Thursday, December 29, 2005

Riccardi and Coke, Baby!

Riccardi and Coke, Baby!

Given that December wouldn't be December without a trip to the Bedford to see Riccardi, I ended up resembling a snail with all my belongings in a rucksac on my back (procured from Obi3, given that as I no longer ride a purple bike, I no longer have a rucksac) heading southbound. With the crutches. Which led to my least favourite discovery of the past few weeks - that escalators ARE VERY BAD THINGS. It is impossible to get on them with crutches and even if you do manage this extraordinary feat without losing a toe then there is absolutely no chance that you will end up still in possession of all of your limbs by the end unless you have the balancing abilities of an Olympic gymnast. As you may have guessed - not least by the fact that I went over on my ankle in the first place - I'm not known for my poise and grace. So I studiously avoided all escalators, only swearing loudly about them when London underground decreed that the only way out of the station was by such a monstrosity. If the crutches did yield one good thing, though, it was the discovery that they made me eligible for disabled seating on GNER. Which was all round much more comfortable than the normal cattle shed stylee offerings.

Once I'd negotiated trains, tubes and Nik's stairs (possibly the most difficult bit as this was the only point in the day that I ended up uncermoniously flat on my arse) and got a very-nice-lady-indeed to give up her seat on the tube on the way to the Bedford (Tuesday morning commuters on the Met line take note) Nik and I arrived to the realisation that for possibly the only time in the history of our Bedford outings there were no free tables and yet we didn't recognise a single person in the pub. Not one. So we settled instead for plonking ourselves on the end of a large table that was occupied by a South African who decided that I should tell people that the crutches and the Beachball were as a result of a particularly nasty skiing accident. At least in such a position we were confident that we could outlast the other occupants and claim the table for ourselves.

Post the most expensive double riccardi and coke of my life, it became clear that we were wise to plump for the bigger table as 3 fourths of the Riccardi boys came to join us, if only in the case of Ric to come up with as many foot related comments as possible and of Louis to act as Brand promoter of Sudafed (there are three different types apparently...). We meandered through chips, fancy photos, Griffin's new songs (even though Simon and I were the only ones to have heard them; our considered response being that they're more 'mature' than his earlier ones), Simon's mummy and other topics of randomness; being joined by Gayle and her Jamie Theakston luggage*. At some point the boys left, Billy arrived and we missed the start of the other music because we were too preoccupied with bar prices.

When we did cotton on to the fact that we should have taken our usual spot in the globe some minutes ago, we made our way there as quickly as is possible when one of you is - did I mention it - on crutches. More alcohol, more music and more comments from the Sound Guy who loves Nik and I (we "rock"), Riccardi were finally on. And it was lovely to hear the boys after what had unwittingly turned into months without me seeing them gig. The only down spot was that they ended up finishing rather abruptly and consequently didn't perform the encore the set list told us was coming. Never ones to hide our emotions all three of us made our disquiet known.

Afterwards the boys went to record a podcast (how Chris Moyles of them**) and we made our way back to the tube. The next morning, having come the closest that I've come to projectile vomitting on public transport in a long time (stupid tube), I got to utter the line "I came straight from London" when I arrived at the WYP for my 12:30 shift. It impressed maybe one person and I felt like someone worthy of a place in the Mirror's 3am column, so I think it was worth it.

*As a general point of information for everyone who doesn't know the story, we met Jamie Theakston (fake actor, former Live and Kicking host and now breakfast radio host for a london station that I don't know anything about because I listen to Moyles and Comedy Dave) in the summer of 2004. He was very tall, slightly annoyed with us (he thought that we'd come to speak to him. We hadn't) and was carrying the biggest bag any of us had ever seen. Thus whenever anyone has a lot of luggage it is known as 'doing a Theakston'.

**Chris Moyles has the second biggest podcast download in Britain for anyone that might wonder about that reference (everyone except Nik then...)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Tiramisu Chocolates, God's Way of Making Me Resemble A Hippo

Tiramisu Chocolates, God's Way of Making Me Resemble A Hippo

I was told off for my lack of blogging nearly a fortnight ago, post Griffin gig. Slightly scared [my friends are scary people] I promised that I'd rectify the situation. Then came Alice and her Never Ending Wonderland, and the Beachball foot still resembling a beachball and I didn't. Plus I'd stepped into one of those Harry Potter reading marathons that overtake me every so often and in the entire 2 hours that I haven't had to spend at the WYP in the last fortnight there was NOTHING more important in the world than getting through the series so that maybe, if I hoped and prayed enough, the inevitable would not happen, Dumbledore would not die - and most importantly - Snape would not be responsible. But it didn't change. And I still found myself sniffing into an extra large kleenex.

But this isn't supposed to be about Potter, or even Snape because I know there are at least a couple of readers out there who are rolling their eyes and making comments about children's books. This is more a post-it-note to say that - despite having eaten my bodyweight in chocolate, gotten my crutches stuck in several doors and developed a pathological fear of icy pavements [which culminated last night with one of the other attendants at the WYP having to push me up the stairs which lead to the building, which was not flattering in the least] - I am still very much alive and if not kicking then at least wiggling.

So a very happy - if somewhat belated - Christmas from DA and an even better New Year. And my present to you all? The resumption of normal service. I'm nice like that.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Where did you get those SHOES?!

Where did you get those SHOES?!

"Just pop up there"

I look at the large table - which in practical terms may as well be as large as Alice table when she's drunk the 'Drink Me' bottle and shrunk for all the likelihood I have of getting on it - and I know that there is going to be no popping going on. Long, labourious climbing, yes. Popping, certainly not.

Once I've scaled the feat of the x-ray table it's time to get out the beach ball that once upon a time was my right ankle.

"Oooo, it's swollen isn't it?"

I nod and don't know whether to feel pleased or worried that the beach ball, six days after impact, is big enough for radiographers to comment on its size.

Then comes the twisting turning bit in order to get the beach ball ready for its close up which hurts through a combination of the fact that my foot does not want to bend in any direction and my, not inconsiderable, ineptitude. If I can get my head around such things as The Waste Land, genetic engineering and the off side rule then it remains that I cannot get my head around being given directions on where to move my body. My brain refuses to process them, and even if the instructions do get as far as reaching the brain, those synapses of mine resolutely refuse to pass the message on to the corresponding body part. Thus it took five minutes for the radiographer to maneovure me - almost forcibly - into the right position. And if the fact that, at the reception desk, it took me a good sixty seconds to work out what my occupation was (I hadn't had enough to drink to instantly come up with 'writer' a la the Evil Eye) didn't point to the fact that I'm a bit simple, the inability to move my limbs as instructed did.

Close ups taken, x-rays in folder, I was instructed to pop (translate: climb) down. Just as I was attempting to put my right pump back on (which is difficult when its on the floor and you're doing a complicated one legged dance) the radiographer came over to me.

"Are they [indicating my pumps] from Office?"

Sienna would have been proud.

NB: The beach ball is still a beach ball, only now it's supposed to feel the benefit of industrial strength painkillers and crutches for the next few weeks.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Broken Foot!

Broken Foot!

With the exception of a couple of skipping rope inflicted-head-needing-stitching incidents and a dislocated shoulder aged three (which, apparently, allowed me to tell strangers on public transport that my grandmother had caused said injury) I got to 11 without - many - major accidents. Then one day - or evening - I fell off of a chair and broke my arm. In the next few years I managed another broken arm, a couple of toes, two fingers, a leg, a serious bout of concussion and a couple of rather interesting sprains (that these coincided with the Platform Shoe Years may not be a coincidence). I came periously close to having to do my GCSE's whilst brandishing crutches. I became a by-word for injury and general clumsiness. Certain people still mock me for it.

This all culminated during my first week at Uni when I tripped over the step in my room and broke my wrist. I became the first Fresher at St Anne's to visit the A&E department of the John Radcliffe that year and gained a vividly purple pot that makes a nice appearance on my matriculation photos. After this maybe I learnt to control the direction of my feet, possibly I started wearing less dangerous shoes, whatever the reason I managed to keep my limbs in reasonable comfort.

And so they stayed, until Friday. One moment I was walking along, thinking of nothing in particular, and the next thing I knew my ankle was making contact with the floor in a manner which CAN NEVER BE A GOOD THING. And because these things don't happen instantly and you always get that milli-second of realisation that, hey your leg is going to end up at a right angle to your foot and IT WILL HURT, I knew exactly what was going to happen. I was just powerless to do anything about it. So I felt the crunch and the immediate shooting pain and the next thing I was on my arse in a not very attractive manner. And, as I'd known it would, it hurt.

On the floor I had a temporary internal debate was to whether I could get myself to stand up. I wasn't too sure, but eventually reasoned that I couldn't stay where I was - unless I wanted someone to fall over me - so I pulled myself up. And immediately began to wish that I hadn't eaten quite so much of my lunch. In fact I wasn't sure whether it was the pain or the need to vomit that was bothering me most. I hobbled a bit, hopped around and finally reasoned that whilst my ankle hurt, it wasn't as bad as the pain when I went over on it during my one and only game of basketball and had to be carried from the gym.

It continued as a dull, thudding pain for a few hours, and I even forgot it a little as I let myself get swept up in the first half of Blood Brothers at York Grand Opera House. It was during the interval that I realised that I was starting to get uncomfortable. One broken heart - not to mention some rather embarrassing extremely loud crying from someone further down our row - and a couple of post show drinks later, I realised that my ankle felt twice its normal size. When I took my boot off back at Val's it was to the realisation that I no longer had an ankle. Something resembling a balloon, yes. But no ankle.

Almost 72 hours later and it's now a wonderful rainbow of colours and, if not the uber-balloon it was in the early hours of Saturday morning, still a not too shabbily sized beach ball. Bah.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The 'C' Word

The 'C' Word

After the initial possibility of getting lost in the bowels of the WYP - with or without a tray of ice-cream - my shifts there had settled into something that, more often than not, felt like I was getting paid to watch a play. Which is, let it be known, a very, very good thing. Getting in to a play for free had always been my target before. Actually getting paid to sit in is a whole other level. And very good thing indeed.

Having lulled me into a false sense of security (albeit one that involved multiple watching of the second half of twelfth night) my last six shifts have shown me the bit-that-they-try-to-scare-you-with-during-interview. Not my ending up with a tea-towel on my head, finally achieving something that Primary School never yeilded in the shape of a Mary-Nativity moment, because, as scary as that is, it's not something they could have predicted at interview. But THE CHRISTMAS SEASON OF DOOM. I've not had any vomit to deal with yet, but I can tell it's only a matter of time. Because we've had every possible food stuff squashed and ground into the theatre floor. And if even half of the amount that I've seen on the floor is making it into the stomachs of the under tens then WE HAVE A PROBLEM. And it's not a problem I'm looking forward to dealing with.

If the looming possibility of vomit weren't enough, then the fact that we're going to pull in around a thousand people a night might do it. Do you know how many toilet breaks those thousand people will have? Seriously, I'd say I've been to the theatre in excess of 150 times and I've never - EVER - been to the toilet in the midst of a performance. I've crossed my legs and bolted out of the upstairs at the New Theatre in Oxford, scattering a class of ten year olds in my wake, diving into the ladies the moment the house lights came on but that doesn't count. Intervals are made for loo breaks and ice cream. But I suspect that I'm in a minority here.

Conversely I rather love seeing a theatre so full (if not when I have to work the coffee shop during the interval), it's a very different buzz to when we're dealing with 200 people. And anything that gets people into a theatre ('We Will Rock You' aside because, let's be honest, that IS NOT THEATRE, it's badly strung together crap), be it Alice and the Cheshire cat, or a well known Poet's first full length play, I think is a very good thing (though I'm reserving my pronounement on said poet's play until next week when it will be finished and I don't have a responsibility to the WYP regarding the production).

We also have some fantastic Alice tat. And you know how I love my tat. Especially when it comes from Alice's shop in Oxford.

Just don't mention sight lines or E-numbers to me. At least not until March.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"I Love Magic!"

"I Love Magic!"

As you may well have noticed, I am not someone who does liking by halves. Why be ambivalent when you can love something? Why potter along with 'ok'? No one wants ok. And I frankly don't have the energy for ok. Which, as you may well be guessing, means that I'm heading towards one of those blogs about something I love. Brace yourselves. It's Harry Potter time. Again.

I'd been looking forward to the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with almost indecent excitement. After all, it's not like I don't know what's going to happen in the film. I know exactly what's going to happen. I even had the good luck of reading some of the Oxford filming schedule after a copy was discarded in Radcliffe Square. So I knew for definite some of the scenes included. But it remains. I was excited. I was even excited enough to ponder if I could squash a screening in somewhere in the manic three days that included two gigs, a play reading, a belated birthday celebration and a new haircut. Given that I don't have a time turner, I couldn't. But it didn't stop me wishing I could or gazing longingly at every Potter advertisement that appeared on my horizon.

On Saturday afternoon I finally - if finally can really be used given that the waiting period was only 8 days - found myself in the VUE cinema in Leeds, the opening music blasting out at me. And I swear that I was excited enough to whoop. I wanted to be dazzled. I wanted to be able to say 'but ooh, look what they haven't included...'. I wanted enough Alan Rickman screen time to keep me happy.

As it was I managed to get all three (or just about in the case of the last one). I've been progressively impressed with each Potter film - and despite PoA's over-use of the bloody werewolf towards its climax I love the tone and feel of the film which seemed to have sensed some of the depth that the first two had missed. GoF didn't have the kind of decaying beauty that PoA had, but everything seemed to be on a larger, more breath-holding scale. And, possibly more importantly, for the first time I felt that the characters I had in my head were starting to play out on screen. Suddenly Harry and Ron seemed much more rounded and confused. I loved them. And whilst I'm here - Snape. I adore him. I adore Rickman. And I'd been scared that because GoF isn't - in actual mechanical plot terms - very Snape heavy, he was going to be consigned to a few swishy robe down corridor moments. If I was lucky. And I got a bit jumpy early on when I thought that he wasn't even going to get a solitary line of dialogue. Which, when we're talking about Rickman's voice, is a CRIME. I've paid my money. I want to hear the voice. But I need not have worried. And, anyway, this being Rickman, Snape's best moments came when he wasn't talking. If anyone wanted a lesson on how to steal a scene when you haven't got a line, watch Rickman. And, courtesy of understanding Snape more than any of the other directors have, I loved Mike Newell.

Even by my standards I concede that GoF is a long book and I wasn't surprised to see that large chunks of the story had been chopped or re-written. No house elves or SPEW, a major character shaving for Rita Skeeter, no Dursleys and a hell of a lot less Hagrid than in the book (no blast ended skrewts for us). Predictably the Dragon challenge got extended and more dramatic whilst the final maze challenge became somewhat simplified. On the whole, given the nature of the film, the changes worked but it did leave a few plot holes and, if I didn't bring my knowledge of the book to the film I'd have been somewhat at a loss as to the reason why Barty Crouch Snr died, or what the heck was going on with the scoring system for the Triwizard tournament. And there are still the gaps in the bigger narrative that drive me insane. To read the books is to know that you're reading a septology. The films stand on their own much more. As ever with the films they also made it a LOT EASIER TO WORK OUT THE TWIST. Hit me round the head with a bottle of polyjuice potion, why don't you.

But if there is a reason why, ultimately, GoF has proved to be my favourite of the films so far (whereas PoA is my favourite book) it was in how unflinchingly it dealt with its climax. For the first time there is no happy ending. Harry may live and escape Voldie but we get actual death that cannot be overridden. And Newell didn't become squimish or shirk away from this. He faced it head on. And I rather loved that.

Coza Through The Looking Glass

Coza Through The Looking Glass
"Are Tweedledum and Tweedledee going to be in the next half?"

"No, they're not in this book -"

"They're in Alice Through The Looking Glass -"

"Though most adaptations put them in Alice in Wonderland -"

"Along with the singing flowers -"

"Yes, they're not in it either".

[silence as tumbleweed blows through the WYP coffee shop]

"We're geeks".

"Tell me about it".

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Shush!

Shush!

Given that I didn't have any bridges to photograph and London's a bit of a journey just to sit in and watch the News at Ten, I ended up squished on a northern line train bound for the Bedford. Arriving at the Bedford with more than a little nod to decadence, it must be said:


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Whether it was the Fitzgerald myth running through my veins, the fact that - let's make no bones about this - the size of my waist in the dress had made me somewhat hyper or the biccardi, extra strong coffee and chocolate orange muffin I'd had earlier in the day it was noticeable that my entrance - and quick dash to the toilets to adjust my underwear which was I was in danger of losing - wasn't the classiest I could have imagined. But I reckon that the dress could cover a multitude of sins. Including, I would hope, my attempting to drink my body weight in baccardi. As a general rule of thumb I don't drink much at the Bedford, possibly because the bar prices scare me. On Thursday, however, I threw caution to the wind and ended up resolutely pissed before we were even half way through the the entertainment. I suspect things went downhill somewhere around this point:


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And it only got worse as Gayle and I, in our wisdom, decided that we needed to emote our way through Tony Moore's set. We were either a comedy highpoint or a car crash. I think I'd lean towards the former rather than the latter, but I can't be sure.

After this point - and when Val had told me to go and eat something - I decided to slow up on the drinking given that the last time as was as knowingly drunk as this in Griffin's presence I ended up with writing over my breasts and my bottom in much closer proximity to his face than either of us desired. And I think we can safely say that the Bedford IS NOT the venue for either of those outcomes. I want to be able to go there again for starters.

So I was pleasantly merry when Griffin came on stage. And it was lovely to see him in the Bedford again, against the sparkly backdrop and in surroundings that I mark as one of the most special venues I've been to. And if the new song on Sunday had opened up a new vein of belief then Thursday night compounded it. Not only did Griffin sound lovely he also hit us with three more new songs, and suddenly it became clear that 'working on the second album' hadn't been a euphemism. And I felt happy, exhilarated and moved in a way that I'm sure I don't really have any right to be but am, simply because I believe in him. And maybe what moved me more, something that I've noticed in the performances of the last few months, was that he believed in himself too. It became clear that there's a future there and it's not a story of the past. And that makes me excited.

Possibly because my head is still full of The Four Right Chords, I felt most moved by 'I've Lived' because it's a song I intimately connect to the play, especially in its new, harder version. If SSoB will forever be evoked to me by The Verve then Four Chords will be by 'I've Lived', should it ever get staged I'd fight for its place in there. And, even with the pressing knowledge that the last tube was soon, I'd have quite happily stayed listening for eternity.

As it was we weren't the only ones who needed to catch the last tube and the evening ended, post discussion about the possibility of mooning [so maybe there was still a little bit of alcohol floating in our veins], waving as Griffin made his way off of the tube. From the sublime to the ridiculous. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

NB: Hello to everyone I should be saying hello too, especially any of my now not-so-secret readers.

NB 2: Photos stolen, as so often, from Val's lens.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Scene[s] From A Generic Coffee House

Scene[s] From A Generic Coffee House

"Are you going to the Bedford tonight?"

"I thought I might. But I've got to take photos of some bridges".

"I would, but the News at Ten's on".

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Switch On

Switch On

I think that as a general rule you grow out of going to Christmas light switch ons somewhere around your early teens. And that's providing that you live in a city large enough to entice a former member of S Club 7. If you're stuck with some local children, Santa and the Mayor then I can't imagine interest lasts beyond the age of eight.

Against that I have to place the fact that I've been to four Christmas Light switch ons in the last two years (none of which, I'd hasten to add have corresponded to either of the cities that I've lived in during that time). Griffin has a lot to answer for what with the cold, fake snow, endless carols and crap radio presenters that this inevitably involves.

Not that I'm someone who usually expects the worst, but I've seen Griffin in the freezing cold far too many times not to. And even though I suspected that as Griffin was on at 2:00 we could rock up around 1:45 and leave around 2:45 I still expected to - politely - freeze my arse off. I even abandoned my cape search and spent the money on a proper winter coat.

So I was somewhat pleasantly surprised to arrive in Scarborough and not have to immediately defrost my fingers. I was even more amused - despite the multiple layers - to have a wander around the shops and then a drink in the local - and oft visited on Griffining trips to Scarborough - Wetherspoons. And because it was clearly one of those days when the God of weather, accidents and wet bottoms smiles down at you, when Val, Gayle and I made our way to the stage area the crowds parted and we ended up in the second row. Albeit with me still scowling about resembling a twelve year old.

Now I should probably establish something here. Sunday was the 60th time that I've been to see Griffin. And of those 60 times my second to bottom experience in terms of fun/pleasantness/and general non-grumpiness (from all involved) would have been the Christmas light switch on in Scarborough the year before. It came on the back of all that placard waving, the big gigs, the high point of York Grand Opera House and - possibly not at all coincidentally - Riccardi giving us lots and lots of free alcohol at a gig a couple of days earlier. Scarborough involved a worryingly protracted trip, it was cold, Griffin had the most wonderful coat on but was singing to the same backing tracks that I'd heard him sing to a year earlier and it ended with my three-quarters yelling "Next time do your own bloody promo!" after him. If there was a ball of feelings there regarding what this switch on symbolised for all concerned, then I also hated Griffin a little for thinking that he could smile at us and make everything ok. And I hated the fact that it would.

Skip forward twelve months and low key has been the watch word. This would be only the second time that I'd see Griffin at something public - the Ilkley gig didn't count as I could, if pressed, have made a stab at the identities of at least 90% of the people there - this year. It was at once intensely familiar and rather odd. And when he stepped on stage I had that odd thrill I hadn't experienced for a while, what with the pubs and tents of the last few months. And because I'm shallow - just how much do I love him with long hair?


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Quite a lot. After the kind of intro that mentally had me recoiling to those BIO roadshow days (and giggling when Griffin proved to be almost as pernicky about the answers to the 'Griffinology test' as we were) it was on to the old standard of WYWG. And I loved it. I loved that, for the first time, we had new backing tracks. Bring It On sounded particularly pingy. I'd been mentally hyperventilating at the prospect of a new song, and in 'Why' - as I tapped my foot and half felt the words - I got more than I could have wanted. Because it showed progress, a slight change as a writer (it's a third person song, something which not many of Griffin's have the honour of being), a widening of subject I rather suspect. And if I'd got grumpy at Griffin the person this time last year, then I'd never stopped believing in him as a writer. Conversely I think I believed in him more, in that respect, than I ever had. If I needed any more proof of belief then it came in Hallelujah; every time I hear Griffin sing this song it gets better. Though not his own, it's perfect for him. And once again I thought that the voice might make me cry.

Afterwards there was a rush round the back, autographs to be signed for the waiting people. And, again, I felt a little odd. I've never been reticent about going and speaking to Griffin. But, ego or not, I didn't want to in this situation. I didn't want an autograph. I didn't want a photo. I didn't want a hastily exchanged sentence. I think, after the past few months, that relationship's been changed forever. I don't think that - however much of a fan you've been - you can switch back after having giggled together about Fox's pants, or his unashamed nosiness, or - I can hear this land like a thump - been treated like an equal. I know I can't. It's not in my genetic make up.

Daddy Griffin clearly a little impatient to leave, Griffin was soon whizzed away. We stayed and talked for a little bit before retiring to the front for some very nice fish and chips. And, in its odd way, I couldn't help but think how perfect the day had been.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My First Pub Gig

My First Pub Gig
"More often than not I don't really understand what I'm writing about. It can be a phrase I hear on the news. A piece of litter floating down the street. It's a feeling. It's an emotion. It's a question. I don't think it's ever an answer". Ben, Act One, Track Seven, The Four Right Chords.

As soon as we stepped into the back room of The Minster* - and when I say back room I mean back room - it was clear that Waggo had played a blinder. Because the no-smoking room, with its empty seats, fire place, book shelves and dominoes was perfect for a couple of drinks and Four Chords first read-through. Such was the general brilliance of the location that it almost made me forgive him for teasing me about sending Griffin in our direction.

Once scripts had been distributed, roles assigned via the complex and hi-tech method of characters written on the back of a bus ticket and placed in my umbrella case and we'd discovered the outdoor toilet it was down to the major business of the day - working out what everyone was going to sue me for.

As it was the threat of legal action was kept to a minimum and the read-through continued through a couple of hours of popstars, not at all gratuitous swearing and jokes about trainers.

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If you're wondering that's Ben (Guitar and lead), Jude (drummer) and Paul (Tour Manager). And if I was pleased that everyone was still speaking to me at the end, then I was also pleased at how well, for a first draft, Four Chords held up. I'm not sure that the first draft of SSoB would have held up as well. If the read through brought out some niggles I'd suspected and confirmed that there are a couple of characters who really need their own storylines, then it also brought out that there's more than just an autobiographical story at its heart. I saw connections, character beginnings, things which I wouldn't have thought would have made their way into the story when it started. And I felt quite pleased that, for all its plot, the play is quite emphatically a character driven one.

I think we're all going to sleep on it a little before I work on the next draft, though I'm itching to do so. After that I suspect that the play will be ready to let out into the world properly. Which is exciting if not a little scary.
And, were that not enough, during the reading it was enquired as to whether any of us were famous. I'll keep them posted.
NB: Courtesy of the nice man at the print shop I've got Four Chords as a PDF file, if anyone would like to read it - all feedback incredibly welcome - email me (distantaggravation at gmail dot com), leave a message, or drop me a pm if you know me in my whooping guise.
*That would be a pub rather than the actual Minster.

You Know You Have Issues When...

You Know You Have Issues When...

To the question as to why you want your very long hair short the first answer that comes into your head is "because of Sienna Boho-Princess".

Said shorter hair results in you being id'd twice in less than 24 hours when, prior to this, you'd only been id'd twice in your entire life.

You discover that sleek, non-fluffy haircut lasts as long as it takes you to wash it and know that you're going to have to spend the next fortnight with your straightners clamped to your head.

Your so-called friends allow you to stand in front of them at a Christmas lights switch on "because it's children to the front".

Monday, November 21, 2005

Tonight, Matthew, I'm Going To Be...

Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be...

I was told the rules in no uncertain terms:
1. I wasn't allowed to stay all day.
2. No running down the aisles...
3. Or climbing under the racks.
4. And definitely no whooping.
The reason for these rules and the possibility of whooping? York Theatre Royal's Wardrobe Department.

Whilst I can see why such a trip might be pretty much par for the course for a Saturday morning (isn't that how you spend yours?) this trip had a reason other than my wanting to try on lots of pretty dresses. On Thursday I'm off to that must mythical of DA places - the Bedford. And if a trip to the Bedford with the added bonus of it being to see Griffin perform weren't enough there's a dress code. Decadent. Now I'm assuming that the Bedford being a jeans and nice top place, or even a jeans and not so nice top place not everyone is going to take that much notice of the word 'decadent'. But you can't wave something like that in front of me and expect me not to run with it. Thus I found myself stood in my underwear in the changing room of the theatre's wardrobe department surrounded by at least fifteen different dresses and a number of somewhat dubious corset tops that I wasn't quite as chuffed with.

Given the fact that the rails and rails of costumes had caused me to end up resembling a rabbit in some rather bright headlights it was a good job that Val took charge and with some uncanny decadent clothing radar marched her way up and down the racks pulling out potential clothing. And the corsets. Which, given that they were from what was clearly a particulary twisted pantomime, were not potential clothing but, let's get one thing clear, when Val gives you something to try on, YOU TRY IT ON. Trust me it's the easiest - and most pain free - route to take.

So try on I did. A black lace dress that really revealed far too much of my underwear to the viewing public. A red dress with feathers that was spectacularly unflattering. And because there was little chance that I was going to leave without grabbing something regency to wear, I had to have a Byron groupie moment.I think I'm going to start a one women campaign to get these dresses back into fashion. What day wouldn't be fantastic if you were wearing something out of the pages of an Austen novel?

Sadly I had to concede that the regency dress was possibly a step too far, even for 'decadent' and the choice came down to a long 1930's dress, blue with pink flowers, and a purple dress from West Side Story that immediately had me swishing around and in desperate need of a musical medly. After much debate - and a run in with some of the wardrobes furs - I made the decision that I'd miss the 1930's dress more if I didn't get it. Plus I had gone in with the idea that decadent for me meant being in a F Scott Fitzgerald novel, and in that dress I can certainly imagine that I'm a singer in some smokey early nineteen thirties club, possibly in some mainland Europe destination. Obviously you're going to have to wait for a picture because I'm keeping it secret. A girl's got to make an entrance after all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

ND-Day

ND-Day

Not one to pass up on an opportunity for a little bit of retrospection, I can't blog without marking the date. Two years ago today I went to Middlesbrough for the first time, got pelted with washing up liquid and sang lots of Christmas carols out of tune. One year ago today I danced in a fountain, carried a placard around Ann Summers and discovered that the universal signal for last orders is, apparently, flashing lights.

So, happy anniversary Griffin [the present got lost in the post, right?].

And, more importantly, happy anniversary Northern Division. I love you all. Even when you tell me to shut up.

Stick a deckchair up your nose

Stick a deckchair up your nose

I've been racking my brains and attempting to remember whether the gestation period for SSoB was quite as intense as the gestation period for Four Chords has been. Maybe the fact that when I was writing SSoB my only overriding commitment was to the magical red button and its tortuous reality television show meant that I didn't notice the sheer bloody minded all consuming nature of it. The fact that I've been juggling two jobs, the wheeze (much better now that it's no longer a wheeze and more of a regular phlegm inspired morning cold. Just don't make me run for any trains. Thank you.) and a couple of other things that I really really should be doing seems to have contributed to the fact that if I'm awake and not in the vicinity of a theatre or a photocopier, then there is only one thing I'm doing. It's probably not conducive to my well being as a social creature, how many people - other than me - are interested whether Jude (my drummer) has enough motivation to do what he does in the final moments of the first act? No one would be the answer. But it interests me greatly. And the intensity of the experience is only making it more so. Those little characters, siphers, names in my head, have turned into people some where along the line. I've become rather fond of them, even when they annoy me, wandering on stage unannounced, wearing only their pants.

In some ways I suspect that Four Chords, at least in places, is too indulgent. Both of the pants waving of my little people and my own. There's a snippet of a scene that I feel odd about putting in, not because it doesn't work - it works rather well - but because there's a point when I have to chose how much I want of myself up there. And it scares me slightly. At least until I read a message on a writers list I'm part of [it must be the zeitgeist, the original message was nothing to do with me] that said you should write of what scares you, what embarrasses you, what you wouldn't want people to know. And - for all Four Chords current problems - it has that sense of skinny dipping at its heart.

Which is probably all a long winded way of saying that the first draft is complete and ready for its little reading on Saturday. So I'm towards the end of the period when it belongs to me. Which is liberating given that it might make me a more exciting dinner companion. Not to mention blogger.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Maturity

Maturity

Your DA heroine comes out of the theatre, African drum beats in her ears, eyes blinkingly adjusting to the lights knowing that a session on the coffee shop [the rota job of doom] awaits her. Just as she is passing the ice cream stand...

"There's already three gone to the coffee shop, so that means that you can come and stand with us!"

All three attendants, including your DA heroine, does some strange hand waving, excited thing. With a little whoop.

Beat.

"We're like a pack of geese".

I probably should apologise to the patrons of the WYP. I'd say I wouldn't do it again, but theatres bring that out in me. And to think I'd been given gold stars by my boss the previous day. Let's see how long that lasts with the geese thing.

Monday, November 07, 2005

In Association With Lemsip

In Association With Lemsip

It's one thing for your blogging to be halted by the oncoming rate of your latest writing project, it's another thing entirely when you lose your blogging time to a stupid cold. Because said cold decided to settle on my chest making me wheezy and grumpy and requiring that I spend copious amounts of time in bed having weird dreams. And as much as I like weird dreams [one of which had me waking up with a smile like I'd had a coathanger in my mouth] there comes a point when wheezing is not fun. Especially when you know that you've got to get up and go to the WYP to give out oranges/balloons to the audience.

So when I wasn't in bed last week I was mostly trying not to pass any germs on to the patrons of the WYP [for various reasons - not all altruistic it must be said - I wasn't keen to phone in sick]. First up was Knee High Theatre's Tristan and Yseult [otherwise known as Tristan and the girl whose name nobody can pronounce] whose lovely audience members were the recepients of the balloons. Basically at some point in the first half, everyone had to blow their balloons up and then let them go. In a theatre. Can you imagine the mess? Or indeed the looks on people's faces when we explained this to them? But the house was practically sold out every night [even 500 for the Thursday matinee] and you'd have thought it was a pantomime rather than a play such was the audience participation. So quite enjoyable, even for an attendant with a wheeze and head full of extra strength cold medicine.

Next came World Cup 1966. An interesting premise it must be said in that it's probably not the first subject that you would think of for a play, let alone one at the WYP. Given that it was coming directly after My Mother Said I Never Should it was never going to quite hit those heights. But it was sparky, very interactive and rather a lot of fun. Not great, great theatre, but fun theatre. And there should be a place in the WYP's schedule for fun theatre, especially on such a subject matter that got lots of fathers with their sons in the audience [not a demographic we tend to get lots of]. The kids who got pulled up on stage, in one case changing the course of history [because Terry Paine didn't score it must be said] clearly loved it. And as I was distributing oranges at 'half time' [that would be half way through the 45 minute first act] I got to sit and eat orange for 45 minutes. The only downside to the production was that it very much required an active, loud audience, willing to shout, boo the Germans and do silly things up on stage in the name of football systems. Which was somewhat lacking in the Thursday matinee audience of 32. Possibly one of my easiest shifts at the WYP, it must be said.

On Friday it was time for some theatre on the other side of the fence - Blood Brothers at the Billingham Forum. Now I'd heard of Blood Brothers, and I knew the rough plot, but I'd never seen it, so I was quite looking forward to a show that is bordering on iconic for its very devoted followers. Nolan aside [could kind of sing, couldn't act, didn't have any real charisma on stage] I really enjoyed the show. It was slick, energetic and heart breaking. I cried for at least the last twenty minutes and was rather grateful for some loud members of the audience towards the end when I thought I was going to let out a tremendous sob. I couldn't help but put it next to the very eighties in out look My Mother Said, or the American eighties of Falsettos because if the outlook of the world of Blood Brothers is anything then it's the eighties. I enjoyed the somewhat relentless message of the play less than the story it must be said. Being hit over the head, even by Willy Russell, isn't much fun. I always think an audience - even a musical theatre one - needs to be allowed to do the work. Join the dots. Put two and two together. If the story and the acting is good enough then they will do. And Blood Brothers is a good enough show to allow you to draw your own conclusions. Having a 'narrator' is an interesting step in theatre, but it's one that I'm not madly keen on. As it was, when the rest of the theatre clamboured to their feet, I remained sitting. It was good enough to warrant clapping over the head, but not quite - by my somewhat exacting standards - good enough to warrant me to stand. I'd have stood for the actor playing Mickey Johnstone as I thought he was bloody fantastic, but they don't hand out little disclaimer cards before the show, so I didn't.

As if that wasn't enough, it turned out that Johnny from BB3 [y'know the fireman who was friends with Kate Lawler who I COULD NOT STAND] was seated in front of us. If you're wondering, he's very tanned and rather seemed to enjoy the show.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Normal Service Will Be Resumed Shortly

Normal Service Will Be Resumed Shortly

If DA has been a little quiet recently then it has nothing to do with my on-going love affair with blogging (which is as strong as ever given the amount of times I find myself saying 'I'm going to blog that') but more to do with the ever present Four Chords deadline. Suddenly, for a play that's been in my head, or mashing around in sections for pretty much the last few months, it has taken on a life of its own. It has shape, and form, and its characters are starting to do things without me pushing them into corners. But this does mean that when I haven't been at a theatre, or working the switchboard, or shopping for capes, there really has only been one thing that I've been doing. Writing. But not blogging. And I suspect that this will continue until at least the end of the week. By which time I'm hoping to have finished the first draft. I will probaly sqeauk and squeal a little when that happens because, hey, this is exciting. Capital letters EXCITING if I'm honest.

But the problem with the exciting writing bit is that when you've spent all day sorting out the structural and emotional needs of the final scene of the first act (it's a bit of a complicated bugger for a writer whose previous play was set in a room, given its six characters, three locations and the fact that it cuts from one to the other) it's sad but true that I feel a little tired to blog. My fingers kind of hurt. Not like the hurt when I had to do a days worth of a typing a month ago. That was pain. But there's an ache. And all I really have in my brain is how I'm going to top and tail the first scene of the second act (which is largely written). Which is not conducive to funny or emotive blogging. Pretentious blogging that will leave you confused yes. But otherwise, no.

But I do have things to tell you about. Villette and the Stephen Joseph Theatre, the aforementioned cape saga (seriously I'm sure Sienna doesn't have such problems finding a bloody cape), another gift shop extravaganza. You'll just have to wait on edge of your seats (or maybe not...).

And, as it's today, BOO! Now send me lots of sweets.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

George's Marvellous Medicine

George's Marvellous Medicine

There are a number of things which have made me happy this week. Chocolate muffins at work. Robbie Williams's new album. Cracking my connection to Sienna Boho-Princess in only three degrees of separation. And, possibly most importantly, the arrival of a stork with a laptop sized bundle. Admittedly the stork more closely resembled a courier company than an actual stork, but then don't try to tell me that babies come courtesy of actual storks either. And if you're wondering why I'm using this metaphor let's get one thing straight: I get a laptop or I get a baby*. I plumped for the laptop** on balance given that it'll be considerably less likely to vomit on me and should be more use in writing my masterpiece. Not to mention I could order it over the internet. Try that with a baby and I think you get arrested.

But the laptop arrived and I was confronted by its shiny black skin and baby laptop smell. I felt unconditional love. And rather a lot of fear in case I dropped it on its head. Then came the mystery as to whether it was a girl or a boy. After examining it I went with my gut instinct. The laptop is no Boho-Princess. It's more a slightly quirky Brit Actor in waiting. Given that I haven't had the time to pour over name books, the choice came down to the first ones in my, obviously warped brain, Feste or George. On balance I decided that Feste was too much of a name of the moment. No one wants to be saddled with a passing fashion fade of a name after all. So George it was because I know I'm not going to slip that into any of my future children's names****.

Unwrapped, named and fed with an electrical supply it was time for George and I to bond. Cue much transferring of files, faffing with desktop and generally cementing our future relationship. George also took it upon himself to demonstrate what he could provide as a screensaver, my having uploaded the photos off of my desktop.

It is, needless to say, somewhat worrying what George's random selection of 'my pictures' brings up. Indeed I'm considering whether I need to report my computer for zooming in on the collected works of the Zu Bar Swindon. Before I'd said as much as 'hello' I was presented with a close up of Griffin's crotch. And I didn't even realise that I'd even saved that on my computer. After a couple of pictures that made me 'awww' - whitby camping, radio touring, standing in front of the fountaining - George went back to the Swindoning. I had to overt my eyes, it's a bloody 15" screen after all (flattering if you're wondering). Even the subsequent appearance of Ginny and The Globe couldn't rescue matters. I have a pervert for a laptop*****.

*So this is not technically true, I only want a baby when I see fancy wellies. Or am drunk. Or a combination thereof.

**Because let's get this straight, whatever drunken Griffin might think, I do not have a baby***

***Though even I can see the irony of my having this conversation with Griffin of all people.

****Though George's namesake's more famous name might make a not-so-subtle appearance in there.

***** No one say anything.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Insert Quote From "Bring It On"

Insert Quote From "Bring It On"

If there's one thing that is bound to strike fear into my very heart it's been the j-o-b discussion. And you would never believe how many people want to talk about it. Or indeed how many people want to tell you scare stories about graduates getting a first and subsequently not being able to get a job. Because, when you're fresh out of Uni with a not-too shabby 2:1, these are, apparently, stories that you need to hear. Never mind that you would prefer to be stabbed repeatedly in the foot with a rusty nail. You must listen, it's your payback for having dared go to university.

But these conversations tend to have a cumulative effect. This is not to even mention one that I had back in July which left my mentally spinning for the rest of the summer. And their effect was PANIC. And if you multiply the panic by my not liking the uncertainty of my current job (or the fact that I can't always curtail my hours as I'd like) then square it by the confusion of an off-record chat about a future position at the construction company which would potentially mean that I'd have to stay here (albeit properly part time) for the next few years the answer is clear. Head explosion. But it meant that I got sucked into thinking that I have to get a 'proper job' that isn't glorified temping. Putting aside the WYP, which is a proper-ish job but will not keep me in shoes this year, never mind added stalking costs.

Given that I'm currently about as emotionally consistent as a squid, however, suddenly I'm rather happy with how things are. Firstly the end (of the first draft at least) of The Four Right Chords is in sight and I'm bubbly and happy about how it's turning out. It's still rough around the edges and possibly too honest but I'm rather coming to love it. Secondly I'm just about to embark on SSoB revisited having had five pages of notes from someone I knew at Oxford who wants to direct a rehearsed reading of it in London. Thirdly I've been asked to work on a piece of documentary theatre about Fathers 4 Justice which sounds madly interesting, if only for my getting to explore a genre of writing that I love (with the possibility of meeting the man who wrote 'Talking to Terrorists' thrown in). None of this is actually paying, and the second and third are part of the Oxford School Tie Network but it's all something of a reminder of why I'm doing the talking monkey thing to make money. It's also rather catalysed me to get some sort of performance on up here. After all I spent two years doing the nuts and bolts of shows, getting other people's writing on stage and I wouldn't think twice about doing it were I still in Oxford, so why not here?

As a final thing - and one which might throw my job situation into a new dimension come next year - I've decided to bite the bullet and apply for the creative writing Mst at Oxford. On the off-chance that I manage to get a place on it (and with only 12 places the odds are somewhat against me) I reckon I can get the fees together without resorting to theft or violence. And I know I'll only end up kicking myself (which is difficult to do) if I don't have a go.

Which leads me to conclude that even if I go the next twelve months without a solid day time job I'm not going to starve. Worst comes to worst, I start drinking tap water and develop some will power re: the stalking. And I don't have to let lack of stability scare me.

It's kind of liberating.

Friday, October 21, 2005

And Then Malvolio Did Start To Adlib

And Then Malvolio Did Start To Adlib

If there are some aspects of being the 'face of the WYP' (not my face specifically, just the spiel of our bosses) that aren't particularly thrilling (getting covered in ice cream gunk, getting second degree burns from the coffee machine*, getting to clear up vomit to name** just a few of the things that I'm getting that I could easily do without) then there are equally the things that mean that I'm more than happy to watch the second half of Twelfth Night five times. Firstly, it must be said, my name badge. Because having a name badge is fun. I'm not exactly sure why, but it is.

Also as I was fulfilling my role as wandering programme seller*** (only I wasn't wandering that much as we only had 150 people in for the matinee and, hey, my legs were tired) a gentleman came up to talk to me about Twelfth Night. And it wasn't to ask about which theatre it was in, or when it finished but simply to tell me how much he'd enjoyed the production. And whilst I can't speak for every FOH-er out there, I loved this. Because I need no excuse to talk about theatre; I loved just how clear his enjoyment was and the fact he'd come and told me about it. I loved the fact that - courtesy of the name badge, a swipe card and a few programmes - the production belonged a little to me.

If I wasn't totally taken with Twelfth Night to start with, I have to confess that the production's grown on me (not like a boil, more like the current vogue for waistcoats). It's become startingly obvious of how much audience enjoyment plays its part. The first time I saw the second half we had 300 in, probably the backbone of the people who come to the WYP. People laughed but it was reserved. On Wednesday night we were nearing 600, probably half of which were schools. People clapped between scenes, jokes that even I as a Shakespeare addict didn't find funny got a laugh and as for the real funny stuff, Cesario and Sir Andrew's fight, Malvolio's reaction to the fake letter, Sir Andrew's hair**** - I thought I was going to go deaf. And the actor's were feeding off of this, milking everything for its true worth, fighting to steal the show. So it got rowdier and rowdier, until at the end it was arms above heads clapping, people woo-ing and shouting. And I clapped as loudly as any of the paying audience. The production had deserved it.

Downstairs the audience for My Mother Said I Never Should (which, most nights, is on the verge of a returns only policy) was doing their best to remove the roof of the Courtyard Theatre. In the Post-Show Discussion one of the actresses commented that on night's like that an actor almost feels invincible, they can do anything. If it fills an actor with this, it also infects the audience. It becomes one of those brilliant communal experiences that you can only get in a theatre.

But, back to my name badge...

*Apparently the moment that the coffee machine went ballistic and refused to stop spurting coffee during the interval was "awesome". I'd like to voice my dissagreement on this.

**Haven't had to do this yet, but oh Christmas awaits...

***I think of it as being like the sellers during 'Who will buy...' in Oliver.

****For anyone who doesn't follow my comments, Sir Andrew has the best quiff I have ever seen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Scenes From An Italian Restaurant: Sympathy

Scenes From An Italian Restaurant: Sympathy

"How are you?"

"I nearly died on the A1 this morning. A car in front of me went spinning across three lanes of traffic" [does universal hand signal for spinning car]*.

"God, how did that happen?"

"Someone cut her up, she slammed on her breaks and swerved..."

[pulls concerned face] "Me...I cut myself shaving this morning".

*Yes, DA did nearly come to an abrupt end yesterday.

Scenes From An Italian Restaurant: Theatre Snobbery

Scenes From An Italian Restaurant: Theatre Snobbery

"The problem with The Crucible is that it's a very Arthur Miller play"

[manic laughter given that The Crucible is an Arthur Miller play. And one of the defining ones at that.]

"That was a bit of a blonde moment".

Scenes From An Italian Restaurant: Student Theatre

Scenes From An Italian Restaurant: Student Theatre

"He liked fire!"

"What?"

"C'mon, we burnt the Armada in a studio theatre!"

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Two Part Tango: York

The Two Part Tango: York

The next up on the icon trail was Bronte at York Theatre Royal. And the Bronte's tick every box on the DA Icon Test. For whilst Howarth is a bit lacking on quality tat (no glove puppet sisters there) it remains that they have their own tourist industry and you can freak yourself out by wandering around their house. Plus, should you need any more confirmation, Kate Bush sang about one of their novels. You don't get much more iconic than that.

I'd seen Bronte when it was at the WYP but, given the nature of my job, I'd actually seen it backwards (second half, first half) over the course of seven days. Which would be annoying were it not for that fact that we all know how it is going to end. They die. Tragically young and with hardly any time to shout Heathcliff between them. But if my oddly distorted viewing didn't damage the suspense then it meant that I felt I'd only half experienced what felt like a very good production.

As it was the production was rather enthralling. It celebrated the fact that it was telling a story, that we were half guessing at what life was like for the Bronte's, that this was theatre and the story could flip back and forth, pushing us on how we view those icons (and indeed Bramwell). Daddy Bronte's accent seemed to slip at the beginning but, other than that, the acting was pretty much faultless. And it made me feel soppy with the way it talked about writing and why women chose to do it.

Obviously, given that I'm a girl who'll cry at a couple of adverts and an episode of Neighbours on a good day, as soon as the play slipped into its tragic mode I was wondering how distracting it would be for me to find some tissues. Because the Bronte story always makes me cry and just because I knew it was coming didn't mean that its impact decreased. If that were the case I'd be able to read Little Women or The Voyage Out without needing the aid of a paper bag. And I'd definitely be able to get through Gatsby. But I can't. These things are still sad. And Bronte was even more sad because it was true. And the production made you connect with these characters on stage. Even the much maligned Bramwell. Charlotte's loneliness in the empty parsonage was almost crushing, which made her subsequent - brief - happiness even more poignant. And then, just to ram the message home, Bronte hit you with a 'could easily have been cured today' postscript.

It was another little bit of theatrical fairydust, but this time it made me love a couple of my icons even more.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Two Part Tango: Stratford

The Two Part Tango: Stratford

It hardly needs saying that along with shoes, Sienna Boho-Princess and the return of Comedy Dave to the nation's airwaves, there is little I love more than a literary icon. And last week I got to demonstrate my intense literary iconic geekness in all its glory on two consecutive days. Two consecutive days. Are you feeling the glow?

First up was Jonson's Sejanus in Stratford. Now I should establish something here. Mr Ben Jonson may have his picture in the National Portrait Gallery but that on its own does not make for a literary icon. No no no. To pass the icon test there must be a picture, a t-shirt, a play/film and, possibly most importantly, a burgeoning tourist industry surrounding their home. There probably should be something about their work being iconic in there too, but, let's face it, when we're dealing with dead celebrities, the person looms larger than the work. So Jonson fails the DA patented Literary Icon Test, primarily because he doesn't get even as much as a cameo in Shakespeare in Love. But if Jonson's no icon then Stratford is. You might not quite be able to smell Shakespeare there, what with all the American tourists, but the fact remains that you can buy lots and lots of Shakespeare tat. Want a mouse mat with quotes from Hamlet on it? Want an Arden Shakespeare? Want a glove puppet Shakespeare? Then Stratford's your place. It is also, and not incidently it must be said, home to some great theatre. And I'd never seen a production in the Swan before so I WAS EXCITED. That's capital letters excited.

The Swan itself is lovely. Intimate and interesting; all beams and balconies and strange seating. The ticket price was worth the experience alone. As for Sejanus, it was, as I couldn't get past when explaining about it on Friday night, a solid production of a solid play. With its Romans and unequivocal portrayal of the mob I couldn't but help think of Julius Caesar. And it remains that I'm particularly fond of that JC. But Sejanus skipped along nicely, complete with weirdy pray-to-statue-moment so beloved of dramatists of the period and which I, frankly, don't get, and ended on a nicely questioning note. It even had some - not at all gratutitous - male nudity going on. Which amused me greatly if only for the faces of the eighty year old women in the front row.

Post educational theatre visit (and ice cream) came gift shop time and Nik and I spent a rather amusing half hour playing in the Swan giftshop, which, when you consider it is slightly bigger than a broom cupboard, the depth of our achievement must be noted. That we also managed to have a puppet show, demonstrate why - despite both of us being in our twenties - giving us fake swords is not a good idea and have a RANT ABOUT T-SHIRT SIZING would show why I'm only allowed in giftshops on a once in six weeks basis.

Gift shop plundered, it was off to the pub where I drew the short straw and had to go and order a pitcher of woo woo. The humiliation of this was only lessoned by the fact that it meant that I saw a group of American tourists properly queueing at the bar. And when I say queuing I mean standing as you would if you were waiting for the bus. Rumours that I laughed at this, walked up to the bar and the got served before all of them are not entirely unfounded. I blame the woo woo. I wish I could attribute the plans for 'An Evening With Nik and Coza' (and Special Guests) to the woo woo but we'd already come up with that frankly brilliant idea prior to entering the pub. It just got more detailed and involved after the pitcher. People may mock, but you'll all be wanting an invite.

On the way home I did the rather classy thing of being desperate for the toilet (woo woo) and all the toilets at the train station being locked*. Consequently I discovered why there are indeed more reasons to shop at Morrisons. Not least because they'll do your dry cleaning too.

*I'm sorry, what is that about at 7.30pm? Where do they think Stratford is?

Today DA, Tomorrow The World

Today DA, Tomorrow The World

After an internet-less few days (not to mention the trains, the plays or the pitcher of woo woo)there are few things that could make me happier than the, somewhat unexpected, message I got over on Griffin Chat.

With a big thanks to Jen...DA is proud to present Team DA.

Wear it with pride, my friends.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What happened to a piece of paper and a biro?

What happened to a piece of paper and a biro?

There is the important distinction between things that I need and things that I want. The only problem being that in the newly-discovered era of having-money-which-isn't-my-overdraft the distinction has become a bit blurred. Take my most recent, and indeed most exciting, purchase - a new laptop. I wanted a laptop. That bit was clear enough. But did I need one? Well, I would argue, whilst my desktop really isn't showing its age, it remains four years old. In computer years that must be pushing middle age. And the thing about a desktop is that it remains on the desk. I'm a girl on the move. I want to write sitting on my bed, on a train, in the middle of the park (I'm obviously not taking into account the fact that we are quickly plunging headfirst into winter and the chances of me choosing to sit in the park are currently somewhere below zero). That I have a spiral notepad that has proven itself under such circumstances is to be discounted. I can't format italics in that.

So you see why the wanting got confused with the needing? After a few weeks of looking, comparing random system information (really, all I wanted was something I could type on that wouldn't be adverse to burning me the odd cd) and generally coming over as a penny pincher in the way that only people from Yorkshire can, I finally settled. My new baby should be with me some time at the end of next week. I'm somewhat looking forward to the naming ceremony.*

Should I start to moan that I am working ridiculous hours in the next fortnight (not to mention FOH-ing** Twelfth Night three times in four days) point me in the direction of this entry. I'd blame the laptop, but I can't. I'm full of the glow***.

*What? Surely everyone names their electrical equipment.

**Front-of-house - ing.

***There seems to be a lot of the glow going round in DA this week. I could be confusing the glow with the lemsip I'm taking by the bucketload because of STUPID FRESHER'S FLU that I should not have were it not for the fact that there are a heck of a lot of freshers work at the WYP.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Go Out With Wet Hair

Go Out With Wet Hair

I'd been looking forwarding to FOH-ing 'My Mother Said I Never Should' for a couple of reasons. Firstly it isn't Twelfth Night and as partial as I am to a bit of Shakespeare and some comedy haircuts this does wear a little thin when you end up seeing the second half of the play three times in a row. Shipwreck, what shipwreck? Secondly Mother has what is officially - and by officially I mean decided by me - the best advertising campaign of any of the productions at the WYP this season. The postcards and posters basically proclaimed slogans that your mother may well have told you never to do. The most popular? The bright blue postcard stating 'Snog Boys'. It's marketing genius, everyone wants them for the comedy value.

Given these factors I probably should have been prepared for the production not to live up to expectation. Or at least be more on the level of the 'Eat With Your Mouth Open' pea-green postcards. From the moment that it started however I knew it had lived up to its hype. Because if its a good play then it is also an incredibly clever, intensely theatrical production. Props descend from the ceiling, babies become sheets blowing in the wind, the grass/carpet is rolled up midway through the first act by the actresses. It's the kind of production that makes you dizzy with the possibilities of theatre. And indeed the audience's willingness to believe in the world created in front of them.

If the play, at 16 years of age, feels a little dated then it still has something to say, something which the sheer vigour and enthusiasm of the production seems to have pushed to the forefront.

I left the WYP, just a few minutes short of what would have been a free taxi, bathed in the afterglow. My recreational drug of choice had struck again.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

All The Way To Reno

All The Way To Reno

Because of my hardly concealed love for those stalwarts of British television - and former Pop Gods - Ant and Dec, I've been following their gameshow marathon extravanganza. I suspect I'd like the show anyway because, let's face it, gameshows are QUIZES. And you know how much I love a good quiz. Even if, in these cases, the best you're going home with is a - oooooo - caravan. But it's not the wonder that is eighties quiz shows or even Ant or Dec that I'm wanting to blog about. No, it was what happened when I didn't switch the television off immediately after the show finished. X-Factor.

For those of you still blissfully unaware of what's happening in the world of the make-Simon-Cowell-even-richer-than-he-is-now, X-Factor had reached the night of deciding who was to go forward to the weeks of live shows, off key vocals and Kate Thornton's hideous outfits. I felt I was pretty safe to keep the television on. Aside from seeing some of the earlier freaks, I've not followed the show, I don't know these people, I've no reason to care.

Predictably I was crying the moment that the first guy sat down next to Sharon. And as the show worked its way through the parade of singers and groups it only got worse. I wasn't even sure if it was better for me when they got through or when they didn't, my tear ducts were working overtime either way. Because however lacking charisma, or the ability to remain in key, or remember the words they were this was their dream. Their green light at the end of a dock, if you will. And if there's something I love even more than a quiz, it's a dream.

It only got worse when they had to go and inform their familes, sat grouped together, anxiously waiting the news. The 'YES!'s jumped around and screamed. The 'No's hugged each other and cried. I got the same kind of feeling I get watching the beginning of Love Actually and its airport reunions. And I blew my nose a bit more.

Even as I watched though my cynical side was kicking in. As the contestants talked about how much it would change their lives, it seemed rather painfully obvious that it won't. If they're very, very lucky maybe one of them might have their life changed by the programme. For the rest of them it's some Saturday night tv exposure, followed by a few roadshows, some D-List parties and a descent into oblivion. And yet each of them believed. This was it. Their BIG CHANCE.

It almost seemed churlish of me to let reality into the picture.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

'This Is My Angry Face'

'This Is My Angry Face'

This week I did something I very rarely do. I got angry. And the reason that I don't get angry much? I find it a bit of a waste of time when there are usually much better ways of my thinking myself out or round of a situation. And my being angry shouldn't be confused with my being grumpy. That happens more often, usually when I've stubbed my toe for the fourth time this week on my new magazine holder which is still sitting at the bottom of my bed. But angry. Noooo. I'm going to need more than a broken toe for that.

But on Wednesday I got angry. If I'm honest it had been bubbling away for a little while, an incessant drip that I always knew I wouldn't be able to overcome. And, consequently, I did something that maybe my rational head would have told me not to do. Because in the great scheme of things, does the person concerned matter? Certainly not to me. But it's also something that I feel a little proud of doing. Because I'm the one who was lambasting those people on the bus with Lobotomy Guy for standing back. I'm the person who believes that, if you feel passionately about something, you should be brave enough to stand up and say it, rather than sit on your bum with your finger up your, erm, nose. I believed in what I was saying and I suspected that no one else was going to say it first.

As it was some people agreed with me, some didn't. Some tried to placate, as I always knew they would. Because I'm imperfectly human I felt flashes of anger at the people who seemed to trot out out bland responses. I'm not naive enough to think that I was any less biased about the situation than they were. But I'm not blind to everything else.

Maybe what evoked the stream of anger was that issues of trust and belief were raised. Which is like a red Boro football flag to a fake bull. As a general rule I trust everyone. I have some half-idealistic notion that everyone might be as exacting with their standards as I tend to be on myself. I can accept people wobble on this, God I wobble myself and I know that as a result of this I forgive people far too easily. I hate to abandon that belief. It's one reason that I love Kate in SSoB, she does what I could never do. She refuses to forgive Harry. Had that one played out in real life, I'm not sure that I could have slammed that door.

But there comes a time when even I have to concede that there is no longer any point believing. And then it's final. Never to be returned. And I know that my trust on the issue on Wednesday has long since evaporated. And I'd have been a hypocrite if I'd pretended otherwise.

I am left wondering, though, what use impotent anger is. I think everyone is on the same side of the argument they were before the start of this week. Nothing has changed, least of all the situation concerned. Which is probably an even bigger lesson than the one I learnt in Primark.

I'd still do it all again.

Friday, October 07, 2005

You Know You Need To Get A New Job...

You Know You Need To Get A New Job...

When you're standing in the resource area of the office [dealing with your 53rd construction drawing of the day no less] and you hear the following:

"You're a clever girl - how do you do double sided photocopying?"

Shoot me. Now.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Church of St Primark

The Church of St Primark

I greeted the arrival of a fully functioning Primark in Leeds with something bordering on joy. I'd only ever been into Primark once, just after New Year in Birmingham, when I'd gotten a skirt and belt for eight pounds. Eight pounds. That's what two drinks in the Slug and Lettuce cost me on Saturday night. So I'd bowed down at the alter of Primark and, like any good convert, was filled with joy when the word spreed and Primark took over the building where the Odeon used to be in Leeds*.

This joy lasted for as long as it took me to peek my head around the doors. I can deal with cramned shopping conditions - I'm a seasoned New Look shopper - but this went past anything I'd experienced in a clothing shop before. The only parallel I could draw was with Asda three days before Christmas, only without the mitigating factors. I drew something of a hasty retreat.

The second time I attempted to go into the shop I got as far as the central display of waistcoats, where it quickly emerged there were no size tens for love, money or bribery. And I'd have been open to bribery demands, I wanted one of those waistcoats. I was also mistaken as a shop assistant and asked where returns should be taken, which worried me slightly because I WAS NOT DRESSED IN PRIMARK. So, again, I left empty handed.

On Sunday afternoon I finally managed to force my way into the shop when it wasn't in need of a 'one in one out' system. And if I was a little saddened because they had no waistcoats even though there were manequins wearing them, I did find a bargainous silver belt. It was only when I ended up spending fifteen minutes in the queue for the till that I started to wonder just how valid a bargain it was. Because there is a price/pain ratio that has to be considered. And standing in a queue for fifteen minutes, with the shop heating turned up to maximum, is painful.

Like the wedding guest at the end of Coleridge's Rime of The Ancient Mariner, I left a sadder and wiser person. Albeit with a new belt.

*Not that I agree with the Odeon closing down, it rather stomped over the memory of so many teenage sundays spent there.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Everything I Could Be

Everything I Could Be
"I could have won that show and probably did...but that's another matter"


Some how I don't think that DA is the place for me to be musing over what Griffin meant when he wrote the above in his Boro/York/Whitby programmes last year. Not of course that the BBC/Endemol would get much if they sued me (apart from maybe lots of penguin books and several hundred shoes), but because - as much as I like a good gossip - I don't have the facts. I only have the rumours. And as bitter and twisted as I still am about the whole issue, it's a disservice to Griffin to deal in such rumours.


But what is a fact is that today is the second anniversary of the final of the tortuous-reality-television show. And by this point in 2003 it was tortuous. I'd ranted, written angry letters to Now magazine and even ended up crying after watching Griffin at the post showfeedback bit. Because my competitiveness, which is more than capable of embracing competition by proxy, has one limitation; fairplay. If I engage in a competition I play by the rules. I kind of hoped that the BBC might too. As it was they didn't and the car crash that was the final was so painful that I can't watch the announcement without crying to this day. Because a biased reality tv show is one thing when it's Big Brother, it's another when it's messing with people's dreams and futures. In that evening I hated everything about the programme, about people's lives being served up for entertainment whilst the viewing public could switch off and return to normality. And maybe I even hated myself a little bit for watching.

If that night marked an ending, the last marker of a summer where I licked my wounds, wrote the first draft of SSoB and watched more reality television than is good for any one person, then it also marked a beginning. Five weeks later I met Griffin at Boro Lights. There was the excitement and the enthusiasm of those weeks in the build up to his first single, then the album, then the five song set gigs. The tortuous reality television show faded from view.


But we can't deny that it existed, or that I watched, or that Griffin was part of it. Because to deny it would be to ignore everything wonderful that has come out of that flawed, often painful but occassionally rather amazing programme. I most likely would never have known of Griffin, never have stood, propped up, crying at how beautiful his voice was. In directly I'd have never had a drink with Fox, gotten free beer from Riccardi or been groped by Peter Brame. I'd never have heard Megson singing 'More Than Me' and stolen the line for this blog, or terrified Bazza at the Silver Bear concert or left Jamie Theakston in a sulk at a charity cricket match. I most likely wouldn't have been to Middlesbrough, The Bedford or The Clapham Grand and I certainly wouldn't have been to Swindon or Bristol or Stockton. There would have been no radio tours, no 'buy one get one free' inspired dancing in a cage, no JCS stage dooring. More importantly there would have been none of the odd, hilarious and wonderful people I've met along the way. There would have been no Northern Division. And if just for that factor, just for bringing me into contact with a group of people I love unconditionally and who I owe more to than they will ever realise, I will never forget the summer of the tortuous-reality-television show.


But the anniversary doesn't just pull me to look back, but to look forward. As much as I've pulled out some of the videos and the CDs of the programme, I can't help thinking about what happens next. Not so much for me, that's a question that resolutely has nothing to do with the tortuous-reality-television show, but for Griffin. And that's a hard and uncertain question. Certainly what I wanted for him in the weeks after the final is different from what I wanted for him immediately after the spilt from UMTV which in turn is different to what I'd had said earlier this year. But I can say that at this moment, almost a week after sitting in a pub and believing in him more than I have in a long, long time, there are a few things I'd like.


I'd like him to get the audience he deserves. For more people to hear just how talented he is. I'd like him to continue - and being given the opportunity - to grow as both a performer and a writer. I'd like to have the second album in my record collection. Damn it, I'd like to have the fifth album in my record collection. I'd like 'Alistair Griffin Unplugged' in there too. I'd also like a skinny fit t-shirt that isn't far too big for me (discreet Griffin logo, naturally, I'm leaving the days of his face emblazoned across my breasts to posterity). Most of all I want more for him than he currently has. And I don't mind waiting. I'm here for the long haul.


Which may sound odd, but what can I say other than that I believe in him. I believed in him throughout that summer, throughout the final. Circumstances may change, he may change, God, I may change, but nothing will ever remove that fact.


And though the tortuous-reality-television show was, to me at least, always about Griffin (and then to a lesser degree, Fox) I can't bypass its other alumni. Jesus, I'm an Alex, Simone and Lorna away from having met them all. I don't really know what they're doing or where they are now but maybe that doesn't matter.


*Raises Glass* To the Fame Academy Class of 2003. Yes, even you Paris.

Where I Become Scarily Competitive. Again.

Where I Become Scarily Competitive. Again.

I probably should have confessed something when I made my last blog entry. I'd like you all to think that the Australian thing was as random as it sounds, but in truth it was about as random as what I was doing. Or - more accurately - what I was carrying. Because - and there is no easy way to get round this - I was in the middle of York carrying a didgeredo. If that is indeed how you spell it, because, let's face it, I don't know how to spell it, it's not in my miny English dictionary next to the computer and it won't be in the spell check in blogger even if I could be arsed to run it after I finished writing. But I'm sure you're getting the picture. I was in York. With an Aboriginal instrument. Previous to being asked if I was Rolf Harris's daughter, I'd been in the non-spurting fountain, posed for a picture at the little Griffin van and bantered with a passing police car as to why the heck I was carrying said instrument. Thankfully, I can't have looked too much like the criminal mastermind that I actually am, and the police were happy to ask whether I could play it rather than where I got it from.

The answer to that question would have been, predictably it being a Saturday night and me being in York, the Evil Eye. Yes, that would be the one with the beds:

In honour of Becky's Birthday/Graduation there was an evening of entertainment centred around something that will always get me excited. A competition. And given the fact that I haven't managed as much as a pub quiz since I left Oxford, that we had a team competition (no less) meant that I was on overdrive. Admittedly the shot in The Slug and Lettuce and the tequila in Evil Eye might have had something to do with my going into overdrive but you should never underestimate my own innate competitiveness. It is, I confess, not one of my most appealing characteristics (as I think I demonstrated with some style when Nik and I started wrestling over a cocktail and the bonus five points its capture would entail*), but I can at least see the extent of its ridiculousness and the subsequent need for people to tell me to shut up at regular intervals**. But it did mean that I wanted to win. I WANTED TO WIN. Because winning is good and no amount of 'it's the taking part that counts' crap is going to convince me otherwise.

So when I ended up with a 'Corinne always aims high, but can you beat a guitar?' challenge the discovery of a didgeredoo was rather fantastic. Because, if only for how random it was, it beats a guitar. Anyone, after all, can take a guitar into the Parliament Street fountain. I like to think that this was the fountains first didgeredoo. Challenge completed, I returned the instrument - with some sadness - to its proper home so that drunken revellers could continue to pretend they were Rolf Harris.

And the most important part? We won***!

*Though this did give me a flash back to a similar and even less graceful tussle over a 'Thank you' sign at Derby Zanzibars which was even less flattering given that that was the inagural 'Derby Top' night. And if I'm wearing my 'Derby Top' I should be staying very, very still.

** Though the chances of getting me to shut up when I've been drinking - as one of the Evil Eye's unlucky security men discovered - are very, very slim.

***We would be Team Griffin, as opposed to Team Fox. Never say that Nik and I aren't original in our choices.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Well, I Do Watch Neighbours

Well, I Do Watch Neighbours

"Are you Australian?"

"No!"

"Yes you are!"

"No I'm not!"

"You are - you're Rolf Harris's daughter!"

Friday, September 30, 2005

Now Is Not The Time To Cry

Now Is Not The Time To Cry


Over the past few months I've blogged about Griffin quite a few times. Or, possibly more specifically, about the 'Griffin Experience' which has been something of a rollercoaster of not always positive emotions. And whilst I know that there are still things that may irk me - thankfully not Griffin's deck shoes which seem to have dissapeared - there's a reason I hauled myself round the country for a year. As I listened to Griffin singing 'With Or Without You' in a pub in York this week I believed in him so much that it actually hurt. Because he's fucking amazing. In his stripey jumper he was also rather cute too. But the cuteness wouldn't have kept me coming back for this long. I may be shallow but I'm not stupid. After all, think of how many pairs of shoes I could have bought with the money I've spent. I need more than cute to justify that.

Due to half a cheese sandwich and a chocolate biscuit being the entire contents of my food intake I was rather on the drunker side of tipsy before Griffin had even arrived. Which, combined with my tiredness [I'm sorry but 45 hour weeks do not add up to part time], meant that I was somewhat giddy. No, actually that should be I WAS GIDDY. Jump in the street, slide down the side of the bar giddy. I was ready to be blown away. And I was.

As I listened whilst Griffin busked his way through a second - impromptu - set, getting chords wrong, missing out words, sounding achingly beautiful, it seemed like we might have all reconciled ourselves to the situation, Griffin included. I loved it that Griffin felt relaxed and happy enough to sit amongst twenty or so fans and sing. It's not always going to be like that, even with the level of fans he currently has, but that it was possible - just this once - finally bannished once and for all the misgivings about what felt like fairly shoddy treatment towards the end of last year. And anyway, what did it matter?

It's all about the music.
And the piranas.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Coza: Spokeswoman For The English Language

Coza: Spokeswoman For The English Language

"Soirette. Is that a word? [pause] Where's Corinne?"

[waving whilst propping up at the bar] "Yes, it is now!"

"Soirette!"

"I'm Not Your Fool, I'm Your Corrupter of Words"

"I'm Not Your Fool, I'm Your Corrupter of Words"

Me: They're treating me like I'm a pariah.

Griffin: [with concern]I don't think you look like a fish.

I'd Better Put The Glass House Up For Sale

I'd Better Put The Glass House Up For Sale

"You understand"

"Yes, I do; I'm just about clinging on in there".

"Don't laugh. You were the one wearing Boho Festival Chic. In a tent. In Castleton".

(Beat)

"Point taken".

The Drunk Leading The Drunk

The Drunk Leading The Drunk

"I don't normally walk. I use a rickshaw".

"Cool".

"Well, when I saw that, what I actually mean is that I've got two men who carry me around" [mimics holding action]

"Wow, are they expensive?"

"I don't pay them, they do it because they want to"

"For the love of it".

"That's right. Of course, they can't feed their children..."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

How To:

How To:

Drive me insane:

Put up a sign reading "Tonights [sic] show is a preview performance" and then make me stand opposite it selling programmes for over an hour. If I managed not to go find a marker pen and add the apostrophe to the official sign for Twelfth Night then one of my co-workers wasn't quite so lucky with his homemade birthday drinks sign. There was no way I was letting him get away with "Im". My inner pendant couldn't deal with it.

Make me happy:

Tell me to go and sit in the bar whilst waiting for my free taxi home [WYP fact fans, any show which finish after 10:30 entitles the attendants to a free ride home. Ha, ha, lobotomy bus guys].

Make me giddy:

Be Ian Brown (WYP's Director) and have your post show discussion sitting at the table next to me. I was rather sad when my taxi arrived and I had to leave.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sponsored By Disney

Sponsored By Disney

There are times when I find myself talking about the writing thing more than I spend actually doing it. I'd put the last few weeks into that bracket, what with explaining to the fifty million other attendants at the WYP what I'm currently doing with my time and because I'm spending so much time explaining there or building what is becoming an increasingly intimate relationship with the office scanner, it all adds up to one thing. Not writing. Which is not a good thing when I've got a self imposed deadline for Four Chords to adhere to, a Live Theatre imposed deadline for my, as yet un-named, ten minuter and a Screen Yorkshire imposed deadline for applying to take part in their shorts program in the New Year. Which all adds up to lots of deadlines and not a lot of action.

Yesterday, though...

I think raising the subject of Four Chords with Griffin the other week, however jokingly I did so and however jokingly it was responded to*, maybe mentally freed me up a bit. In short? It doesn't scare me that I'm diving off of chunks of the Griffin experience. The more I muse on the subject the more I realise that I have to write this play as it wants to be written. And, currently, that means that Griffin's in focus.

So if that doesn't scare me any more, it's allowed me to include him in my research more than I'd intended to. Seriously, when there's a wealth of before, during and after interviews at my finger tips it seems foolish not to. It was something of Griffin's that I wasn't actively looking for, that I stumbled across when clearly out the videos, that inspired me. In an interview for the Disney Channel of all places. And it struck me because all though I've heard him utter similar sentiments in the past year, it was rather startling to hear him say it in the midst of the experience:

"It's not quite everything you think it's going to be".

And so I'm not taking him out of context, or making the Studio Disney interview with Griffin seem more deep and interesting than it actually was, Griffin was specifically talking about fame and he immediately undercut it. But the rest didn't matter. It was the questions that it raised in my head, the question that it struck me that Ben and Jude** have to answer.

24 hours later, as I sat at the WYP prior to my shift starting, I pulled out my notebook and started some dialogue with that sentence. In fifteen minutes I had the last five pages of the play written. And it felt rather wonderful.

Which points to two things. Firstly, the research lark. A very good idea. I'm going to have to do some more in the areas that I might otherwise have chosen to ignore for being too close to home. Secondly, at this rate Griffin's going to be entitled to his percentage share even if he's not in it.

*I'm hoping it was a joke, because otherwise I agreed three times that Griffin can play the lead. And I don't even know if he can act.

** They'll be my leads.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Well I Said What About Dawson's Creek?

Well I Said What About Dawson's Creek?

After something of a minor collapse, no doubt threatening the structural integrity of the dining room ceiling, I thought it wise to at least make a start of sorting through the random crap which has accumulated in the area that used to be my desk. But because sorting through bits of paper and Get Along Gang minatures isn't that exciting, especially given the fact that I seem to have slipped into full time work at the moment, I settled instead for sorting out the pile of videos that were spilling on to the floor. I'm not sure how much this is going to help the whole desk-asthetic problem because, let's face it, dealing with the videos is like pouring a bottle of water on to a house fire. The difference it makes is pretty negligble. But it is out of small steps that giant leaps are made, so the videos seemed as good a place as any to start.

And, if I were to reduce myself to stereotypes, then I think the pile of homerecorded videos would be a good a place as any to create a stereotype. Indeed I was worried that there wasn't a single curve ball in there. In no particular order I located:

1. The film Wilde. One of my all time icons and Pretty Jude Law. It's like all my Christmases come together.

2. A couple of episodes of 'What Not To Wear', because I am not ashamed to say that I LOVE THAT SHOW. It's pointing and being smug about other people's clothing. On national television. What's not to like?

3. A tape of 'Will & Grace' episodes. I've always been on the edge of being a W&G fan proper, I mean that whole 'Just Jack' business was hilarious, but never quite made the leap to the big league. Possibly I exhausted my tv series addiction on Friends. Possibly I never got over the fact that no one in W&G is Chandler.

4. Dawson's Creek. Which probably goes to show how long it has been since I cleaned out my videos. I loved DC. In fact I need to state that again. I loved DC. It escapes me why I didn't go and stalk Joshua Jackson when he was in London. Sadly the video concerned was of episodes from season five just when the show turned into The Joey Story. And it didn't even have the one where Dawson's dad dies whilst picking up his icecream. I doubt there's ever going to be a better tv serial death than that one.

5. The second half of Richard II at the Globe. Now I love The Globe. And I love RII (it even made its way into my Desert Island Shakespeare list). But the reason that I only have the second half? Well I couldn't watch the second half live, which had not a little to do with...

6. Griffin. Or rather, two episodes of CBBC at the tortuous reality television show, one of which had a clip of Griffin's hometown which weirded me out as I recognised everything, a tape of random Bring It On promotional stuff, one of You & Me stuff and a tape that just had his (and indeed my) Radio Five Live appearance on. Please keep in mind that I once had Ant and Dec tapes in multiple figures. Griffin got off lightly.

Damn how predictable I'm becoming.