Categories
Painters, Performance Poetry Readings

Ernstophilia

Several years ago I had a feverish flu and was staying in a room where the only thing within reach of the bed was a book of Max Ernst’s fabulous paintings. I love Ernst anyway, and when I recovered I wrote this poem about someone who is deliriously obsessed by the painter’s work. It was originally published in Poetry London, and was collected in my latest pamphlet ‘The Nightwork’.

I was stealthily filmed reading it in London last month by my friend Robin Houghton at the Poetry Cafe in London. As the Poetry Cafe is in Covent Garden and the poem mentions Covent Garden I often read it there.

The poem mentions this picture by Ernst in it, called ‘L’Ange du Foyer’, which can be translated as ‘The Fireside Angel’.

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Categories
Actors Comedy Performance Theatre

A space for Eddie Izzard

I saw Eddie Izzard on Saturday night. I love the proliferation of characters (all played by himself) that populate his stand up act. He carried the audience with him on fantastic imaginative journeys. I particularly liked the death of Caesar scene. Stabbed twice by a Roman called Tenacious and his dying gasp misinterpreted as ‘remember me as a salad’. Always impressed to see how one person can hold a whole theatre for the evening. And despite it just being one man with no props, it managed to be a properly theatrical experience.

He had a lovely stage too, simple but with its chessboard-like design gave him areas to work from or cavort lengthily round on an extended riff on Dressage for example, which he described as ‘non-mammalian’ sport. The backdrop made me think 1960s TV series such as The Time Tunnel. Pretty much in tune with Izzard’s brilliant time-travelling, polyglot, culture-hopping comedy. Certainly gave me a much-needed laugh.

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Categories
A Glass of Nothing Actors Performance Theatre Uncategorized

Actors with comdey chops wanted

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Beth Symons, pictured in one of her calmer moments above, has got the casting underway for our play A Glass of Nothing. So if this is you, then get in touch with Beth using the email below, or via this site.

Brighton Blonde Productions is a new theatre company based in Brighton, and set to take Brighton Fringe Festival 2016 by storm with their witty and dark comedy “A Glass of Nothing”.

We are looking for 1 male actor and 1 female actor to join our cast. Playing age 22-30 for both parts.

  • Male characters: embarrassed boyfriend, dream man and pervy boss.
  • Female characters: outraged girlfriend and bitchy co-worker.

If you are interested please email beth.symons@icloud.com with your CV and headshot if possible. If you don’t have these a small bio of your experience will do. We will send you more information about the piece and possibly arrange a meeting with Beth and Peter (co-founders of Brighton Blonde Productions).

Please like us on facebook (Brighton Blonde Productions) and follow us on twitter @BrightonBlondes.

Categories
Blowing my own trumpet Performance Poetry Readings

See the future this Thursday

Frankly I’d rather eat a cactus sandwich than not hear Jack Underwood, Kitty Coles & Siegfried Baber read on Thursday night at the Poetry Cafe at 7.00 pm. But then I’ll be reading with them too in an event hosted by Telltale Press. Please come along if you’re able, or find yourself in London’s Covent Garden and in desperate need of poetry.

For me it will be an interesting to compare our night with this weekend’s annual jamboree of the T.S. Elliot prize readings, which I’ll be lucky enough to attend. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more of my colleagues on Thursday might find themselves on a TSE shortlist one day. So why not glimpse the future now?TT invite

Categories
Greece Music Performance

Singing from the soul of Greece

 

What can you say about a singer who can moves you to tears even when you can’t understand the words. I’ve just returned from ‘The Songs of Greece’ a performance by Eleni Galanopoulou and Glen Capra, with Kostas Katoinis adding some deft and beautiful guitar to the arrangements, and featuring  a selection of songs by Hazidakis, Karonakis and Thodorakis.

Eleni Galanopoulou has a voice that is possessed of an electrifying hurt glory; and magical ability to trigger a whole range of emotions just by the sound her voice makes. Why else would I be sniffing and dabbing my eyes and feeling uplifted and affirmed in a grey and rainy lunchtime in Brighton? And I wasn’t alone in reacting this way in the Unitarian Church’s lunchtime concert.

I have worked with Glen Capra on a few projects, including the CD of Clameur. And it is a privilege to see his musical partnership with Eleni Galanopoulou evolve into a masterclass of sensitive and complementary listening and musicianship that sets the jewel of Eleni’s voice perfectly. ‘I know how and where she breathes’ he told me afterwards, and this attention to detail shows in the performance.

This is the only the second time I have heard Eleni sing, the previous time was in Kavala, Greece.  At the time, I said jokingly to Glen that it was as if the soul of Greece is singing to you. Now I don’t think this is a joke at all. There are very few voices like this, with a fiery beauty that seems to magically transcend the individual singer. Eleni Galanopoulou has one of them.

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Glen Capra and Eleni Galanopoulou

 

 

Categories
Performance Poetry Reading

A quick humblebrag – reading tonight 18th June

A quick humblebrag… I’m on tonight at the Poetry Cafe at 7.00pm as a part of a Telltale Press and Friends reading, with new Telltale recruit Sarah Barnsley, plus the brilliant Tamar Yoseloff who I’ve not read with since the 90s, Sue Rose whose new book I love plus multiple award-winning Robin Houghton. The Poetry Cafe is here.

Please come along if you can.

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Categories
Matthew Pollard Music Performance Uncategorized

Theme and variations one and two

Like some kind of ghoul, I am usually unfilmable. And the recordings we made of This Concert will fall in love with you all went wrong in mysterious ways –for example the sound files recorded by Glen Capra were on his laptop, stolen in Northern Ireland. But happily we have just fixed the video camera and here is a flavour of the concert: theme and the first two variations.

Categories
Matthew Pollard Music Performance

This concert will fall in love with you

My collaboration with classical music composer Matthew Pollard is fascinating. Matt recently played me through parts of the first five variations. For me it was incredibly exciting to hear the music taking shape. It is full of delicious uncertainties. And it is quite humbling to hear how they interlace and enlarge on the words I’ve written. Even at this early stage, it is clear just how accomplished he is, and how this work will shine.

The venue for its “world premiere” (digging that!) is going to be on 12th, 13th and 14th May, at St Michael and All Angels Church in Brighton at 7:30pm. The audience capacity is a modest 100. Matt is assembling an eclectic mix of accomplished musicians, and I will be performing the words.

Naturally, we are also discussing how we were going to promote it, and I’ve come up with a look and feel Matt’s happy with. Among normal listing routes (it will be part of the Brighton Fringe Festival) we’ll also use facebook. I’ve not used facebook to promote anything before, so it will be interesting to test for myself how useful this medium is.

This concert will fall in love with you has an unusually audacious concept. We are going to give the listener the unique experience of listening to words and music that describe what it is to fall in love with them personally. It’s weird and it’s wonderful. Watch this space.