the capitalisation). It was a constantly, surprising the audience into laughter or poignant reflection. At one point as The Playwright sings a song to impress The Model the entire cast joined in for the chorus and it was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced in the theatre. Absolutely wonderful singing and it served as the one point to me where these characters were all connected. I had goose bumps and shivers and it was completely unexpected.
Back to politics, I just want to quickly touch on what I think was the root of my embarrassing moment. This production claimed a political aesthetic with its impressive sets and tricolour vigour. As somebody whose parents survived Thatcherism; still holds British citizenship; is attuned to British politics and was raised on the Alternative Comedy that bit into Conservatism with such sharp teeth in the 80s: I really wanted this piece to say something about Modern England. I am not convinced that it did that. London 1998? Wherever this play was set it would be political, and it most certainly was, but an aesthetic is not just a backdrop to the action of the play. It should inform the action of the play. I wanted Thatcher, I wanted Major, I wanted Blair and I wanted Brown. I think that this is what I reacted against this with my justifiably poorly-received remarks after the show!
“There are two types of woman” the politician states to his wife, and as a feminist I stand alongside Sara-Tabitha Catchpole’s production when I say – bullshit. There are no “types of woman” – only the categories and labels and that men construct to justify their sexual relationships. This is fully apparent in The Blue Room. So to the ‘crazy angry socialist alternative girl’ I say “up yours” and to the director of this remarkable show I say “Looking forward to reading your thesis!”