Thursday, 30 April 2009

May Day! May Day!

There's no reading this week as it's May Day. But we'll be back on 11 May.

In the mean time, here's footage of some people having fun on May Day, back when people knew how to have fun.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Turbo Tina and the Rocket Ravers

Hey, folks it's Tim Gambrell-time:

Best Actor of the Year for two years running ( which isn't too bad considering he's only been coming three ); Producer of the Showcase; the man who revived the dying art of stage-directions-reading the way Shane Warne revived the dying art of leg spin; occasional deputy to Tony Diggle as the Man with the Money. And he writes stuff: plays, tv comedies, and radio sitcoms. For all I know he probably churns out lyric poetry in his spare time. To get the full flavour, you'd have to combine Leonardo Da Vinci with Orson Welles. Plus a sprinkling of jokes.

Now he’s back at P-P with Turbo Tina and the Rocket Ravers, two episodes of a radio sitcom. It’s sci-fi.

Monday. 7.45. Be there.

Good Company

Last night I penetrated the black heart of London's east end to see Company. It was good. Sure, the show's theme seemed a bit dated to me. The perverse preoccupation with Getting Married did start to wear thin, ( hey, if you want to do, if you don't, then don't, was my no doubt naive reaction ) but I was surprised at how many of the songs I knew. It was very well-staged, and the American accents only lapsed every now and again. A cast of 14 and an orchestra of 8 is unusual in such a small, fringe setting. Nothing wrong with that, I say. Better spend 10 quid and be able to see and hear the singers sans microphone, then spent thirty quid for some seat behind a woman with a hat at the back of the stalls in some mausoleum in the West End.

Talking of which, I remember seeing this with Adrian Lester back in 1996. I enjoyed this one a whole heap more.

And of course, for all P-P aficianados there is the divine Kim Sheard, proving once again that she is the finest chanteuse to come out of Canada since the singing skeleton herself, Celine Dion.

So, go see. It ends on Saturday.

The beer's good too. I had a pint of Cornish.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

News from Our Presidents

If America really was the melting pot it thinks it is it would have two Presidents. That way, instead of Mr. Obama running everything, he'd just run stuff for the Democrats. And Mr. McCain would run everything for the Republicans.

That way everyone would be happy.

We here at P-P do indeed live in the ideal state: we have TWO Presidents: messrs. Marks and Gran. And they've been poppping up over our press of late.

Here's a piece on Laurence Marks, explaining the inspiration for their award-winning plays "Von Ribbentrop's Watch".

And here's a piece by Maurice Gran, kicking the ass of political correctness:

"I believe excess is acceptable as long as it's practised in moderation".


For the Love of Mary Conway

Well I thought that went well. And so, judging by the score of 64%, so did you. There were some good comments afterwards too. Phil Philmar, in particular, picked up on the plotting coincidences and contrivances. He had read it of course, which helped. Curiously, I couldn't disagree with the points he raised, but for me they didn't seem to matter. Indeed, the contrast between the improbabilities of the plotting and the naturalism of the dialogue and characterisation was one of the play's strengths.

Many suggestions for different ways to go too. Get rid of the cop? Build up the girl? Change her character? Or make her more pro-active in the storyline? She did seem to be a bit of a commentator, rather than someone who made a difference to things.

Intriguingly too, when I raised the question of the title, a lot of people seemed to agree. You can't do puns in a serious play. On the other hand, nobody, including me, could think of a better one.

Anyway, a rewarding evening.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Get with the Programme

We start again on Monday, with a whole new programme going right through to July 20th, as P-P scales new heights of theatrical excellence, with P-P debuts by no fewer than five newbies. Comedy, tragedy, radio plays and a first ( so far as I know ) an animated tv script for children. And why not?

And we're back with a bang, with Mary Conway's "For the Love of Michael". Okay, it sounds like a Kate Hudson RomCom, but that's the only thing I don't like about it.

This was first planned for February 2nd, but then came the snow.

So it got postponed. Anyway, the cast ought to be word perfect by now. So come along. Monday at 7.45.

Don't Forget

Kim Sheard opened in "Company" last night. It's selling out fast, and I've already booked for next week. Have you?

Also, making a rare stage appearance, P-P treasurer Tony Diggle has taken off his trademark white jumper and put on a suit to play Lane, in the four-act version of "The Importance of Being Earnest", over in Ealing. It starts on Saturday. Go along on Tuesday, and it'll only cost you a fiver.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Happy Easter!

Have a good one! Nothing happening on Monday, of course, but we're back the week after. Stay tuned.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

A Kind of Loving

We all remember the movie: Alan Bates, smouldering away among the Yorkshire dales. Well now, here's the play. Or rather the plays. But there's no Alan Bates, no dales, and no connection with Alan Sillitoe. Yes, it's competition time, our usual end of term jamboree where P-P's finest talents engage in an unseemly scramble to be top of the short play tree. It's also a great opportunity to see some of the newer actors treading the boards. It's quite hard for a newbie to prove themselves at P-P. Usually the writers go for the tried and tested. But on Competition Night, this is the chance for the newcomers to shine.

This term, as a one-off experiment, we've extended the length of the plays from 5-10 minutes to 10-15 minutes. Let's see how that works. One inevitable consequence was that more plays than ever wouldn't make the cut. We've seen two of them already by Alison Wilkie and Simon Desborough. There'll be another couple to be shown in May, again out of competition.

But this coming Monday, April 6th it's A Kind of Loving.

Be there.