Wednesday, October 09, 2013

"Fantastic theatre.." ~ twitter has spoken!

 I made it to the one-day intensive rehearsal of my 'cheeky Short Trip' as Venue, Tom Phillips, and Theatre West et al have been tweeting Muffin Man, playing before Tom's second week of 100 Miles From Timbuktu. Seeing a director working with the actors to lift your play off the page is a gold-dust experience for any writer: Alison Farina's approach is to focus on the interplay between public and private personas at the heart of my play, interrogating Meghan Leslie and Andrew Kingston to find the subtext "which is how you get to the emotional truth". Fascinating.
This is week 2 of extreme convalescence, and I'm still judiciously jettisoning a lot of activities... frustrating but Virusgate has made this essential. Not, obviously, jettisoning my first night! It was great to have family & friends joining me at the Alma Tavern Theatre to watch both my play and the main feature:  100 Miles North of Timbuktu.

Tom's play is based on an intriguing premise:If you could sit at your laptop and change the weather anywhere in the world, what would you do? Create a little light mist to beautify Lake Windermere for a poetry conference? Arrange for a shower to spoil school sports day, or sunshine to glamorise a wedding? Genius nerd Zac is inundated with such requests when the world discovers he can make it rain in the Sahara, but his partner Pete knows the lucrative way to go: “Offensive weather, the ultimate weapon of mass destruction!” It's an offer the MOD can’t refuse, but as ‘Whatsisface who split the atom’ also found, such forces once unleashed can go unstoppably beyond control… this is the darker side of Tom Phillips’ chaotic, clever, farce set in a seedy office in Chapel Street, with Marc Geoffrey as Zac, Piers Wehner as social-media manipulator Pete and Kirsty Cox as Clare their MOD chum. Directed by Hannah Drake with lots of witty visual detail, the story builds up to a frenetic climax reminiscent of Young Ones anarchy combined with quite a bit of Walmington-on-Sea ‘don’t panic’ mania… a uniquely original concept ingeniously developed in a sharp script which is thought-provoking as well as very funny.

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