Bits and pieces ~ theatre notes

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bits and pieces

Yes, it's me, back from an all-too-short wallow in the ponds of idleness. I bought 6kg of books, read some of them, looked at lots of visual art, ate a wide variety of interesting food and didn't go near a theatre. Which can't be said about my time since my return, which has been rather theatre-rich. Yes, I've been going to the FRINGE. Of which more in ensuing days. My brain is still lounging by the virtual swimming pool, but I'm sending urgent telegrams and am hoping for some contact soon.

Some stop-gap notices while I await anxiously the return of consciousness, because there's no shortage of excellent online reading. First, I have uploaded a new issue of my literary ezine, Masthead, which is a special issue featuring an anthology of poems by poets from Poetryetc, a listserv founded by John Kinsella in 1997, and which I ran for many years. If I say so myself, it's pretty damn fine.

And over the past month or so, the blogs have been waking up - there's some excellent and thought-provoking reading around the traps, and what follows is a very partial list of what's been interesting me in the blogosphere lately, and which I suggest to you as great places to land your cursor. Those perennial faves of mine, George Hunka at Superfluities Redux and Chris Goode at Thompson's Bank of Communicable Desire, have been pounding the keyboards with all manner of interesting posts. Andrew Haydon at Postcards from the Gods has been uploading reviews like a maniac, as well as noting Andy Field's new blog, meaning Andy, one of the interesting British bloggers and up-and-coming young theatre artists, hasn't deserted us yet.

Closer to home, there's a promising new blog called Long Sentence No Suggestions, which features this startling and brave post from Martin confronting some of the demons we all have to face in this game. Which brings me, by demonic association, to the Fringe, well-summarised by Richard Watts, where the bloggers have it covered. Michael Magnusson is blogging heroically at On Stage and Walls in Melbourne, with extensive coverage of opera and music as well as theatre, and is currently heading, flags bravely flying, into the turbulent Fringey whirlpool. Watch too for the reviews on Jana's blog mono no aware. Some - ie me - are heading less bravely than others, but even so my schedule next week is as packed as I can manage. But I am a frail flower, especially when I look around and see what others are doing. No one, however, is showing such devotion to the Cause as Born Dancin'. As the man himself puts it:

So I made a calendar of 83 shows I thought I could get to at this year’s Melbourne Fringe (launched yesterday). I mentioned this to a friend and he said “Hey, it’s like Around the Fringe in 80 Shows”. Oh, I think you dropped something. WAIT, IS THAT A GAUNTLET? I accept the challenge. I’ll try to write up 80 capsule reviews here in the next three weeks.

THRILL! at the SIZZLING NEW ART I encounter!!!
MARVEL! at the pointless AMBITION of my task!!!
GASP! as my writing becomes increasingly erratic and HYSTERICAL!!!!
SKIM! the reviews for the BEST BITS!!!

83 shows? What manner of madness is this? I suggest volunteers ought to be at the ready in three weeks' time to pick up the bits. And I dips me lid.

8 comments:

Michael Magnusson said...

6kg of books? Remember that bookstore chain that sold books by the kilo rather than by individual price?

Alison Croggon said...

No, but there were those places that sold books by the yard to grand country homes with big libraries.

I know because my luggage was 6kg heavier on the way home. Now the dilemma is where to put them. Shelf space has reached red alert levels in this house, and there's no more wall for more shelves...

Anonymous said...

And Dame Edna writes by the kilo...

naive theatre goer said...

"6kg of books? Remember that bookstore chain that sold books by the kilo rather than by individual price?"

I remember something like that, one large, almost warehouse size, venue that sold books. I think it was on or near the corner where the Anti-Cancer Council now has its Palatial Palace (corner of Rathdowne & Victoria). And it was so long ago I think they were selling by the pound, not kilo. Someone who was involved in that was still involved in book stores at least until recently (e.g., was involved in crime bookshop "Kill City" when it was on Chapel St. Prahran) and he still chuckles about selling by the pound when the topic comes up.

Michael Magnusson said...

That's the one. One of the many things I got there were brand new hardback copies of the Methuen Brecht edition. They also had tons of those old Soviet era Progress Press Russian classics. I still a complete Pushkin (including Mozart and Salieri).

Anonymous said...

Enjoying the new Masthead very much, e.g. M. Richards's Lost Children & P. Howard's The Construction of the Tomahawk. Thanks, Alison.

Ali (alizadeh)

naive theatre goer said...

"One of the many things I got there were brand new hardback copies of the Methuen Brecht edition."

You must have been rich if you were buying hardbacks when paying by the pound:-). I was a poverty-stricken youngster at the time and thought paperbacks were the way to go when buying by the pound....

Michael Magnusson said...

Nah, it worked out to about $2 per book. I was a poverty-stricken youngster too (and am now a poverty-stricken person of 'un certain age')