Wednesday, May 30, 2012

And finally... culmination of all those weeks of planning. Mascara has opened at Alma Tavern Theatre. Ann Stiddard's set looked brilliant under Luke Murray's lighting design, the audience laughed at the meant-to-be funny bits and applauded wildly at the end, and Olivia Dennis & Oliver Millingham were simply fabulous.
I'm so proud of the whole team, including of course my intuitive and inventive director Steve Hennessy, who's also artistic director of Stepping Out Theatre Company. Phew... can't wait to see if feedback is as good as it was for the Frome preview - it should be!

If you'd been too busy for telly for two weeks and suddenly got a free day, what would you first watch On Demand? For me it's two comedies, both previously unknown and now, in their second series, suddenly recognised as writing genius. Episodes and Grandma's House are both superbly acted, full of wry social observation on the painful absurdity of relationships, and both about creative struggles ~ specifically with dramatic scripts. The Episodes couple (played by wonderful Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig) are finding Hollywood about as dreamy as a bull-invaded china-shop; Simon Amstell's hell-is-other-people experience comes from his family, who would be truly monstrous if they weren't so appallingly funny. Even Grandma can't bear to watch and goes off to count her shoes when Simon's hopes of production are crushed by the train-crash of his relations in the final episode of series 2. Will there be another? Personally I hope they quit while they're ahead - both of them - rather than go the way of some of my other favourites like Being Human, subverting initial energy into clone characters and convoluted plot twists. I'd rather mourn them as classics.

May is simmering to an end, June is poised to burst out all over, must be time to promote the next Frome Poetry Cafe. We have three terrific guests: Carrie Etter and Alasdair Paterson are joined by newcomer Robbie Vane ~ should be an amazing night at Frome's Garden Cafe on June 13th!

1 comment:

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