Sunday, 29 April 2007

i'm giving you bangs

fallujah opens on tuesday. despite an enormous list of setbacks it's coming together. i'm constantly amazed by how productions of all shapes and sizes come together in this way:

by jeeves last year grew out of absolutely no budget and was pieced together in between the working hours of everybody's full time jobs. it ended up being the most successful production anyone who worked at the london venue could remember.
faith, hope and gaffertape has, for the last 15-or-so years, faced the impossible task of gathering a bunch of teenagers together and getting them to rehearse and construct a full length musical in a week; finally and without fail culminating in rapturous applause.
fallujah has hit wall after wall. it is an enormously ambitious and enormously important project without enough money or time. it boasts new territory for many of the people involved, but d'you know what?.. it's working. and it's going to be incredible.

these things come together because people believe that they will. it never ceases to amaze me what can be achieved when everyone involved falls in love with the project. and this happens a lot. if just a handful of people love the thing, they really can move mountains. (faith, hope & gaffertape is built on this.) there aren't enough hours in the day for these people to work all they want to. they would do it without eating or sleeping if they could. it is incessant and it is stunning. it is almost religious.
it means that there is a massive military truck in the fallujah venue, bigger than any of the doors it came through.

you get time limits and budget-cuts and the like in business. a group of people gather together and from somewhere, nowhere; a new project is born, a new incentive, a new product. it's not the same. they're born out of fear of losing your job or greed, hunger for more money. it's not the same. and it's not important. and i can't imagine that a moment of it is fun. if you can see the amusement in a pie-chart then please let me in on the secret.

but theatre is fun. last night four of us sat round a computer and constructed a fully three-dimensional and very noisy surround-soundtrack of a battle that will put the audience right in the middle of the action and, to be honest, scare the be-jeezus out of them: sniper shots, machine-gun fire, bullets impacting on trucks around them, mortars flying overhead, grenades beneath, "mediiic!" *
chilling - yes.
fun - oh yeah.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

i'm jon, the cuddly crane driver (honk honk)

after i finished my real job i went off to do some work on fallujah until late, (i just got home and it's 1230). a much nicer way of working: have a few beers in trendy brick lane, east london... hang some lights and speakers off some girders... play some loud music (original score for the show composed by nitin sawhney) loudly...
okay, lets face it; to be honest the only reason i am posting this late when i gotta be at work tomorrow is so i have record of this bad-boy:
mean green lifty-uppy machine
yep, drove that awesome green one around this evening. it was fun. perhaps i should get one of them instead of a land rover. BRUM BRUM.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

i'm in deep

the production i'm helping with had a twenty minute discussion aired on bbc radio 3 today. this is a big thing. i hope i can be of some value to my buddies who are producing it, despite the whole broken hand shit.

i had a look round the venue on sunday. a massive warehouse on brick lane that was used as the hell's kitchen studio for the gordon ramsey series. boy, they left it in a mess. lots of work to do,

like removing an upper floor. crikey.

and get an ambulance into the building.

and a truck.

yep, it's big. but good. and important.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

i'm lost in the translation

apparently they're working on a computer game based on the lost series for the playstation 3.

not sure why they need such a high-powered games machine to cope with inputting a few numbers every couple of hours for the rest of your life, but they're the professionals, they know best.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

i'm gaining momentum

dear reader, it has been a long while since i mentioned anything to do with flying eastward for the journey of my life. you would be forgiven for thinking that it's an idea fallen by the wayside. e'en when i first considered it; i wondered if it were to be one of those things that i talked about doing but never followed it through.

well, here i am to update you. firstly and simply; fear not proxy-traveller, it is still going ahead. the silence has been only a by-product of how the governments and immigration services of countries with ancient communist histories work. russia and china seem to have a strange dislike for organising in advance. you can't get visas or train tickets or flights or hotels or anything more than 45 days prior. so a quick burst of mathematics and a consideration of the length of a 30 day holiday and, yes, you've got it... some, well, a lot of the planning has to be unnervingly last minute. the tiny organisational goblin in my head has been habitually biting his nails for the last eight months, but to be honest i've revelled in it. this holiday was born out of an inner drive to be more spontaneous. i think we've managed that with the "planning a 9500 mile journey across the darkest reaches of asia in the fortnight leading up to it" thing.

okay, anal mathematicians, a lot of it is more than 2 weeks in advance, but where's the drama in that prose?

matthew and i have in the last week and in the week ahead come by: visas for russia, mongolia and china, accomodation down the road from the kremlin, train tickets along a ten-thousand mile stretch of threadbare railway, a loop tour of the altai mountains and mongolian gobi desert flats on horse and camel back, a 10k walk along the peaks & troughs of the greatest wall of china and, of course, aeroplane seats to moscow and from beijing home.

we will see and feel extreme cold, tropical humidity, the deepest and clearest lake in the world, mountains, valleys, deserts, the largest expanse of sky.

in my reading about the land i am to pass inconspicuously through i have found descriptions of a stark and ghostly place. (my particular fascination has been the open spaces of siberia). siberia is a sterile desolate gap with a swarming, rich and long history. an open prison in recent times, and a raucous barbarian kingdom before that.

i wanted to share a couple of passages from the book i'm currently reading. they are entirely copied from "in siberia" by colin thubron, the most entrancing book i've read so far about this world. read on...

"its true name is unknown. perhaps it never had one. but the civilisation buried in the pazyryk valley was the easternmost piece in the vast scythian world which by the seventh century BC stretched from from china to the danube. the scythians were indo-europeans: a tall, hirsute people who at their zenith tormented the persian empire and subjugated the medes. ever since they touched the sphere of greece, the fear or romanticism of historians staged them as barbarian nomads...
one day somebody - perhaps here in the altai - conceived the idea of no longer driving a horse, but of sitting on its back... they fought on stocky geldings, firing twenty poisoned arrows a minute at full gallop ambidextrously... their only permanance was death, in the great heaped tombs called kurgans. and at pazyryk, by the action of water filtering into the underground chambers, they were frozen solid in time."


"... blue must be the colour to which all others purified in time.
it is the peculiar clarity of [lake] baikal which elicits this. as the transparent and slightly alkaline water deepens, other colours are filtered through the light spectrum, until only blue, the least absorbant, remains... lying over the fault-line between two tectonic plates, whose separation is gradually dropping its floor lower, the waters plunge to a depth of over one-mile: by far the deepest lake on earth. its statistics stupefy. it harbours nearly one fifth of all the fresh water on the planet: equal to the five great lakes of america combined, or to the baltic sea. if baikal were to be emptied and all the world's rivers diverted to its basin, they would not fill it within a year.
it is, too, the oldest of the lakes... it has endured the tertiary era, for over twenty-five million years. of the 2,000 species inhabiting its depth, 1,200 are unique to it... but common fish which swim in from its rivers disappear into unexplained extinction. its waters seem to cherish the strange, but kill the ordinary"

now tell me you don't want to come too...

in your absence i will write all i can while i travel, with small hope that you may join me there when i get back.

'kay bye.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

i'm also genuinely sorry

of course thoughts go out to anyone affected by the university shootings at virginia tech. british people share your grief and concern.

i am reminded of a speech by the best president in recent history, president j. bartlett:
'Joy cometh in the morning,' scripture tells us. I hope so. I don't know if life would be worth living if it didn't. And I don't yet know who set off the bomb at Kennison State. I don't know if it's one person or ten, and I don't know what they want. All I know for sure, all I know for certain, is that they weren't born wanting to do this. There's evil in the world, there'll always be, and we can't do anything about that. But there's violence in our schools, too much mayhem in our culture, and we can do something about that. There's not enough character, discipline, and depth in our classrooms; there aren't enough teachers in our classrooms. There isn't nearly enough, not nearly enough, not nearly enough money in our classrooms, and we can do something about that. We're not doing nearly enough, not nearly enough to teach our children well, and we can do better, and we must do better, and we will do better, and we will start this moment today! They weren't born wanting to do this.

i feel the same about london youth, recently we've seen a burst in knife-crime amongst teenaged gangs. thankfully it's harder for them to get hold of guns, but no less devestating to the families of the dead.

there's nothing we can do for the families of the virginia victims, but know that our thoughts are with you.

i'm really really sorry

i may or may not get people from the usa occasionally reading this blog. if you are american i write to you an apology: i've recently heard that you will be soon getting a show entitled something like 'jordan & peter,' or another title equally witty and intriguing. i can't apologise enough for what you might witness if you make a hole in your day to watch it.

in case you didn't know; jordan is a "model" based here in england, though i'm not quite sure what planet she is from. her husband-by-paperwork is was internationally famous 90's pop hunk peter andre, you may remember his songs: mysterious girl and.. um... something about a crab maybe?

the program looks to be something like the newlyweds show you had, but whereas jessica simpson - for all her dimness - is pleasant to look at and thick to the point of amusement, jordan looks like her face was on fire and someone put it out with a plank of wood. she also possesses the stupidity to the point of retardation factor, but at a level where you just end up concerned for the welfare of all she comes in contact with. horrifying is the fact that she is considered a role-model for a whole generation of self-gratifying delusional pregnant teenagers with mediocre looks and less ambition. little more contribution to society than media-whore paris hilton or drug-tramp kate moss, hungry only for press coverage whatever the cost to her credibility as a decent human being.

if britain had rednecks, this is how they would rollthough it is strange to comprehend, i think andre might be the more sane and together of the pair. though still stuck in his 90's pop-turn persona where he was obviously only instructed to "be cheesey, no matter what you do, be cheesey" and ensure that he remains one-dimensional at all times, though he appears to have the same depth as the glossy pages of the issues of smash hits he used to be poured upon, every now and again he appears ever-so-slightly bashful as if embarrassed by his wife's actions. so he might have one screw firmly in.

did you ever see that car crash coverage of posh-spice parading david beckham up a red carpet in expensive looking clothing; pouting for the cameras and practically mounting his leg in a bid to make the public believe they were the couple we should all aspire to be? that half-hour catwalk zoo is how jordan and peter are constantly.

all this may intrigue you further and you now desperately want to watch the program, your appetite for the freak-circus well and truly roused. fair enough, it's been far too long since we've legally been able to point and laugh at people with disabilites without having our knuckles rapped. please bear in mind though, she is the very lowest level of british humanity. don't think she bears a fair representation of the english public. much in the same way that i don't watch newlyweds and believe that everyone in america is thin or attractive.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

i'm having some fun tonight

i don't normally do this sort of thing but it's a bit o' fun isn't it?

click here to see if your crush is mathematically compatible with you using logorhythms based on the letters in your name or something.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

i'm < BIDDY BIDDY > broadcasting on open channels

I think we live in an exciting time. We are a generation embracing the technological society that surrounds us.
I send you a message on facebook, you reply on myspace, and I write about it on my blog.
Then I go and buy something on ebay.

It's my birthday on Saturday. I hope I get some binary code.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

i'm retro - part 3

perhaps one of the most enjoyable evenings that any film/comic geek would ever experience was experienced in full, by me, last tuesday. the top writer, director and actor; kevin smith came to england for a q&a session this week. and i was there, with the troubadour.

ever had your asshole licked by a fat man in an overcoat?mr. smith aka silent bob spoke with wit and charm and warmth for nearly four hours. fans could ask any question they wanted and during those hours we were taken on a verbal journey through homo-erotic fantasies, re-writing die-hard 4, myspace, dog-sex, how crap hawaii is, cash-point condoms, porch monkeys, the ridiculous superman returns plothole, dodgy british food, naming your child batman, johnny rotten reading poetry and george lucas & steven spielburg's fascination with catalogue porn.

smith was pleasant and friendly and patient with his fans. open, honest and erudite. a brilliant evening that only re-affirmed my love of his films, my respect for his beliefs and my fan-ness of his writing. and i also decided that i want him to play night owl in the upcoming adaptation of alan moore's watchmen.


Thursday, 5 April 2007

i'm retro - part 2

the second wondrous event of the past fortnight involved me upping and travelling up to birmingham again. unfortunately as the batman wasn't coming this time, i had to journey into the awful world of public transport. oh, why this thumb of mine?! why the slippy slidey islington highway?! why my bicycle want to leave me?! bring on the jeep, i say.

have you seen my tattoo?anyway; it was another weekend in the land of brum including the energetic troubadour, this time accompanied by his delectable serving wench - the lovely laura anne felicity simpson. the focus of this weekend was basically to attend a burlesque night in a long flat dimly lit venue in the gay area of birmingham. what a real good treat, mmm.

dressed up we did and spent the evening witnessing a frickin' awesome band, an absolutely delightful singer by the name of imelda may, and of course a multitude of lovely ladies removing their clothing. certainly not something to be scoffed at, i can tell you.

i absolutely must mention the final act of burlesque before the furniture was swept aside and we collapsed into a selection of fancy-dressed jive dancers. (i use the term jive dancer very loosely for myself, of course. the current crippledom prevents anything more than a sort of achy-looking jerky body-pop crossed with what your hunchbacked nan looks like on news years eve.)

the evening culminated with - pretty much the weirdest act i've ever seen - a guy dressed as a mad victorian surgeon, speaking only in rhyme and running 50,000 volts of electricity through his girlfiend so as to light a flare off her silvery pierced nipple. yep. this of course was only one of many eye-opening tricks involved with the electrical generator pushed sheepishly onto stage. the most memorable, and perhaps most weird, was the finale: with clenched teeth the doctor pumped electricity through a conductor (kids, don't try this at home) positioned up his quivering arse. including himself in the circuit he lit a flourescant tube, a bathroom light wrapped round his head and proceeded to light a candleabra with his tongue.
i was too busy to take photos of the actual girls

maybe i should've attached a warning for my younger readers.

i'm retro

i can't really go on without mentioning the last three large/fun/tiring/exciting/another adjective events i have enjoyed over the last couple of weeks. shall i put each one as a seperate entry? yes, why not? nobody cares either way i'm sure.

before i go on, i must say that this entry is one of five dedicated to miss. caroline (soon to be flint) mead. only she may know the reason why. let's leave it at that.

funtastique event number one was a reunion of sorts. the three kings, after a nearly 2-&-a-half year drought were finally able to meet up and spend some quality time together. my bestest buddies troub' & batman and myself managed to save an entire weekend for 'boy weekend in brum.' i won't go into the reasons as to why we lost touch with eachother for that length of time, let us not bring up the past. but...

what more can a small band of fine champs wish for than the chance to spend a weekend with a new ps3, hd flatscreen, a selection of lovely beers, various experimental meat dishes and a few late nights put to one side.

it's a helluva drrriiiinnnnkkkkk!!!!!what more could we want? well, perhaps a checkov play at the brum rep? or a slap-up thai restaurant with copious wine, spirits and a laughingly drunk troubadour? what about karaoke 'til the early hours, literally stunning the audience with batman's silky vocal stylings and myself, belting out spinal tap's big bottom backed up by my smoothly intoxicated peers.

guys, you're my guys. long live the three kings! and long live pink milk!

my lasting treasure of the weekend will be saturday night as a whole. especially the conversations that ran into the night and ever onward to sunday. rock the hell on.