Sunday, October 08, 2006

Whoosh

That's the sound of another week disappearing. The weekend went by pretty quickly too, but then I didn't really stay still long enough to have the chance of getting bored.

Went to London on Friday for a theatrical overload weekend - Friday night saw "The Alchemist" by Ben Jonson, directed by Nicholas Hytner, at the National Theatre - very funny play and well worth seeing. Simon Russell Beale, an actor I've long admired, was as excellent as ever as Face; Alex Jennings, an actor I've only ever seen in serious roles, was a revelation as Subtle, and Lesley Manville as Doll made a perfect foil to the pair of them. I found the language a bit hard at first as the play begins at a pretty fast pace, and you need to concentrate, but once you get into the rhythm of it, you just get carried along by the misadventures of the three tricksters and their increasingly complex troubles.

On Saturday I went to the New Producers Alliance "9 Point Producer Training" workshop - on the basis that if I'm going to be one, I'd better have an idea of how to do it. The workshop was good, if anything a bit of an information overload. It would have been useful to have more detailed notes to take away, rather than a one page handout and lots of "scribbling while listening" type notes. But I know much more about setting up a company now than I did before, and hopefully will be able to get to most of the other monthly workshops (and not only because it gives me an excuse to go to London and "ooh while I'm here I might as well see some plays").

Saturday afternoon, went to the matinee of Eugene O'Neill's "A Moon for the Misbegotten", directed by Howard Davies at the Old Vic. Wow. Kevin Spacey, another actor I've liked for a long time, and Eve Best were simply breath-taking, giving the sort of performances that leave you wondering how they manage to produce work of such intensity. Colm Meaney was great too, but Spacey and Best just knock your socks off. The play itself is much funnier than I expected, as well as being awfully sad - one of those experiences where you have to go for a bit of a walk and a quiet think afterwards to let it all sink in. Highly recommended.

Last night, another bunch of Irish drinkers in Conor McPherson's "The Seafarer" (back to the National - hoorah, another excuse for another amble through my favourite theatrical bookshop - restricted myself to two books though). Again, a very funny play but with an undercurrent of deep sadness, although ultimately a very touching story. It's McPherson so you get men, drink, and religion, this time stuck together in a house on Christmas Eve as their chickens come home to roost over a game of cards. Great acting from all the cast, especially Jim Norton as Richard, blind after falling drunk into a skip on Hallowe'en, and now dependent on but tormenting his attempting-to-be-teetotal brother Sharkey (Karl Johnson) and friend Ivan (Conleth Hill).

So, a top class weekend with not a dud play in sight, nicely rounded off by meeting Optimistic Reader for lunch and a really good natter today. It was good to chat about scriptwriting and reading, and get some sound advice about some things that have been niggling me for a while.

And I am definitely going to carry on producing. Not only did Robert Downey Jr meet his wife, Susan Levin, when she was a producer on "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", but apparently now James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, is dating a producer. Oh, and apparently, George Clooney thinks he should go on a date with a different person every night for three months in order to confuse the paps. Well, if he really wants to confuse them, he needs to be seen with a "mystery woman" every now and then. George, I'm willing to step into the breach.

3 Comments:

Blogger Optimistic_Reader said...

Was lovely to meet you for lunch and a natter Sal! I shall definitely get myself off to The Seafarer very soon, for a fix of booze and religion. Cause I don't get enough of either. Well, okay, I don't get enough of one of those...

8:21 pm  
Blogger Stacie said...

When you meet up with George, please let him know that I'm available for a friendly lunch date. :)

9:20 pm  
Blogger Mollywags said...

Another restful weekend eh?!!
Love from us

10:32 am  

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