Monday, 4 March 2013

What and Who

What I should be doing rarely coincides with what I am doing.
Who I should be doing rarely coincides with who I am doing.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Christmas Dinner - Review

A couple of types of people that are entertaining to watch and listen to are comedians and obnoxious people. The absolute most entertaining people to watch and listen to are obnoxious people who think they’re comedians and that’s just what Second Skin Theatre’s new venture, “The Christmas Dinner”, by Duncan Stevens, provides. What could be better to get you into the Christmas mood than watch four characters you definitely couldn’t stand in real life drive each other crazy with anecdotes that would shame the Daily Mail (not that that’s difficult) and scandals to rock the purple walled basement boat.

Clara and Terrence are having a Christmas meal complete with expensive brandy and refillable bottles of red burgundy (as you do) and even with a rather unimpressive centrepiece they endeavour to get sloshed with their friends Richard and Rachel. What follows is a partly improvised performance of some of the worst – in a good way – jokes you will hear this Christmas, including those your Uncle decides to share after a few glasses of port. From Rachel’s third world experiences that changed her, apparently from an irritating but wholesomely hilarious high society diva who laughs at her own poor jokes to an equally irritating high society diva but who’s been on a safari on a gin addled stomach... and still laughs at her own very poor jokes. Then there’s Richard’s homework from the couple therapy sessions that prove more embarrassing as a result of his own guilt and Terrence’s resulting wordplay that really makes the audience gleam with guiltily gleeful giggles, a response all the actor’s feed off. The meal soon turns into something more sinister and disturbing but in a very different way.

Andy McQuade directs leaving room for the small and the big changes that a partly improvised script needs, but never forgetting the crucial moments that make the story work. The performances here are so easy to watch with a chemistry and a true ensemble that never wanes. George Collie performs Richard with a terrific posh pout whenever he is interrupted and a notorious “yah” at the end of each sentence so as to ensure the lowly beings in the room are grasping the significance of his words and the importance of his presence, a hard feat with a wife like Rachel and her sarcastic input between wine slurps. From the coke snorting to the agonising embarrassment, Collie is a riot. Sarita Plowman makes Rachel the perfect self aware and slightly intoxicated sidekick whose main aim is to bring her husband back down to a more manageable level, which sometimes seems to be six feet under where the ground has swallowed him up. Then there’s the lovely Clara, played by Sally Lofthouse, who brings the most low key performance to the table, quite literally and purposefully. Lofthouse still conveys one-liners and utter disgust with gusto but displays at least a little sense and human decency, or so she would have you think. Terrence is her husband, a cocky city worker with a penchant for defending his very purple surroundings and with a knack for poking fun at the others with satisfyingly quick puns. Matthew Howell portrays very real joy at his own comedic success which is sometimes funnier than the wordplay and brings a completely relaxed and unashamed presence to the room.

Duncan Stevens has written a show of disturbing intensity whether the characters are talking rubbish, making jokes, eating food, being menacing or dealing with the end of their days, but it never ceases to leave the audience and the characters on the edge, waiting for the inevitable doom you kind of hope comes to them. He writes with a wicked sense of humour that effortlessly translates to stage and to Andy McQuade’s dark direction.

You won’t be disappointed. Just go and laugh at some annoyingly posh people and their ultimate demise... Playing until Sunday.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Ten Things

(I know, I know, you wait and wait for a blog entry and then three come along at once, like buses and orgasms)

Ten things that ain't my bag baby.

1 - Telling someone to "shut their face". An old fashioned shut up or fuck off should suffice.

2 - Slow internet. It's 2012, I just paid 2 British pounds to use this computer, you bastard.

3 - Coffee you hadn't realised had gone cold and subsequently took a large gulp of. Ugh.

4 - Text talk. I'm well old now and texts from my friends should back this up.

5 - Farmville requests from Mother. It's not big and it's not clever and I don't care about the virtual butter churn!

6 - Sexy men who don't find me sexy remotely. What are you for?!

7 - Game releases that subsequently cause 90% of the men in my life to mysteriously vanish.

8 - Racism. It's not cool. I'm a humanist. You're a human. Come here and give me a bloody hug.

9 - Raves, to enjoy them you apparently need a lot of drugs. Throw me in a mosh pit any time, where all you need is long hair and a penchant for brutality.

10 - Sushi. It's just laziness isn't it.

You might describe most of those as "First World Problems". But this isn't Twitter. So hush.

Chapter One

He asked her if she knew her name.

She cried "no!".

He asked her if she would look at him.

She cried "no!"

He asked her if she knew where she was.

She cried "no!"

He asked her why she wept.

She cried "no!"

He left and she lifted her head and sighed, tears running from her eyes.

Echos shivered down the corridor and into her dark room.

(The lights made her shake. They learnt this early on.)

She listened hard and heard the man yell in the distance like a shrieking guttural ape.

"She'll remember, you bastard!"

She peeked at the camera, light glowing red.

It heard every word and so did she.

And she remembered.

Mighty Interesting Letter of Note

(Borrowed from 'Letters from an Atheist Nation' (1903) via

Why am I an Atheist

Because it has dawned upon me that it is right to be so, and upon investigation I find no real evidence of the divine origin of the scriptures. And because I cannot, as a refined and respectable woman, take to my bosom as a daily guide a book of such low morals and degrading influences. Written by a lot of priests, I cannot accept a salvation that is based wholly upon the dreams of an ancient and superstitious people, with no proof save blind faith.

Everything that so many people think transpires from the supernatural, and many things that would really perplex the average mind, have a natural and material foundation in the workings of the human mind; that is, things that are not connected with our solar system.

It is ignorance of the scientific working of their own natures and mind that keep so much "mystery" in the air; and as long as there is a mystery afloat the people will ascribe it to the supernatural.

I am an Atheist because I know the Bible will not do to depend upon. I have tried it, and found it wanting.

In fact, I found in the scriptures the origin of woman's slayer, and that it was one of God's main points to oppress women and keep them in the realms of ignorance.

I am in the ranks of Liberalism because of its elevating principles, its broad road to freedom of thought, speech, and investigation.

23 years old
Leonard, Texas