runaway train…

My apologies, I have been out of blog-mode for quite some time now. That’s what happens when life and work take over – not unlike a runaway train whizzing down hills and around mountains, expecting to find an uphill slope round every corner that will slow it down.

Instead, there were a couple of bridges down as we approached, which we managed to leap across, jolted but essentially undamaged.

To explain – we had to postpone our production of The Fall of June Bloom till July, (June in July, has quite a nice ring to it!) due to unforeseen circumstances.

So, I’ve been concentrating on the other production I have been involved with, Brave New World Order: a serious rock comedy, and it is now into its second and final week.

BNWO has been quite a journey, with many fascinating performance questions coming out of the rehearsal process. First and foremost of these is: how do you play comedy?  Do you try to be funny, and take the micky out of your character, and the script as you do so, or do you try to be real and allow the audience to find what happens funny in the context of the world of the play?  How is it that some people can be wildly outrageous and yet real at the same time, while others can be deadly serious and straight, and yet still be very funny?  Just where do you draw the line, as a performer, between the outrageous and the real?  Because there is no doubt that sometimes being outrageous turns into disrespectful, while sometimes being ‘normal’ means the humour is totally lost.

As a director, I have struggled to help different actors find their own way to make that difficult choice.  It would be lovely if there were hard and fast rules that everybody could follow, but I don’t believe there are. People are complex, and so is comedy.

Feel free to disagree!

The Sound of Quality

30 June 2010