Interlude ~ theatre notes

Monday, March 26, 2007

Interlude

Yes, patient readers, your hyper-worded blogger ran away from Melbourne and immersed herself in the fleshpots of Sydney, far far away from the keyboard, which remained untouched for three whole days.

My excuse was loyal spousehood: the Keene has a play running at the Griffin Theatre, and the refreshing prospect of seeing his work in a language I understand was as seductive as the siren call of that gorgeous slattern of the north. As it turned out, we didn't see The Nightwatchman, because the illness of a castmember sadly forced the cancellation of the performance the night we were due to come. Despite that huge disappointment, we had a wonderful time, as we always do in Sydney, and even relaxed. I feel almost human now, although we all know that won't last.

Knowing that I couldn't, for obvious reasons, divert you with my responses to a play by Keene, and would have in any case merely referred you to John McCallum's glowing review in the Australian, I popped in to see another Sydney production, of which more later. Now I'm back safely manacled to my keyboard, and rather drowned in reviewing requests. I feel very torn about this: there are more than a few shows I really should write about, and I simply can't get to them. I am also touched, even a little flattered, by the requests, including the one that asked if a member of my "team" could spend a week in Tasmania. Perhaps the answer really is to clone myself?

For the record, I am on a strict diet of two shows a week until this novel I keep talking about gets finished. The plain fact is that the novel is due by June, and that means 10,000 words a week, and that means I have to marshal my resources with some degree of sense, or I might end up in hospital again (the blog is not my only extra-novel activity). And such is the richness of Melbourne theatre, my diary fills very quickly. So many, many apologies to those I am forced to miss - you can perhaps take comfort in the thought that among the invites I've passed on is Miss Saigon - and thank you to those people who demonstrate such faith in me. It keeps me going, even as I quail before it.

10 comments:

David Williams said...

Hi Alison,

Very pleased to hear that you had a great time in Sydney. But 10,000 words a week!? as well as going to the theatre and blogging? that sounds insane to me...

good luck with all that(my partner is eagerly awaiting the next book, so she also hopes that you met that deadline), and I hope that 'The Nightwatchman' isn't cancelled this coming Saturday!

cheers,

David

Alison Croggon said...

The Nightwatchman ought to be well up and running by then, David...I hope you enjoy it (I mutter wistfully).

I agree it's a bit mad; sadly, 10,000 words a week seems to be the rate these novels get written. I've tried writing slower, and it just doesn't work, alas. I wrote the last one while blogging, so it's been done before... Assure your partner that the book will meet the deadline, Acts of God permitting, but then there's the process of turning it into a published object, which also takes ages. But it's definitely on the way...

Geoffrey said...

Hi Alison. I'm going on Wednesday night. Really REALLY looking forward to it.

Paul Martin said...

With a keen interest in the films of Alkinos Tsilimidos, three of which were written by Daniel, I read the Australian review with some interest and thought I'd Google some other reviews.

Every review I could find was positive. I love Stephen Dunne's comments in The SMH:

"This is a welcome work that wilfully complicates some of our more widespread cliches. Go on if you must, and blather sweetly about your belief that the children are our future. Maybe. That cold-eyed Keene suggests they're just as screwed as the rest of us."

Unfortunately, being in Melbourne, I can't see it.

Alison Croggon said...

Doesn't look like I'll get there myself, sadly. Unless the Croggon coffers unexpectedly fill up over the next couple of weeks.

Actually, Stephen Dunne's comments are fairly puzzling; I'm not sure how he came to that conclusion from the play I've read (and that presumably the Griffin did). I'm not going to let Daniel forget "cold-eyed Keene" for a while, either...

Sylvia Drake said...

10K words a week--good lord. I felt pretty good after pounding out some 15K words on a project this winter. :)

TheatreJunkie said...

I saw The Nightwatchman recently, with barely anyone in the house. I loved the play, but the production was quite misplaced and, to be blunt, made the experience unbearable. I've been hearing a lot of people in Sydney saying how boring the play was - it's a pity the play and production have been confused. I hope it's not a sign of things to come at Griffin under new AD Nick Marchand. That company has been busting with good work over the last few years.

Alison Croggon said...

For the record, and fwiw, the playwright himself saw the production last weekend. (I still haven't, and won't, see it). He was very pleased; he thought it worked surprisingly well in the Stables, better than he thought it would, and he felt that Lee Lewis' production expressed the felt world of the play pretty well. It seems there were people sobbing into their hankies around him, so the emotional power of the play was working on that audience, anyway. He really liked the design and the sound design, and he thought the lighting very good. As for the performances, he thought William Zappa was quite brilliant, and gave a very detailed and felt performance, although the other two didn't match him. He had no problems with the part of Helen, and quite a few problems with Alex Dimitriades' performance as Michael, which he thought rather monotonal and static.

Alison Croggon said...

PS I should probably add that Daniel's work has always polarised audiences (and still does, even in La Belle France). There are those who think it's the bees knees, and others who would pay good money not to see a Keene play. Those who think it's beautiful, and those who find it totally depressing. All depends on what rocks your boat...!

Paul Martin said...

Alison, I've just enrolled in French classes. I'm hoping to go there in the not too distant future and be able to understand films without subtitles. It'd be fantastic to see one of Daniel's plays in France (or even Melbourne for that matter).

If his playwriting is like the screenplays he's written for Alkinos Tsilimidos' films, I've gotta see 'em.