Sunday, 23 October 2011

'Lovesong' and The 'Hang of the Gaol'

This post is overdue. By about 24 hours. I should have written it as soon I was home last night. But I've let things mull over and form in my head before I can bash out the keys. I once again feel inspired. The creative cogs are turning again and this makes me incredibly happy. Why? Because I've been to some pretty inspirational events over the past few days.

Friday consisted of a visit to Warwick Arts Centre to see Frantic Assembly's production of Lovesong. The main reason behind seeing this play? Ed Bennett. Always a bonus. The play has been written by Abi Morgan ('The Hour' and the upcoming film 'The Iron Lady'). An incredibly emotional story, beautifully devised and performed. Incorporating multimedia and contemporary dance. It tells the tale of a couple very much at love, at pivotal moments in their lives; being younger and being older. Ed and Leanne (Rowe) play them in the early years of their marriage whilst, along side them Sam Cox and Sian Phillips play them in the winter of their lives.

It was incredibly moving and by the time the house lights went up it was apparent that quite a number of the audience, of which many were students, were sobbing. And then we laughed at this strange outpouring of emotion in a public place. Because, hey, we're British.

Abi writes about time and humanity in such a real way. You become very aware during the show, of how short life can be even if it can last many years. How death affects those we leave behind more than those who die. Especially those that we call 'soulmates'.


Then Saturday was a different setting but just as interesting. We went to see a rehearsed reading at the new RSC's Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford upon Avon. 'Hang at the Gaol' written by Howard Barker. This play was put on by the RSC many years ago and the reading comes as part of a series of events to celebrate it's 50th year. Barker was commissioned 10 times by the RSC and 10 of his plays performed. 'Hang' was deemed a favourite and chosen to be performed for this. The reading was performed by 12 actors. They included Sam Alexander, Ricky Champ and Forbes Masson. All of whom I have seen perform in RSC productions in the past 7 years.
Baker's writing is somewhat dark comedy. Serious theme but with farcical events. Strange and it went on for quite a while. Though a quick comfort break meant taking in a lovely view of the surrounding Warwickshire countryside. I forgot to take a photo!

I've also never seen a rehearsed reading before. It was certainly entertaining and I'd love to do one. We were quite a small audience up in the Ashcroft Room. All the more special.

It was great to be back there and see the new theatre as well as visit old haunts.

So I feel I'm back into the theatre swing and want to write some of my own works. But we'll see. I can barely keep a blog up to date. I just lack the confidence. So watch this space.

I've caught up with friends this weekend and feel more positive about life. Sunday night blues begone.

Back end of the RST.
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