Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back on planet normal, and the final event for the Words@ Frome Festival team: prize-giving night for Writers in Residence, at the Garden Cafe. "An amazing achievement", judge Lindsay Clarke says of these stories scribbled in cafes and shops and bravely read aloud by their writers for his verdict: Gordon Graft and Tim O'Connor commended for two highly entertaining stories, and Tracy Wall taking top prize for her millinery- inspired poem.
Lindsay is 'not one of nature's judges' he says, but he's unfailingly eloquent on the subject of writing. Among his salient gems: "A good sentence is a breath taking shape, so it can’t carry too much in the way of excess baggage." "Qualifiers are not intensifiers, they weaken. Find the verb that dramatises."

What is the collective name for drama enthusiasts & practitioners? An OST-group would be Tuesday's answer. Open Space Technology, if you're not familiar with the concept (I wasn't), was devised in the 1980s which accounts for the slightly last-century jargon of ("We did vision that work but it's hard to progress in this funding landscape though we're making bridges") and Theatre Bristol's To You To Me session attracted over 100 writers, performers, directors, and fans to Bristol Old Vic to contemplate the creative future. OST has few rules and they all have a cosily indulgent flavour - the 'Law of Mobility' encourages participants to buzz off when bored - which was further enhanced by bowls of cherries and maltesers, and a scrummy greek supper after the debates were all done. A relaxed non-cliquey atmosphere is a great way to network, and Niamh and came back enthused, informed, and entertained, and very pleased to have found this bridge into the Theatre Bristol landscape.

Miracle Theatre is touring their adaptation of Tartuffe, Molière's once-scandalous parody of the hypocrisy of the Church and gullibility of the bourgeoisie, in an open-air season. They arrived in Frome on Thursday and were instantly diverted by torrential showers to the Merlin stage. Bill Scott’s version of the text plumps for one-liner wit rather than scrupulous translation or conventional rhyming couplet, and the overall effect of marionette-show–cum–farce is clearly designed for the picnic season theatre-goer, but it’s a wonderful high-energy romp nonetheless, with Ben Dyson as villain-hero Tartuffe effortlessly stealing every scene. For this preposterous drollery Molière was apparently dubbed 'a demon dressed in flesh' but it's still the most performed play in the French language, and has that strange vicar-in-the-wardrobe kind of innocence of a bygone era.

1 comment:

Alan Summers said...

Well done Tracy! I read Tracy's poem before as I was unable to attend the event in Frome, and knew it was fabulous.

Tracy has a certain magical way with words which is quite extraordinary.