Friday 22 April 2016

Milton Keynes, face value....

Come bombs,
Fall on Milton Keynes,
We've had enough of spending schemes,
Of Bar Ones, iPhone shops and Maccy Ds,
A place rife with a consumer's disease,

Come nukes,

Tear it to shreds
Break the concrete spires from their beds,
Shatter the glass fronted automatic doors,
Splinter apart the eyebrow weaving stalls.
This piped music, make it stop,
Unplug the band locked in a box,
Locked in a room, locked in a trance,
Playing free will's funereal dance,
Come missiles,
Target the shops,
Make the produce burn in rented slots,
Destroy the vapid altar's capitalist call,
'Two for one' on your very soul,
Set it ablaze, burn it into the night,
So all can see how again we might
Reclaim this plot for decent folk,
Out from under the pound's yoke.
(My hands are bloodied from pounding
On grey walls,
Did you notice Milton Keynes?)

Monday 28 March 2016

Oh Lymphadenopathy ~

Oh Lymphadenopathy,
Why are you ontop of me?
Not on top in physicality,
But under the neck intolerably.
There was some penicillin for me,
To combat you Lymphadenopathy,
But I have run out of the things completely,
And now am dangerously self medicatory.
I feel like a golf ball makes up my anatomy,
My neck twice the size it ought to be,
Swallowing is an agony to me,
A cramping fire of crampery ~
I hope you get made extinctery!
Cured from the annals of medical history,
A distant unpleasant memory,
To exhausted and suffering people like me.
So screw you Lymphadenopathy,
A stupid name that hinders me,
Not a simple word are you Lymphadenopathy?
One that requires 'control' and 'v'.

Sunday 3 January 2016

The Ickney ~

We came to the Heath
Hand wrapped and numb
Waiting through water for
The offering;
A pardon given for my ignorance,
Ours for the fire let only inside,
And waited in the Circle.
To the north a hearty salutation
No less the east, west and south,
A green air waiting with pulse
As hammers,
I had never felt to close my eyes,
The spoken void now seen to me,
All time waiting in the turn of a head,
The horse stepped out from the reign,
The dead present too like sentinel trees bowing silver silent in the half gloom,
My girl muttering the invocation in
A daze and there the horse rode our hearts towards the Circle.
Ten hands tall and bone, he looked at me, chose me to not choose,
And strode like a fighter from the dead ground we had opened.
Opened he was challenged, with virtues spoken,
beaten back to bless the year in defeat,
By green bough shining hopeful and the year to come growing
From our shaking feet.

Saturday 2 January 2016

The Blacksmith Who Chased The Moon ~ Stuff of Dreams Theatre Review

The New Cut at Halesworth is a modern and spacious venue that is currently housing 'Stuff of Dreams' Christmas show, 'The Blacksmith who Chased the Moon'. Adapted from 'The Night Before Christmas' by Gogol and placed in Suffolk, Stuff of Dreams merge classic story telling with contemporary references to create a delightful and detailed theatre piece, with a strong cast working together. The emphasis is on ingenious stagecraft. Fight sequences are vivid circus moves, journeys across the moonless landscape take place with mime and decisive characteristics, sound effects are simple guitar strums. I was delighted also with the synergy of the costumes, which were very beautiful and exciting. The set was unobtrusive and effective, allowing the focus to fall on the action. There are notable performances, namely Thomas Wingfield as Fabian, the titular Blacksmith, whose moments of physical comedy are balanced well with pathos. Steve Peck as the Devil began slowly but quickly gained momentum as he tricks the characters and plays with the audience; Ben Elder as Darwin was commanding (including a very funny moment as a towns person) whilst Cicely Long was diverse and proficient in her roles: a warm friend and a very amusing wife. The cast came together well, with beautiful and sublime singing at the opening and closing of the play. Cordelia Spence's direction is fast and intricate, working with Anthony Cule's very expansive script. I felt that the diatribe could have afforded a tighten in places, but be in no doubt that it is a very accomplished adaptation to Gogol's famous tale. The pace is quick and well choreographed and you really never know what is next. One thing is sure, you will laugh out loud and leave the theatre feeling good. I was pleased that we weren't subjected to an empty popularist Christmas message. This is a company that cares deeply about their art and has the expertise to do that passion justice. 4/5 Performing 2nd/3rd January 2016 The New Cut Halesworth

Tuesday 30 December 2014

brushstroke ~

2014 has been a year that has seen me create and sustain thus far a successful theatre enterprise with my partner and friends; Strange Fascination has become quickly a greater success than I hoped to imagine. We are well received and approached to bring our unique shows to many venues throughout the region in 2015, we are respected, we are well in profit. Not many can claim as much.

However, I still pursued my acting career independent of these plans and found myself wanting. Living as I do with depression, I am often hard pressed to bring into effect those techniques and principles so heavily studied during my near two years of alcohol rehabilitation. My environment was not supportive of artist credibility, nor was it a place where one could work well as I had found with our own company, where collaboration, mutual respect and friendship were key. I became despondent, upset. Ignored artistically and made to feel isolated, I left that arena as a wholly disgruntled professional and look forward to more like minded collaborations in the future.

As 2014 draws to a close, we are happy and secure after some fortunate financial occurrences and are booked well into next year with SF. We have a holiday to Peru booked for March. Daisy is designing for our next show, 'Secrets' which I am busy writing. My January is spent in my home town doing cooperate work, a very good earner indeed. I'm looking forward to that. A chance to not only earn money for the start of the new year (as theatre creatures, I'm sure you appreciate the need to secure finances often) but a chance to revisit the hometown to put demons to rest. Whatever that means.

2015 hopes to be a year where our theatre company expands further and with Paul's excellent financial savvy, Daisy's ingenious creative talent and my, well, my prop collection (!!!!) we aim to increase our yield both fiscally and artistically. We might not be quite ready for the National, but I see it happening. Why not? We are motivated by good work, by people who work well with us; good people attract good people.

So, a brief summation of a year spent and hopes for the year to come. A year where I surprised myself in many ways and grew further as an artist and an advocate of speaking one's mind, if indeed there is occasion and need to speak it.

Happy New Year!


Monday 26 May 2014

New Millie Dreams ~

Woke up from dreams of being the 6th Beatle that no one ever says, 'oh, he was so nearly in the Fab Four...' to find Millie nowhere to be seen. She wasn't in the Oliver Reed lounge or asleep on the wicker hammock. Concerned, I called down to the temporary groundsman, Bernay, who believes he is the human embodiment of pi,
"Have you seen Millie this morning?"
Leaving Daisy tied up, I decided to search the grounds of Barton House in order to locate my cat. It was a fine morning, the flamingoes were up early, practising their close harmony singing and the parachutist was swaying gently in the soft breeze, preparing a simple repast of coffee and salmon on toast, which was a new diet his doctor had suggested.
In the distance the US 8th Army moved across the horizon, it's columns stretching as far as the eye could see. Wearied from battle but triumphant; Japan was defeated without bloodshed or atom bombs, but with the largest military tiddlywinks engagement man had ever seen. Tempers no doubt had been high. Thumbs were sore.
As I approached the summer house, I heard the dulcet sounds of many string instruments being plucked and moved in unison, the resulting air shimmered with a delicate balance of sounds; a careful structure that delighted and amazed in it's precision and inventiveness. Intrigued, I carefully eased the door further open and peeked in. There, beyond a table of teapots and buttered toast was Millie and a host of local cats, gently practising their newest composition, claws deftly extended to tease the most profound of sounds from their instruments.
Tiptoeing in, I sat in a chair to listen and watch, pouring a cup of tea and flicking a kibble off a slice of toast.
In the distance the sound was picked up by a US signalman and mistaken for a Japanese counter attack.
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Monday 5 May 2014

The Neighbour poems

Oh, Mr. Strimmer Man
Oh, Mr. Strimmer Man, have you considered,
How your mechanized whippings might be delivered,
To the ears of those restfully still in slumber,
Or trying to get their heads awake and into order,
I know your path is unruly and overgrown,
But Mr. Strimmer man you are alone,
In thinking such activity is in anyway community,
As we have yet to reach the time of seven thirty,
Please, Mr. Strimmer man, have a heart and turn off
Your strimming apparatus and make it stop,
My head is alive with the sound of a million bees,
And I feel the vibrations into my knees,
Just an hour’s more kip would be so welcome,
Not the sound of your landscaping indiscretion,
So please, Mr. Strimmer man, go and have some brekkie,
That path will still be there considering it’s pebbly.

(2 hours later)
Oh, Mr. Mower man
Oh, Mr. Strimmer man, you’ve now advanced to mowing,
How fast do you think the grass in your garden is growing?
You’ve been at it for three hours and no sign of respite,
I can only assume you are trimming the very air and sunlight,
As it is a tiny lawn that is smaller than your house,
Perhaps you like the sound the mower makes drowning out your spouse.
I should be thankful though, you are stopping me from dozing,
I was up till three am on editing so I should continue working,
I should be thankful too that as I peeked out the curtain,
You are fully attired this time with more than just a shirt on.