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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Contradictions of Sharing

I try to share as much of my work online.  I write a semi regular blog, I post audio files, photos etc.  But there are difficulties - the problem being, when I'm creating new work I don't want to share.  The sharing comes afterward.  But, for people to see and know about the work you need to share before it goes out.  And I do struggle to do this.  Regular visitors to this blog will notice a pattern, that the closer a show gets, the thinner my posts.
Sometimes it's a straightforward problem of not wanting to tell people too much about the story, because if you share too much, why come and watch the show?  But it's usually more about mental energy and time.
I've just finished a long and exhausting process of rehearsing in Waiting for Godot.  There were so many things I could have shared about that experience.  I probably will, eventually.  But there was no way I was going to produce anything coherent for you during that process.  And now I'm worried I will forget it all before I get the time to write it up.
Part of the problem is my lack of connectivity.  I have a laptop.  It, in theory, is portable.  It so isn't.  I also don't have a smart phone - so sharing on the hoof isn't possible.  I have to get home, boot up, connect the camera (if I've taken pictures) download, upload and... well, you get the picture.
This I plan to change - next year I've got projects that will need to be shared instantly, so I will put in place materials and systems to make this happen.  Whether, mid project, additional technology will help clear my addled brain, I don't know - but that we'll see.  But I will try harder.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Alternative Spaces - Part Two

I'm looking for a room.  I need a room - it needs to hold about twenty/thirty people, seated, with some space to perform but it must all be one level.  I don't want a theatre - I need a room.  But it needs to be accessible, easily accessible, to the general public.  And I'll be looking to hire the room March/April 2015.
What is the room for?  Well, I'll be announcing that very soon. But it's good.
The show would be Pay-What-You-Want and, but I'll happily hire the space, or I'd split the box office if there's interest.  It needs to ideally be in the East of England or London - but I'll be interested in moving out to different parts of the UK.
Suggestions or offers to me please - either email contact@milkbottleproductions.co.uk or Twitter me @RobertCrighton

Friday, 21 November 2014

Alternative Spaces - Part One

I'm looking for an office.  Somewhere public.  I've written a new one to one piece and I don't want to do it in a theatre - I need an office.  But it needs to be accessible, easily accessible, to the general public.  Ideally, I need a waiting area and then a small office space, a cupboard sized one that will fit two people.  The show is called Just Say Yes.  It's about job interviews.  Hence the need for an office, but one which people can find easily and which won't interfere with people around it.
That said, I'd happily bring the show to a business - the staff could all come in one at a time.  That would be interesting.
The show would be Pay-What-You-Want and I'd split the box office with whoever lends the space.  I couldn't hire the space outright.  It needs to ideally be in the East of England or London.
Suggestions or offers to me please - either email contact@milkbottleproductions.co.uk or Twitter me @RobertCrighton

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Love Theatre

God I hate theatre sometimes.  I just hate it.  I mean it's such hard work.  You can't just wander in and sit and stuff happens at you, you have to be engaged.  You have to listen.  And look.  Looking is the worst.  You have to decide where to look.  Because, it's not as if there's a camera or anything to tell you where you're supposed to look.  Awful.
And then there's the sitting down.  All that sitting down.  And the seats are never as comfy as in a cinema.  Never.  Even if they are, all that attention you're giving to those people doing stuff makes you tense up a bit so you never get comfy.  And seriously, isn't that what seats are for?
But it could be worse, you could be standing.  Standing!  For hours.  Watching people, doing stuff.  With all these other people, standing.  And that's just awful.  I can stand at home.  For free.
And then there's the plays.  I mean, who goes to see plays?  We've got YouTube now and that's so much easier to get on your phone.  Cos you can watch a cat do something cute at anytime you like on a tiny screen and that's so much better than seeing an actual event through all your senses.
Or dance?  I mean, what's all that about?  All that dancing and moving - and the floors squeaking.  Cos they do.
And opera, with all the singing and the singing and they're all fatties anyway, singing in their fat way.
God I hate theatre.

Except when it's brilliant.  Then it's okay.
I mean, sometimes it's really exciting and stuff.
Someone sings or gets stabbed and you just didn't see that coming.
Or you watch a Shakespeare and it wasn't really, really boring, like at school.  Probably cos it's not at school.
Or when it goes all dark before the show starts and then it starts.
Or when you forget that your bum aches or your feet hurt or the price of the ticket and you cry and you go out into the night after the show thinking and happy or happy and sad or just different.  Actually a slightly different person.
Or something similar.
Then it's okay.  It can stay.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Coming Soon to a Bar Near Me

Well, we're reaching the end of my Artist Residency at the Quay.  [Oh no he isn't, OH YES HE IS! - sorry directing a panto at the moment]  I've got two big things left to complete, but otherwise we're nearly at the end.  One is the last part of The Trolls Trilogy which has been brutally delayed - sorry everyone! - but I wasn't happy writing it in short chunks, it was doing something to the flow I didn't like by the end of Lost Tribe - so it'll be released in longer chunks in the last few weeks of the year. *  So far Paper Moon Trolls (an unfortunate acronym) is coming along nicely, so I think I made the right decision.
The end point for Trolls will be the promised live performance.  But this isn't going to be a big show and it won't be quite the same as the full length online story.  It'll be shorter, tighter and secret.  It'll be a pop up show for my funders and loyal supporters only - though I might squeeze you in if you ask nicely.
But before I finally reveal the final show of the year, let's give you a run down of events so far!
1.  The Trolls Trilogy - under construction.  Well received so far online, over a thousand people have listened so far...
2.  You Have Been Watching - 'sold' out installation.  Surprisingly good response.
3.  Hang - radio play almost universally loved by all.  Available as an audio download and script.
4.  The Juliet Inquiry - a public inquiry version of the Shakespeare play.  We got such a good reaction to the play that it was revived in October and I've future plans for it either next year or for the 2016 Shakespeare death anniversary. So far only available in script form.
5.  The Shakespeare Delusion - the second (or first, depending on your point of view) play of my little Shakespeare trilogy.  Again very well received - streamed live online as well as London revivals at the LOST Theatre.
6.  Complicated Pleasures - the big misstep of a project.  Liked by many, loved by many, hated by many.  A long post about this is long overdue, I just haven't had the strength to write it.
7.  Attack of the Christmas Squirrels - was this number 7?  I forget.  The projects have changed over the year and this was, ironically, the second show to be completed.  This is a home storytelling show open to anyone who wants to see it.  Just get in touch, it won't go away.  Well received at the premiere.
8.  Historic Crimes - another radio play, live streamed and with a great critical response.  The final play in my Shakespeare Trilogy, making that a nice little hat trick.  Soon to be available as an audio download and script.
9.  The Museum of Tat - audio comedy series with my good friend Michael Fouldes.  Still available to listen to now.  Generally well received, but not enough feedback yet. Listen again here.
10.  THE END OF THE ROAD SHOW!  This will feature as it's centrepiece Beware of the Blob - a very silly story about my love of B-Movies and featuring a lot of balloons.  There will be singing, dancing and a bar.  A great way to end my residency and good fun for all.  I would live stream it, but who'd be listening?  It's New Year's Eve!


Also I did a bit of audio work, trying a radio show, which didn't really work as no one listened.  Except for one person who did and was really hurt that I didn't tell anyone when I stopped doing them.  Sorry.  I've also added a few recordings to the Before Shakespeare project, wrote a short monologue about political opportunism and backed up a lot of data.  On top of acting in three plays for other people (She Stoops to Conquer, The Importance of Being Earnest and Waiting for Godot) and directing a Pantomime.

*I wrote at the time, in earlier blogs, that the structure was working - but I was so wrong.  Sometimes you can delude yourself into thinking things that so not true.