It’s a beautiful world

I watched the Shawshank redemption the other night, sadly it was on very late and perhaps even worse it was on commercial TV. This means that just as the film turns a corner, an ad break comes on for aproximately 7 minutes.

I dislike advertisements. Actually, I hate them. I really hate them.

I hate everything about them, hate hate hate hate.

I despise mindless consumerism anyway. I’m suspicious of most technology as it seems to only want to take your money off you.

However, what I particularly despise is the ‘vie-faux’ of the adverts on TV.

Everybody is a model, they all live in large houses, everybody smiles all the time, they’re all up to fabulous things such as attending parties with tigers, or dancing in a Mediterranean palace with svelt nymphs feeding on fresh grapes and Belgian chocolates.  Car adverts show deserted roads that lead to mysterious destinations.

Of course it’s all sales. Selling a life of carefree, sexy and eternal youth with whatever the latest product is; alcohol or mobile phones seem to be the ones whom make the most expensive adverts.

However, the picture on the left of this screen shows you the local shopping precinct in Hindley. In the stores here you can place a bet on a horse or a dog, you can buy magazines that feature anorexic looking models living in fabulous houses and pretend that actually your life isn’t so completely shit for a while

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The ramblings of a mad man

If you are unfortunate enough to bump into me in the darkest parts of Hindley Green, then you may well think that I am rather insane.

For at the moment, I wander about with a Harris Tweed jacket and an MP3 player, muttering to myself.

I’m learning lines, however, so I do stroll about saying things like ‘Dashed rotten business’ and ‘I say old girl’.

This however leads to me reflecting on my own mental health. Thing is, I tend to act like the character I’m playing, so at the moment I’m using a lot of RP, calling everybody ‘old girl, old boy, or old chap’. I even shouted at a lady who attempted to run me over this morning in a 1930’s style.

I’m sure my family are glad that I didn’t go for a part in ‘Hi De Hi’ as boundless cheerfulness is worse than my usual misanthropy.

 

It’s the way I tell ’em.

Well, the curtain fell last night for the final performance of Streetcar.

Today I’m rehearsing ‘Murdered to Death’ which is a comedy/farce/whodunnit piece which I have to admit is very funny.

Tennesee Williams wasn’t reknowned for his gags. Indeed, I told two of his jokes in Steetcar which never got a laugh!

Of course the jokes were racist given that the play was set in 1948 and had the N word. So I suppose the audience would have felt uncomfortable laughing. It was either that or my dodgy Louisianna accent!

Streetcar was very well recieved though by the theatre goers which was good to see as the show is on nearby by a so called professional outfit which by all accounts wasn’t a patch on the Wigan theatre version.

Once Murdered to Death is finished I’m taking a break from theatre. I need to spend some time with my family as I’ve been in shows almost constantly from last year.

 

 

Yawn

Well moving house is not my idea of fun. Firstly why do I own so much junk? Secondly why do I now have it my new house?

Today I have been up in the attic packing away stuff from our old house that we never use. Hmm.

Still, it’s been good exercise I suppose. My trousers now keep falling down, maybe that is just the Benny Hill in me coming out though.

In between moving house, unpacking etc I’ve been on stage each evening in A Streetcar Named Desire. My scenes seem to involve a lot of fighting, which unsurprisingly is also exhausting. I think it is worth noting that Tennessee Williams wasn’t much of gag merchant!

Oh well I must dash as the theatre beckons.

Aurevoir Fitzy

Well, Panto finished last night. It’s been tremendous fun to do, arduous at times but so worthwhile. I might be able to pop some video clips on here if I can figure out the technology. Sadly I wasn’t able to stay for the aftershow party for too long, pity really as the cast & directors have been great fun.

My buttocks are relieved however. Getting a swift boot up there each night has taken it’s toll and there have been occasions when it wasn’t only my buttocks that received a blow. Let’s just say I’m glad I’m not planning any more children.  So, the moustache has gone for now, so have the big hats and gratuitous eye-liner.

Today was rehearsal for Streetcar, which I’m also looking forward too. I love the intensity of the play and it’s such a fine cast. Once more I left with bruises but I’m brimming with confidence about the next production.

Bad dreams and costume failures.

Sorry I’ve not updated the blog recently. The thing is, I’ve been busy with real things. Never mind, such trivialities as life means that my preferred status as a ‘flight of fancy’ seeker are disrupted at times.

However, panto rehearsals have been long and frankly ill tempered at times, work has been predictably busy too.

The nearer I get to a show, the more anxious I become. This week I’ve had dreams where I’m swearing profusely at a gorilla on stage, despite the audience being made of up children.

Then had dreams where my costume had a hunchback sewn into it.

All perfectly normal prior to the show opening of course.

I remember one dream prior to a show, where the director asked me to include a speech about Richard Nixon half way through. Others have featured mega-stars in the audience who boo loudly!

I’m not overly concerned though. I know that by February this panto will be spot on.

NB Panto runs 6th of Jan till 21st Jan.

Remember to smile and don’t get too cross

The building below is home to Wigan Little Theatre. A place that is fast becoming a second home/place of work! It’s a marvellous building, and incredible to think that it is a amateur theatre company that owns it. It has a great stage, that is large enough to handle most productions, a superb bar for those after show drinks. The lighting and sound facilities are of a very high standard too. It’s a joy to work in as the whole place has a very professional vibe about it. Given that the other week whilst playing in a less auspicious venue, half the ceiling fell onto the stage and the changing rooms were..erm well small. It’s nothing short of an honour to play there.

However, being part of the company means more than simply getting up on the stage. A myriad of jobs need to be undertaken, which is why tonight, I am going to be the nice man who orientates newcomers to the building and shows people to their seats.

Given my recent bout of illness I will try not to look like ‘Lurch’ from the Adams family, nor be too much like Basil Fawlty. I’ll have to treat it as a performance given my current grumpiness and grey complexion.

The final curtain

Well Guys and Dolls has finished. It was such fun to do as well. We sold out and the show went down a treat with the audience.

The after-show party was amazing fun too. A karaoke unlike any I have been to, that is, one where everybody had exceptional voices.

I always feel a little sad and at a loss after a production. Last night was the first in over a week where I haven’t sung ‘Oldest Established permanent floating crap game in New York’. That in itself felt strange.

The voice is rather hoarse at the moment but I have no time to rest for the pantomime rehearsals start on Wednesday this week.

For your entertainment and amusement I offer a photo of me dressed as ‘Big Jule’ the shortest gangster in East Cicero.

It’s show time

Guys and Dolls opens this week in sun drenched Wigan.

We’ve had a fair amount of publicity in the local press and if modesty permits, a rather good shot of me as the grumpy gangster Big Jule.

Rehearsals coincided with a heat wave however. Yesterday I spent 5 hours in costume in temperatures of 30c whilst wearing a double breasted suit and tie, fedora and camel hair coat complete with scarf. Today, I feel utterly exhausted.

The trouble with being an amatueur is that of course one has to maintain a job outside of production, unlike those fortunate enough to be paid to be in shows, this means very long days indeed.

I’m off to recharge my batteries, I’ll let you know how opening night goes and upload some photo’s.

Get me an Aardvark, it’s time for breakfast

Wigan is something of a culinary desert. The town is famous for it’s “pie eaters” and indeed pie shops are seemingly built on an exponential basis. It is little wonder that life expectancy in the town is so shocking. The pies themselves are nothing to write home about, a deadly mix of heart-burn inducing pastry and questionable meat.

Sat at my desk I developed a hunger pang. Occasionally I will decide to go without food, just to appreciate the feeling of hunger and I find that by and large the feeling goes. I am a little strange like that though, I like to experience things, such as the cold or the rain (both of which are in plentiful supply in Wigan), even a little pain, only sometimes though, I’m not Max Moseley.

I didn’t bring any food with me to work this morning and I felt the tickle of hunger, leading me to face the awful fact that I would have to buy something. We have no kitchen in our clinic and therefore opportunities for cooking are severely limited.

I want to eat something new and exciting! How about a nice barbecued snake or Bat soup? A Gnu sandwich or toasted fungus with seabird eggs?

The Chinese eat anything that moves and plenty of things that don’t. I would be surprised to see escalator on the menu at some stage.

As it is, it will be some awful plop that will have to suffice today.