Monday, 20 November 2017

the suppliant women - sat 18 november

Saturday was the first Suppliant Women matinee day. Both performances went pretty well, I think, the evening better than the afternoon.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

the suppliant women - fri 17 november

We had our first post-press-night performance last night. It seemed to go fine.

Friday, 17 November 2017

the suppliant women - cast and creative list

I'm going to type in all the names from the Suppliant Women cast-sheet, so that in five years' time when I'm wondering where I've seen this or that person on stage or name in a programme before, I'll be reminded that it was here. Oh yes, I shall say, I was in a critically-acclaimed production with them a few years ago.

The Suppliant Women: Abigail Glasser, Marni Ibrahim-addo, Anjelica Serra, Jennifer-Jane Benjamin, Hsieh Chiao-Lin, Etta Marcus-Pooley, Hana Oliveira, Hermione Leitch, Iris Hobson-Mazur, Janessa Bobby, Jesse Bateson, Kaysha Woollery, Kristen Barrett-Ralph, Kyra Ansine, Laura Fernandes Sergio, Lois Mulvenna, Malinda Smith, Millie Lynch Bailey, Minne Cunningham, Olumide Olorunfemi, Poppy Holmes, Cilla Lafayette Kwabi, Savanna Ayoade-Greaves, Shayde Sinclair, Taryn Eva, Tizeoa Kistoo-Sancho, Toto Bruin.

The Soldiers/Egyptians/Citizens: Denneil Dunbar, Jack Stacey, JD Hunt, Omari Biriye, Neil Penlington, Adrian David Paul, Nick Dore, Raymond Sichilima.

The Citizens: Amy Wells, Chris McGoldrick, Elaine Parsons, Emma Mee, Fiona White, Helen Bachrich, Iain MacDonald, Jane Stephenson, Joyce Abosi, Louise Norman, Roxceina Hibbert, Ruby Wright, David Gregory, Danny Kodicek, Jo Gemmell, Bryony Comley-Ford, Ruth Cassidy, Emmy Broomfield, Helen Monaghan, Noriko Furukawa, Lara Toovey-Roussel, Vanessa Doidge.

Lead actors: Oscar Batterham, Omar Ebrahim, Gemma May.
Musicians: Callum Armstrong / Barnaby Brown, Ben Burton.

Direction Ramin Gray, Music John Browne, Choreography Sasha Milavic Davies, Design Lizzie Clachan, Light Charles Balfour, Vocal Leade Mary King, Assistant Direction Alice Malin.

the suppliant women - thu 16 november - press/opening night

We had our press night / official opening night last night. It seemed to go well.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

the suppliant women - wed 15th november - third preview

Our third preview of the Suppliant Women last night. Seemed to go well again.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

the suppliant women - tue 14th november - second preview

We had our second preview last night. In summary, I think it went well, and better than the first preview.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

the suppliant women - mon 13th november - first preview

Our first preview last night. I think it went pretty well. Our bit was over in a flash.

Monday, 13 November 2017

the suppliant women - tech rehearsal 2 and dress rehearsal

On Saturday for the afternoon tech part 2, the call was revised to 4pm for citizens, and we joined in the tech at our point.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

the suppliant women - on-stage rehearsal and tech rehearsal 1

On Friday evening the Suppliant Women citizens were back in rehearsal; Friday evening was the completion of the first rehearsal on the stage and then, after a break, part 1 of the tech run-through (part 2 of which would be on Saturday afternoon).

Thursday, 9 November 2017

the suppliant women - final rehearsals - first full run-through

On Wednesday evening - last night - the citizens were called for 6pm. First the men had a run-through, with a particular focus on establishing voices for parts. It settled on unison on the bass part, until 'We don't know the answer no', where we split into bass and tenor until 'marriage is always better than war' (with permission to go up instead of down to the unison D of 'but one thing we do know', which for me at least made the note much easier to find, so I was glad of that), and then if we wanted to we could stay on the tenor from there to the end if we preferred, but we had to stick with it to the end, to keep the texture, not swop in and out (I did prefer, and will stick with it).

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

the suppliant women - final rehearsals - Monday

Monday evening was our first scheduled 6-10.30pm rehearsal call, but we got an email during the day to say that for the citizens it was shortened to 8-9.30pm, which was a nice bonus - home for dinner first, then out.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

the suppliant women - approaching the full-on phase

As we were approaching the full-on phase - a full week of rehearsals then two weeks of performances - I was talking over the weekend with Bethan (and Hei Mun) about what the professional theatrical lifestyle must be like.

the suppliant women - fifth rehearsal

We had our fifth Suppliant Women rehearsal for the citizens on Saturday. We were called for ten until one, but released at twelve in the end - the soldiers were kept, I guess for another hour, and I expect the young women were there all day.

Friday, 3 November 2017

guards! guards!

On Monday 2nd October I finished Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett. I thought it wasn't bad.


On Wednesday 12th July I finished Thraxas by Martin Scott, which wasn't too bad. It was a slightly odd experience in that it did exactly what I had been looking for - a detective story in a fantasy world - and did it pretty well, fully realised, but I wasn't that keen on the end result.

a day by the sea

On Monday 23rd October Bethan and I went to the Southwark Playhouse to see a rare revival of A Day By The Sea, by N C Hunter. It was a good play well acted.

the suppliant women - fourth rehearsal

We had the fourth Suppliant Women rehearsal for the citizens on Saturday.

morris folk club - october

It was Morris Folk Club on Tuesday. It was Halloween, and nearest Club to Remembrance Day, so a few songs on those themes, and plenty on neither.

I was going to sing Willing Conscript by Tom Paxton, which did tie in with Remembrance Day. I've sung it before at Sharp's, at which point I thought it was a Pete Seeger song, since it was on a CD of his I had and because it's a more or less pacifist song, with the refrain of having to learn to kill 'because I've never killed before'. Not being a pacifist, it provokes double feelings in me: on the one hand, the awfulness of having to teach people to kill other people; on the other, great respect for those who force themselves to overcome that natural aversion in order to do what is believed to be - and often definitively is - necessary for what is right. (I had had in mind to say something along those lines, but I was first up and it was pretty noisy through the curtains in the pub, so I didn't.)

I looked up Wikipedia to see if there were any other anniversaries on 31st October which might be marked by song choices in addition to Halloween or Remembrance Day. I discovered by great coincidence that 31st October was in fact Tom Paxton's birthday - this one his 80th.

I also found out that it was Larry Mullen Jr's birthday. I had had in the back of my mind for a long time that Running To Stand Still was a song that might be doable at folk club; I checked and found that I knew the words more or less (it's only three verses, and I've been singing along with it for thirty years), and I had a couple of days to lock in the one or two it turned out I hadn't been singing right (which is often the way), and I think it came off alright unaccompanied.

The full setlist is here. It is striking how many female performers there were. I said on the night, you could go far and long before you found another folk club singers night where seven women in a row sang (and apologised for ending that sequence).

Looking at my iTunes folders, I think Running To Stand Still may be the 86th different song I have sung at a folk club. I wonder if I'll sing my hundredth in 2018?

Monday, 30 October 2017

the phoenix returns home

On Wednesday 25th October we all went to Sadler's Wells to see the Chinese National Peking Opera Company performing The Phoenix Returns Home. I was glad to have gone, but will be glad not to go to another Peking Opera.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

all out war

Today I finished reading All Out War by Tim Shipman, the political editor of the Sunday Times. It was a well written and very thoroughly researched telling of the story of Brexit, full of sources who were 'in the room'.

As the quote from Andrew Sparrow in the Guardian on the back of the paperback says, 'A superb work of reporting and storytelling... sets a new benchmark for the writing of contemporary political history'.

Maisie had given me the hardback as a present earlier this year, and I was part-way through that when the 'revised and updated' paperback edition came out, so I borrowed that from the library and read it from the start (I had to renew it a couple of times).

Here's the library book: