Monday, 28 March 2011

Don't know much about Mozart but I know what I like.

Last week I went to see Peter Brook's A Magic Flute and loved it.  Then I read the reviews and discovered that I shouldn't have loved it. The voices were weak, one of the singers was out of tune, the piano playing inadequate, the libretto hacked about hopelessly, the Queen of the Night a shadow, the whole thing was indulgent and hopelessly underplayed.   Everyone's entitled to their opinion.  I've never seen The Magic Flute, I found the recording hard work.  That I think Mozart's Requiem is one of the greatest things I've ever heard doesn't entitle me to question the opinions of the classical reviewers who know what they're talking about so I'll just say this - Bollocks.  Absolute bollocks.
It was great.  A meditation on love, betrayal, death, hope, trust.  And astute bugger that he is at the moment he thinks we might be getting a bit referential Brook puts the feast on a paint stained flight case - this is theatre, this is work, not a religious ceremony.  He empties the stage and let's us fill it with our thoughts.  We embellish his simplicity. And I thought the piano and the singers were excellent. 
When my daughter was only a few weeks old I held her up between the speakers in the front room and said 'Listen. This is Mozart, this is Bruce Springsteen. Open your ears and enjoy.'

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Completion Anxiety

I read an interview with Green Gartside in which he talked about having heaps of songs and being unable to finish them and he described this condition as Completion Anxiety. I've got it.  I'm within spitting distance of finishing the first draft for The Drum and I'm putting it off and putting it off. This is partly because I know that the less time I have the more I'll focus and mainly the customary fear that this time it's all going to go tits up.  Happens every time.  Happily I have a number of distractions lined up.  This weekend we go into the studios in Birmingham to record My Name is Stephen Luckwell as an afternoon play for Radio 4. That'll be fun.  And then on Monday I'm at Theatre 503 at the Latchmere for their Rapid Response Night where I'll have a short piece on.  I went down to see The Biting Point (very good) last Wednesday and had to write a ten minute response by the Sunday. It was just what I needed, a real change from grafting out a full length script. But after next Tuesday the excuses will have been all used up and I will have to finish the Drum first draft.  I will.  I really will.  No two ways about it.  Got to be finished.  Absolutely.