Over the last couple of weeks I was working with Stephanie Hunter & Rosy Duncan at Turnt (and performing alongside Naomi Stirrat, and Kirsty Punton) on a great piece of writing by Jenny Knotts about social media and its role in the grieving process when someone dies.
It was genuinely lovely to be rehearsing in the RCS again, and we had a showing of the piece at the Edinburgh International Science Festival's scratch night at the Scottish Storytelling Centre last week. The standard of works was strikingly high (the exact same phrase I felt compelled to use about the Pepperdine students' scratch, I know!) - a most enjoyable evening to be part of. Planets, chaos theory, the differences between the human and big cat dietary systems - probably the most enjoyable scratch I've ever been at!
I've been hideously negligent in maintaining this blog of late. And yet there is much to be blog about!
Starting with Bard in the Botanics. It's the first time in three years I've been able to see all the BitB shows and I'm loving them. Production and costumes are slick, stylish. Nicole Cooper as Coriolanus was standout in a standout show all round. I'm currently re-reading the play with a great deal that's been added to my enjoyment because of Gordon Barr's production. Twelfth Night looked like such fun (Kirk Bage should give masterclasses on how to play drunk!) and it was lovely to see the MACCT students doing fantastic work in both shows.
Great company: Glasgow, and Scotland, are very luck to have them. And I'm very glad to know them and have worked...
1st 2016 rehearsal for GATP yesterday over at our space in Govan. 7 hours and it flew in. We're not quite sure how, but it would appear to have sold out again, too...damned fine news. Paul was paticularly happy when The Traverse put a Blood of The Young photo on their website's landing page a couple of days ago. But my own personal delight was this morning, when The Skinny included us in their 'Top Ten Events in Scotland' for this week. We are in the same list as Jackmaster, JD Twitch and Bladerunner.
Everyone at Blood of The Young and Golden Arm is pretty chuffed as the dust settles on last week's GATP. It was a hectic time, for sure, as we put as many finishing touches to the show over the course of that day. But it's a high energy, ramshackle sort of affair and that spirit came through. We have a better idea what it is now, and shall tighten and tweak before some more dates in the new year.
Next week I'm working with Sam Rowe on his new piece 'Those Who Love Us' at The Glue Factory. I remember reading some jaw-dropping, deeply harrowing stuff about the Stasi a few years back. Sam's play combines a lot of research of 80s East Germany with a parallel story set in present-day Glasgow. Really interesting. Very much looking forward to this. Never been across...
Tomorrow night we introduce the Golden Arm Theatre Project to the world!
(…by way of 50 people in the Tron Theatre’s Vic Bar)
It’s been interesting finding the places between theatre and performance, because these are in some ways spoken word pieces and in other ways they’re simple storytelling. They’re drama, but with minimal staging. We’re chained to mics, and that changes your physicality too. And then integrating the music and the words, the band and the actors, has been a tasty task too.
Rehearsals have been immensely enjoyable – it’s been the first production that we’ve been rehearsing for in the new Blood of The Young space in Govan. What a view - looks out directly onto the Clyde and the Transport Museum.
Golden Arm (the band) have been generous with their material - happy to rearran...
I massively miss Chicago, and my girlfriend even more. But it's good to be back. I’ve got a real hunger to get stuck into acting, putting into practice all I’ve learnt. It feels like I’ve been training, on-and-off, for the best part of 2 years now! I’ve been able to hit the ground running with a couple of auditions already, and this week we did the first read-through of the scripts for Golden Arm. It’s going to be a joy to work on.
I also saw Lanark at The Citz. A truly remarkable achievement. It was epic and ballsy, with the three acts so disparate yet unified. It was great to see Gerry Mulgrew acting – I’ve only ever worked with him when he’s directed, or on a read-through. What presence. Every single member of the ensemble – and it was a genuine ensemble production – was phenome...
On Wednesday I saw a brilliant version of Arthur Miller's The Price, by Timeline Theatre. Excellent performances all round, especially as it's a wordy and intense play - even by Mr Miller's standards. The set design was stunning: tons of antique furniture hoisted up and attached onto the wall, lurching over the players the entire time as they debated its value (and the value of so much else). Had a great chat with Louis Contey, the director, afterwards about the difficulties of staging a piece like this in the thrust, where so much of the characters lines are nigh-monologue in length. And I had the pleasure of seeing Mike Nussbaum, who is the oldest actor working on stage in the USA (according to Equity). He was an absolute delight, a masterclass in comedy and gravitas.
What a gorgeous way to spend the summer. I've been struck by the integrity of the artists in this town. I've been blown away by the talent of my colleagues. I've tried to soak up as much wisdom as possible from the teachers. Everyone's been lovely. Everyone's been great.
Showcase went well. I had to make a few adjustments to my accent which was a useful learning experience in itself. Standing room only both evenings and a very positive response overall.
I'm now slowly trawling through my 3 Moleskines-worth of notes to make some further writings about my technique and what I've learnt - in particular the use of my imagination rather than emotional memory. Meisner's really got me thinking about that. I'm sad Steppenwolf is over, but excited to start putting it all int...