Friday, February 07, 2014

Topicality and timelessness

Just when you thought I'd never write about anything except Media Monsters (it's still going really well btw, see this stonking review from the Fine Times Recorder) here comes something completely different: Last week was the official premiere of the new animation from Evil Genius:  The Patsy, a clever, witty, and all-round-brilliant animated parody of classic film genres with the topical theme of political whistleblowers on the run.  Previous shorter tales from Grime City are already cult classics but at 22 minutes this story gives a chance for writers Sam Morrison (surname entirely non-coincidental) and Andrew Endersby to develop characters and sustain a complex storyline.  Credit too goes to Ian Hickman, responsible for much of the animation. Massive impact on The Cube's big screen but designed for small-screen too so if you don't get to many animation festivals, look out for it on C4 before long.

And I couldn't miss Chris Goode's Infinite Lives, a Tobacco Factory Theatre production, which opened this week. I saw and loved The Adventures of Wound Man and Shirley by Chris, which was strange, lyrical, moving and funny, so I arrived at the Brewery with high expectations. I wasn't disappointed. If you wanted a 20 word summary I'd say this is a treatise on loneliness, erotica as love, and broadband as the only communication we now know, exquisitely written and brilliantly presented.  Narrated by 'John', an agoraphobic obsessed with a gay porn website (he's played mesmerically by Ray Scannell), this lucid and compassionate story is vividly animated by projections (Alex Wright) and sound (Timothy X Atack) and superbly directed by Nik Partridge. The script is moving, funny, and sometimes sublime ~ as when John plans his futuristic novel: "There's got to be an enemy.. or maybe not, maybe it's like porn: no one says no, and it's beautiful." I don't want to do spoilers as this fantastic piece is on till 15th February, but John may ultimately find that although connection which isn't through technology brings pain, it can bring redemption too.

Still other the topic of other topics, a quick shift to radio now as rehearsals begin for a Frome FM drama project: Quantock Close, an Everyday Story of Fromie Folk. Five local writers have produced 10 scripts for a pilot series following the Archeresque dilemmas of a group of rural townies, with incomers and locals bantering and bickering over beers ~ or rather Pinot Grigio now the alehouse is updating into a wine-bar.  Becky Baxter has on taken the directing role, full cast now assembled, and we have a month to run-through the scripts and tweak them to time for Frome FM producer Phil Moakes's alloted broadcasting slot.  Grayson Perry allegedly paints to the BBC prototype, so this could be good news for Frome's booming artist community.

Finally... two more chances to see Monsters if you book soon ~ the Alma Tavern Theatre has been increasingly crammed all week.  I'll be posting the final roundup of feedback next week and you'll be eating your fist with disappointment if you miss out. 

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