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Friday, 20 October 2017

New Live Audio Stuff - Exciting!

First up, change of schedule for today - I'm not going to be doing the last of the Martin Hewitt readings for a number of technical reasons, so instead I'm releasing the second podcast reading early - at 2pm.  Instead of the live reading of case seven, you'll get the podcast of case two - so you'll get a Martin Hewitt, just not as advertised.  Apologies for any confusion.
Second up, some changes to the schedule - it's all been a whirl of new things and I hate to change advertised things, but new opportunities to get things out there present themselves.  So - I'm abandoning the ustream channel and all live streaming will be on Mixlr from now on.  Ustream has always been a bit of a hack, using a video service to do audio.  Mixlr is dedicated to creating live audio and has all sorts of features I'll be playing with over the next weeks.  The Nicholas Nickleby readings will be every weekday at 2pm as advertised, but the Saturday show has been moved - so I'm doing that at 2pm, not 1pm.  I'm also not doing the repeat at 6pm.
Basically, there'll be a show most days at 2pm (BST until the clocks change to GMT again).  There may even be a 2pm Sunday show occasionally.

Now all that detail is out the way, to new stuff.  I've had a number of messages asking for when new things are going to come.  I don't like releasing a complete schedule, but I like there to be some play, but not that I've got the live streams going, recording for new material will now be happening on Saturdays.  That means the podcast version follows shortly after the live version - all edited and lovely.

The Saturday show is going to be a mix of, hopefully, at least three things, two new performances and maybe something from the archive.  NOW AT 2PM, REMEMBER - can be found on Mixlr, or listened on this player.

RobertCrighton is on Mixlr

Dates for known specific shows are as follows.

This Saturday (23rd Oct) - The U.N. Special Representative & the second The Other Day story.

October 28th - As it's close to Halloween, a ghostly theme. The Pub That Cried Ghost & a third The Other Day story.

November various - TBA

November 25th: The Bear Named Mo- Revisited.  Ten years ago a school teacher was arrested for naming a teddy bear Mohammed - I wrote a piece about the incident then and am going back to it and taking another look.  Find out how I managed not to get on local television dressed as a giant teddy bear.

December 2nd: Attack of the Christmas Squirrels - a comic story about a prolonged campaign to end early Christmas advertising gets out of hand.
Dec 9th, 16th & 23rd:  The Roial Unstitute Chris-mas Lectures - three comic lectures on impossible or silly subjects.

And, of course, I'll be performing The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby every weekday from Monday, so there's that to look forward to as well.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Live Streaming Hewitt, Dickens and More!

So, I've learnt something new this week.  I hate recording audio.  I hate it.  I'm self conscious, I'm alone, I'm sitting in a room talking to myself, it's shit.
BUT.
I really like recording audio, when it's also streamed live.  I'm focused, yet relaxed.  I'm much, much - better.  And happier.
SO.
I'm going to be live streaming a lot more now.  A lot more now.  Like, every day, in every way, getting better and better.
HUZZAH!
So, almost every day there is going to be a live stream - and I'm doing the live stream specifically to record and sometimes just for the hell of it.

Next week, I'm doing a mammoth record week for the Martin Hewitt series - recording stories 3-7.  Instead of sitting all depressed, reading words to myself, I will be performing it to the internet each day at 2pm and again at 6pm - and you can catch either performance.  These will then be the basis for the later edit and podcast.
The Worlds of Robert Crighton live stream will continue on Saturdays at 2pm - there'll be a mix of stuff I'm trying out and stuff I'm recording and maybe just some old stuff.  Looking to do about 30-45 minutes each week.  This coming Saturday I'm going to repeat my broadcast of The U.N. Special Representative, recording it for later podcast.
And then I'm going back to some projects I've been meaning to do for years - I used to do live readings at Barons Court, and did plan over a Christmas season to do Nicholas Nickleby and / or The Pickwick Papers.  Well, from Monday 23rd October until Christmas Eve (approx), I'll be doing daily performances of Nicholas Nickleby, live online and streaming at 2pm.  There maybe occasional hiccups to this plan - some episodes may not go out live and I am dependent on good broadband that day - but there's now a schedule for the rest of the year.  The podcast schedule will remain a bit random, but the same regular appearances of new work on Tuesdays and for patrons on Wednesdays.

All of these can be heard at the appropriate times on my new outpost - http://mixlr.com/robert-crighton/
If you miss the live show, you should be able to catch them again in some fashion - Nicholas Nickleby will probably go out as per, everything else with edits and changes.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Live Streaming Again

I've been playing around with the possibilities of live streaming over the years - live in studio, with audience, using different platforms.  I'm desperately waiting for facebook live audio to kick in so I can start there - I've been playing with the live video and it's just a sod with my bandwidth.
For the moment I'm going back to live streaming with ustream - there are adverts, but life's a bitch sometimes.  I'm also going to use it to drive my new storytelling.
Instead of doing new work for my patrons on Wednesday, streaming it Saturday and then releasing it again properly to the world on the following Tuesday, I'm going to use the Saturday live streams to try out works in progress.  They'll be full and proper things, just I might want to change it after the live stream and I'll be actively looking for thoughts and comments from the audience.  You.
Then I'll start work on turning that live stream into something for normal podcast release.  It's a process.
So, this week, Saturday at 1pm I'll be streaming the long promised bit of storytelling The U.N. Special Representative.
You can catch the live stream here, this Saturday at 1pm (BST) and there'll be something streamed every Saturday at the same time, unless advertised otherwise.  I will also start scheduling what will be performed prior to each show.
You're probably going to hear versions of other promised shows on the live stream first. We shall see, I may even do some live streamed drama.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

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Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Lenton Croft Robberies

Spoilers!  If you haven't read or listened to The Lenton Croft Robberies, please don't read on - listen here and then read on.


SPOILERS BELOW
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BEWARE
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SPOILERS BELOW
It's been a while since I did a reading of something not written by myself, and I'd forgotten the joys and the traumas of late Victorian prose style.  My god, the sentences are long.  Long enough to get very lost, as a reader.
Anyone familiar with other detective stories of the period (there's an example of some possibly famous detective that leaps to mind... Shermes Hollocks?) will know the kind of story you're getting.  This is genre fiction, created to order, but that isn't to say it isn't interesting.  It's fascinating.
The Lenton Croft Robberies begins by establishing the character of Martin Hewitt - a nice genial chap, nothing like the brash show off detective we might otherwise know.  I won't go into detail yet, not till we're further into his case load - though his genial manner hides a sharp mind and occasional arrogance.  The first thing he's said, as related to us, is somewhat insulting - though not intended as an insult.
The case itself is more a character study and a careful walk through of evidence.  Sir James Norris, the victim of a series of robberies, is rather a brilliant creation.  At first glance he's a caricature, the bluff English gent.  But I think there's a real rounding to him - he may be made of stereotypical materials, but the thing about stereotypes is that there are a lot of them about.  There's a subtle craft to the character of Sir James Norris - he may be stuffy, a bit misogynist, possible (though I may be stretching here) hints of the homophobic, but it's all totally believable - he lives and breathes as a character.  He's just my kind of creation - likable despite the fact you'd disagree about almost every aspect of his personality.
The other characters, brief though their appearances are, are mostly sharply drawn.  The various women of the story all have a clear brief as to their character - you immediately understand their various intelligence and wit levels in a few moments.
There are a few tropes that are found in other stories of this type.  The possibility of dishonest servants is almost an obsession - it is the default suggestion and fear of a household this size.  There's also the question of the honour of the host in relation to the property of his guest.  Having your own stuff stolen is fine, having your guests property nabbed is horrific.

What, oh what, do we make of a line like this?
It was a comfortable room, but with rather effeminate indications about its contents. Little pieces of draped silk-work hung about the furniture, and Japanese silk fans decorated the mantel-piece. Near the window was a cage containing a gray parrot, and the writing-table was decorated with two vases of flowers.
"Lloyd makes himself pretty comfortable, eh?" Sir James observed.

Do I detect, or am I future struck, code for homosexuality in the effeminate indications of Lloyd's rooms?  The fact that he is the guilty party is suggestive.  Is this similar to codes such as confirmed bachelor?  Answers on a postcard.

The next case will be available to some of my patrons on Wednesday, and later to the rest of the world.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Martin Hewitt Audio - First Case Out Now

Just a short one - today there drops the first Martin Hewitt case from Martin Hewitt, Investigator by Arthur Morrison and as read by yours truly.

Enjoy.



My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

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Sunday, 1 October 2017

Fudging the Dismount - Electric Dreams

I'm starting to think Electric Dreams is getting an unfair beating.  It's still very polarised out there, between those who love and hate it, there isn't that much middle ground.  But that's the internet for you, it's where the middle ground goes to die.  There's all the it's trying to be Black Mirror talk, which is plainly a red herring.  It shares a similar aesthetic feel, but that's because that's the default aesthetic of now - I will write about this in a future blog post, with special reference to 1980's television studio lighting.
That said, Impossible Planet left me feeling some of that internet disappointment.  The ending just didn't work and the outpouring of dismay on Twitter was fairly well justified - it was a really good story and it was changed by the adapter into a less good one.  The adapter went for the addition of a love story, where the couple end up in some kind of group hallucination at the point of death - or is it all really real?  If it were a 1950's B movie the words The End would come up and turn into a big question mark.  It was nowhere near as satisfying dramatically as just leaving her to die alone with her android, and the crew missing that the planet is really Earth all along.  The original story left us with empty lies and missed opportunities.  Much more fun than a suggested have cake and eat it ending.
I've adapted science fiction before, with a stage version of The Time Machine (published script pending) and so I am at risk of being an hypocrite for attacking changes in adaptation.  The writers were encouraged to do so, and with an hour to fill, something else probably needed to be added to the narrative.  Probably.  I'm not convinced that something else could have been done to fill the time, especially when the rest of the world was so convincingly created.  So far the two universes created in the first two episodes have been realised incredibly well - showing us their world with as little telling as possible.
Let's address my hypocrisy for a moment.  As I say, I did an adaptation of The Time Machine for stage this year and it's interesting looking back at my version, because I thought I'd changed quite a lot.  It's a sod to stage because it's set in a world without language - or at least a language that is used.  My version used storytelling and narrative tricks to get inside and outside of the Time Traveller's head to get round this, but in terms of narrative I only made three explicit changes.  1. I reset it in the present/slight future day - but as it was originally set in the then present/slight future day, that seemed fine. I'm sure some people cursed my name.  2. I ditched his excessive use of matches, which was never practical or plausible. A phone with a faded battery filled in for much of the necessary plot actions. 3. I made it so as the Time Traveller possibly never came back from his trip to the future.  Now, there are similarities there to the ending of Impossible Planet, in that there was a hint that the ending wasn't necessarily real.  The difference was that I changed a bleak ending to a bleaker ending.  The Time Traveller was dead, and the story told was just a recording sent back in time, rather than he was somewhere in the future.  The change to Impossible Planet was to take an ending that's bleak and uncompromising and making it... well... a bit mushy.  And a bit mushy isn't really very PKD, which is why a lot of people went - oh, magic sort of happy ending, bleargh.  All that needed to under cut this mush were brief snatches of the two sort of lovers suffocating, turning blue, coughing up dark liquids as their lungs collapsed.  Just fractional cuts - from smiles to horror and back.  Then everyone would have been happy.
The real shame was that, until that final drift of shots, it was a really great episode - silly red killer robot eyes aside.  (I actually rather liked them, but they were silly.)  But anthology / short stories stand and fall by the dismount.  I think Asimov made the point about the short story that they're all about the idea - get in, get out and get out with a punchline.  (I can't find the essay in question at the moment, but it was something like that. Or I've made that up and it's by someone else.)  The previous week The Hood Maker did, to some degree, the opposite.  Teep stories are always a bit of a sod, they don't really have anywhere to go, so any flaws in the narrative were forgiven because it ended on a nice bleak note of chaos.  Whichever way that society was going, it was going via Hell.
And bleak is the operate word here.  We are largely here for the darkness, not the light.  We want the bleak and if you take it away from us without some payoff, we will be annoyed.  And by we I mean me.  There are always obvious problems with complaining about authenticity in adaptation.  How proper are these adaptations.  How much should we take with us when we cross over to a different medium?  My primary complaint, as I've said, is not with the accuracy of the version, just that the new ending just didn't work tonally.
So, two down, and they have been different enough from each other, and generally good enough to make me keep coming back.  I cannot fault the visual style, the scripts have been mostly tight, I am mostly happy.  It's just that landing.
More thoughts will probably come after tonight. #ElectricDreams

Metal Harvest - Script Available Now!

Now in paper form!
Metal Harvest - a storytelling music drama essay show - seriously, I don't know precisely where to place it. But it is, in my humble opinion, rather good. The audio version is available to listen to now - for free - but there is now a script version, should you wish to produce it yourself. Or would like to read the marvellous words. All the proceeds from sales go directly to my producing... more work.

To buy Metal Harvest, just click here. And then do all the other stuff. Like pay.
Metal Harvest
Written & performed by Robert Crighton
With Richard Fawcett

“This is the story of a shell...” Throughout the First World War the armaments created passed through many hands – from those in the mines and factories who made them, to those who transported the boxes and those who fired the guns.  This is the story of one shell, the story of those who touched it and whose lives were changed by it.  Told in words, music, image and song, Metal Harvest is the latest work from award-winning theatre producer Robert Crighton, made in collaboration with musician Richard Fawcett.



My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

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