David Hare article in the Guardian

“Art frequently reminds us that things are never quite as simple as they seem. Nor are people. Journalism is life with the mystery taken out. Art is life with the mystery restored.”

In the Guardian yesterday, David Hare argues why good theatre should never be confused with journalism. The article is about about verbatim theatre and the power of theatre to capture a moment in time. He also writes about creating great theatre in general.

I like this;
“Style was the only means by which you could suggest that what you were writing about was something more than what you appeared to be writing about. Without style there was no suggestiveness, and with no suggestiveness, no metaphor. The processes of art could begin nowhere else.”

Workshops and classes

I didn’t see that many shows in the Dublin Theatre Festival but I did get to see Freefall by Corn Exchange and I loved it. I like Corn Exchange a lot and I was raging when I missed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof last year so I had pretty high expectations for their new show. I wasn’t disappointed. It was fantastic; wonderful actors and a great story, beautifully told. I found it a bit of an emotional roller-coaster of a show and felt drained by the end of it but there was still some very funny moments and a few moments which were painfully, tragically funny. I don’t know if they are touring the show, but if you get a change to see it – I highly recommend it.

I did a workshop with Corn Exchange about seven or eight years ago and I really enjoyed it. It was three evenings classes and we got to build our own Commedia del’Arte character each evening, picking out clothes for them to wear and painting on own mask. We spent the rest of the class creating scenes with our characters.

I have been dying to do another workshop with them ever since but whenever they came around, I either didn’t have the money or I couldn’t get time off work or I was in England. Even just a few months ago, I didn’t have enough days leave left to take the week off work and go and do yoga every morning instead. Maybe 2010 will finally be the year that I get to do another Corn Exchange workshop!

At the moment, I’m doing a voice class with Actors Training Ireland, who I would also highly recommend. I did a weekend workshop with them in July (it included voice, acting and moment work, as well as some singing). I enjoy it and got a lot out of it. It’s not really a beginners class; the aim is to remind you about the things you already know and maybe pick up a few new skills. Acting is something that you need to practice but unlike other performance arts like playing an instrument or singing, it’s very difficult to practise on your own. You need other people, you need an audience. Going to class let’s me practice and remind myself what I’m trying to do. It also helps me to feel like an actor, even though I spend all day in an office.

Camille O’Sullivan at the Soho Theatre

I’m still on the mailing lists for three or four theatres in London. Sometimes I hate reading about all the exciting things I’m missing but I still like knowing what’s going on.

And sometimes I read about something that I feel compelled to pass on to people who can enjoy it. If you are in London you should go and see Camille O’Sullivan at the Soho Theatre on the 27th – 29th April.

After hearing rave reviews for years, I finally saw Camille O’Sullivan last Sept. It was at the Dublin Fringe Festival and she was hosting a variety night type thing called ‘The Cat’s Meow’ in the Speiltent. It was a fabulous night, some members of La Clique performed and there were lots of special guests. Camille was a great host on the night but also gave a wonderful performer. She’s more of an entertainer than a singer, though she does have a great voice.

If you are in London, I would recomend going to see her. It would be £20 well spent! And the Soho Theatre is lovely too and always have weird and wonderful things going on. I think the Spill Festival that’s happening at the moment sounds really interesting.