Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pigs first night out

well, that was stressful – and fun!

the first show in ottawa of a new text with new music and new instruments in a byov where I’m running the sound and costume changes and musical accompaniment…. ack…

it went fairly well…. no, honestly, I have no idea how it went. Everyone stayed for the whole show (always a good sign!), and at the end they seemed happy. But I have no perspective. I’ve had my head inside this show for a long rehearsal process, and I’m still not sure what I’ve come up with. A story, within a story, within a story… and a character that is the actor that is the character and a set of wildly cheerful happy songs presented in a way that veers between the maniacally delighted and the deeply tragic.

For now I’ll rest on my laurels… the show is up and running. There’s a whole whack of details and storylines that I now see need to be polished and tightened, but I’ll leave that for tomorrow, when I can see straight.

Monday, June 07, 2010

In a dark room with a lot of words and music

The last weeks are always like this …. though I swear every time that I will have the piece done and ready a month before, I end up in a dark room in the days before the opening with a lot of words and music trying to put them all together in the way that I imagined.

The Pig of Happiness is a reworking of a show I tried out last year at the London Fringe – The Barker’s Spiel …. however, extensive marketing research at the fringe revealed the title was impossible to pronounce for the average theatre goer… so changes were made. I thought this would be just a tiny tweak to the text and music, but it ended up being a total reworking of the piece.

So, the studio is full of paper – I work by sticking big sheets of brown paper all over the walls and then when I’m working on the show I can make notes with markers and stick ideas and images. It makes for a flexible way to work, but even I have to admit it sort of looks like I’m a crazy person living in a room, writing on the walls…

The Studio in mid rehearsal

at the moment there’s 12 songs and a ukulele and a concertina and an old casio and some backtracks and a bunch of text and old lights and costumes and a soft shoe shuffle and it all adds up to about an hour and forty five minutes — which is a problem since by the time I open in Ottawa on the 19th I have to have to cut it down to an hour….

it’ll be an interesting two weeks…. I’ll keep you updated on how it goes

you can see more of the work, and videos and listen to music at