Get Brecht: Theatre and the various performing arts (no mimes plz)
‹ Previous12
  • 29367016477_99601a5322_h.jpg

    A perhaps-overdue thread for a wee bit of appreciation around that most ancient and beloved of performing art forms. 

    It may not have the perceived popular appeal of cinema or live music, though supposedly our theatres are busier than ever (at least in London). And against my expectations it's an industry I've found myself working in, and loving, for the last six years. With Hamilton going great guns around the world and Harry Potter still somehow making more money than I ever thought possible this is a bit of a golden age for the commercial side of the industry. At the same time local companies across the world are putting out quality work for ageing audiences within a crippling financial framework. 

    So hey, share some thoughts, ask for Edinburgh Festival recommendations, slate that West End show you were dragged along to last year, quote some bad panto jokes... If ballet is your bag then fire in, feel free to open up about some opera, puppetry, whatever works for you.
  • Yossarian
    Show networks
    Xbox
    Yossarian Drew
    Steam
    Yossarian_Drew

    Send message
    Get Brecht made me do a smile. Good work.
  • Birdorf
    Show networks
    Facebook
    Martin Bird
    Twitter
    birdm68
    Xbox
    Birdorf
    PSN
    Birdorf
    Steam
    Birdorf
    Wii
    U: Birdorf, 3DS: 4382 3173 0928

    Send message
    Never been, apart from a panto when was a nipper, but I think I'm going to have to change that and go to see War of the Worlds later this year. Just need to find someone to go with me.
    PSN/XBox/WiiU/Steam: Birdorf -- 3DS: 4382 3173 0928
  • I do love a bit of Brecht. An ex-girlfriend was of the musical theatre persuasion, so for a while I got to see a lot of local stuff. Best thing their company ever did was a stripped-down staging of The Threepenny Opera. Come to think of it, two ex-girlfriends were in that. Watching one of them sing Pirate Jenny in a wedding dress was quite scary, but in a good way.
  • Wife took the kids to see Strictly Ballroom at the weekend, said it was the best thing she's ever seen.
  • poprock wrote:
    I do love a bit of Brecht. An ex-girlfriend was of the musical theatre persuasion, so for a while I got to see a lot of local stuff. Best thing their company ever did was a stripped-down staging of The Threepenny Opera. Come to think of it, two ex-girlfriends were in that. Watching one of them sing Pirate Jenny in a wedding dress was quite scary, but in a good way.

    Eek. Not the same, but with most of my girlfriends having come from this stupid small industry, they're often popping up when I least expect it. A couple of years back I had two exes and current flame all in the same (small) room after an opening night performance. Now that was scary.
  • So what exactly do you do Kaz?
  • I had a one act play on at Glasgow's Oran Mor a few years back and I'm hoping to have my second one on in London later this year. In a couple of weeks I'm going to see a production of Of Mice and Men at the Swansea Grand.
  • Boom! Culture. I’m going to the theatre this weekend.

    To see Jaws.

    But it is accompanied by the Czech philharmonic. Does this count?
  • Scout wrote:
    I had a one act play on at Glasgow's Oran Mor a few years back and I'm hoping to have my second one on in London later this year. In a couple of weeks I'm going to see a production of Of Mice and Men at the Swansea Grand.
    Oh nice one, what was the show? Was it part of Play/Pie/Pint?

    WorKid wrote:
    So what exactly do you do Kaz?

    Help to run PR for the National Theatre of Scotland. Started out freelancing on project in 2014, and then full-time for the last three years. It's been superb. I like the ethos as a touring company: compared to the National in London we don't have a theatre building, so all our work tours to audiences wherever they are. It means you get a great mix of projects for local communities around the country mixed with stuff that goes all over the world. As someone who had little interest in or knowledge about theatre when I started it's been eye-opening to catch so much world-class stuff over the years. I've gained a huge appreciation for it. 

    Speaking of world-class stuff *cough*, I can highly recommend anyone in Edinburgh catch The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart next month- I think it might be our longest-running and biggest-hit of a show after Black Watch. Also if you're in Brighton or London our show Adam is coming up this year. It ended up being the best reviewed show at last year's Fringe, and is quite possibly one of the most emotive things I've ever seen on a stage. 

    Right, that's enough promotion, I'm meant to be on a sick day.
  • I also want to go watch a ballet this year. Promised myself I’d go try one - just don’t know where to start though. I wanna see something of a decent level and not some am farm version set up by the woman who runs the chip shop.
  • regmcfly
    Show networks
    Twitter
    regmcfly
    Xbox
    regmcfly
    PSN
    regmcfly
    Steam
    martinhollis
    Wii
    something

    Send message
    I am off to see Hamilton next month in London
  • I do a behind the scenes photography project with an Am Dram company that I know, who did a production of The Wedding Singer.  It was actually really good with some of the catchiest songs you'll ever hear.  They even managed to get me on stage briefly to cameo as a wedding photographer, which was quite fun.  It won't be my stepping stone to greatness, right enough.  I'm happy behind the camera.

    Having done a similar thing last year (which was a more troubled production) I wondered why anyone would subject themselves to such torture for free but after seeing the smoother, more enjoyable side of things this year, I absolutely get why people sign up for things like this.

    2Ajjo0t.jpg

    MEhLKVd.jpg

    w27LJ35.jpg

    CJ381mI.jpg

    I also saw Miss Saigon last month in Edinburgh.  Went in pretty much blind and it was fantastic.  

    And last night I went to see Blood Upon the Rose.  A musical take on the true story of Joseph Plunkett and Grace Gifford, who fell in love around the Easter Rising in Dublin.  It's a fairly well known story for those with an interest in it.

    It was crap.  They played to a sold out audience in the Armadillo in Glasgow and a mostly sold out audience in the second half.  The script felt like it was written in a high school drama class, with people referring to each other by their full names and life stories when they met.  Acting was crap (with the obvious exception of the female lead and one or two others) with no one appearing to be talking to each other.  And the music was rotten too.  

    First song started out well enough but the second song in was some horribly mis-judged, bouncy little number about finding a girlfriend that wouldn't have been out of place on CBeebies.

    Lastly, there were two large screens for the benefit of the folk at the back of the theatre.  The cameraman seemed to be someone who'd never used a camera before as he left auto-focus on which kept getting thrown by the stage smoke.  So 50% of the time, the camera was frantically searching for focus.  Infuriating.

    We Googled the show at half time and found out that the actors were amateur so expectations were lowered for the second half.  My sister and I were actually all for bailing at half time but my mum was invested so we stayed.  In fairness the second half was an improvement, mostly because they stopped talking and started shooting.

    Irish accent agogo.



    Tbh, the whole thing seemed geared towards folk whose idea of a good Saturday night is to "Put the rebs oan" (listening to Irish rebel songs) as folk were cheering and clapping whenever anyone said anything about being an Irish hero.

    The only actual highlight of the show was the end.  They sang, "Grace", which is a genuinely lovely song about the whole affair and the crowd joined in.  Had they taken that kind of approach throughout the night, I may have had kinder words about it all.

    Props to the guy a few rows behind me that shouted, "Up the RA!" at the end but got caught out by a false ending so had to try again a minute later.
  • @Kaz

    Yeah, it was a play/pie/pint called Frank's Dead. Great experience and I was rather gutted when they knocked back my new one last year. But it's looking promising that I might get it on in London this year at a small off West end theatre called The White Bear.
  • davyK
    Show networks
    Xbox
    davyK13
    Steam
    dbkelly

    Send message
    If you get a chance to see Rocky Horror Show live I'd go for it. I'd also go for the back half of the seating unless entering into the sprit of it by dressing up as you feel a mite out of touch. It's a brilliant, raucous night no matter what.

    Have been twice if I remember right. Once blessed seeing it with Nicholas Parsons as the narrator.
  • Scout wrote:
    @Kaz

    Yeah, it was a play/pie/pint called Frank's Dead. Great experience and I was rather gutted when they knocked back my new one last year. But it's looking promising that I might get it on in London this year at a small off West end theatre called The White Bear.

    That’s excellent man, hope it comes through for you. Always find the P/P/P stuff to be very hit-and-miss, but it is a great platform for getting new work out there. If I ever pull my finger out and actually write anything I know I’d appreciate it more!
  • Perfect casting.

    Come with g if you want to live...
  • :D
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • @Kazuo Can I bother you for totally off-the-record opinions on Aberdeen Performing Arts and Cumbernauld Theatre?

    How are they seen from inside the industry? Good at some things, particularly? Crap at what others?
  • Good bump! I should have really posted something while the Edinburgh Festivals were on.

    What's the context? APA are a great organisation, they do a lot of good work supporting performance work of different sizes and disciplines in a city that's hardly a cultural haven. Most touring theatre or performance up there will end up in one of their venues, His Majesty's or The Lemon tree, and the work they do in carving out a niche for Aberdeen on the country's cultural map, when it's consistently overshadowed by Glasgow, Edinburgh, and perhaps even Dundee these days, is definitely lauded. 

    Even when I was a young, green freelancer cutting my teeth on shows that were in different venues in the area they had a lovely old PR person who would go out of her way to help me in terms of contacts and nudging journalists for coverage. Sadly I think she's left now! We've partnered with them on various projects in the last few years (and have another coming up in November I think), mostly participatory, and they perform a vital gatekeeping role in terms of helping local engagement and creative learning programmes. 

    Cumbernauld are one of those small local theatres that brings good work to the community, a vital stop for small-scale work when it's touring the country, but they're also a really good producing outfit that offer a lot of support to emerging artists and companies. The work they support often goes on to acclaim: Their current company in residence Company of Wolves (who funnily enough I also used to freelance for) have just taken the Fringe by storm with their show Achilles, and Cumbernauld were also involved in the development of Expensive Shit, which was part of the Made in Scotland Showcase in 2016 and won a clutch of Edinburgh festival awards. So yeah, good eggs.

    Hopefully helpful? Happy to chat further if ya need it.
  • That’s awesome, thanks fella.

    Background research for work (one is a client, the other might be soon) and a bit of opinion from the horse’s mouth is worth a thousand Google searches or corporate mission statements.

    I’ll read up on Achilles …
  • It was quite unlike anything I've seen in a long time. They're a good bunch, the Wolves, very out-there but nobody else in the country is doing work quite like they are. Think this is going to do a wee tour later in the year so do keep an eye out.
  • Grand.

    (By the way, our agency designed the NTS brand … small world eh?)
  • It is indeed, happily so sometimes.

    I had really meant to post something around Edinburgh Fests for those that were in town (I regret missing @tin_robot while he was up) as there were a ton of brilliant shows to recommend. According to figures today it was another record-breaking year as well, with nearly 3million tickets issued. Culture may not be dead, but my immune system certainly is. Thanks Edinburgh.

    Oh well, straight onto Edwin Morgan's Cyrano de Bergerac (the star of my new OP pic). At least Tramway is a venue I can walk to from my house.
  • I’ve heard good things about this Cyrano. Might try persuading the Mrs to join me for a trip south of the river to see it. I haven’t actually been to a performance at Tramway since Alan Cummings’ Macbeth.

    Only made it to the Five Letters opening event at the Festival this year. Projection mapping is in danger of becoming passé, but two out of the five short pieces were really rather good, so it’s not quite dead yet.

    Closing fireworks tonight, but I’m staying in Glasgow.
  • I really do recommend this Cyrano, it's going to be excellent. Though we've produced it it's also the Citz's first show at Tramway during their big refurb, so will be good to have them hit the ground running. I'll be suited and booted at opening night on the 5th so wave if you see me.

    I was at Five Telegrams as well, though the crowd management sucked so I barely saw half of the projections from my vantage point. I was standing next to our Head of Lighting during it and the fact that he couldn't hold himself back from clapping and exclaiming in delight at various points was very sweet.
  • Mrs Poprock was about to be outraged at the older lady climbing on a chair right in front of her, blocking her view, until said older lady stated to sing. Bloody immersive choir people …
  • While you're there Kaz and doling out advice can I badger you for some more...

    I mentioned earlier that I'd had a Play Pie Pint on a few years back. Since then I've written a second but they knocked it back. I thought I was getting it on in a small pub theatre in London called The White Bear but it's looking like they've messed me around now and it's not happening.

    So really I'm asking for any advice on where I can go with it next. I'm mostly a screenwriter so I have practically no contacts or experience in the world of theatre (outside of Oran Mor). Should I be speaking to Playwright Studio Scotland, NTS, or trying to get it to theatre companies? Any advice much appreciated!
‹ Previous12

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!