Tuesday, 22 November 2011

a decade: there and back again...

'All that we have to do is decide what to do
with the time that is given to us...'

Monday, 21 November 2011

skin: reflections

10 November 2011 - 12 February 2012

Old Truman Brewery / Claudia
DARREN HALL / June 2011

Leo Gormley
from the series: The Ugly Face of Prejudice
MARK JOHNSON | November 2010

Malega | Surma Boy | Ethiopia | April 2011
from the series:  Faces of Africa
MARIO MARINA | April 2011

Keira Knightly
MICHAEL BIRT | December 2010

Biba Aisha
JODIE BEIBER | July 2010

Peter Crouch
SPENCER MURPHY | August 2010

Monette and Maddy | Rue des Partants
MAJA DANIELS | July 2010

Sunday, 20 November 2011

the conversation: tables

Nottara Theatre | Bucharest
Barbican: Pit

Director: Vlad Maccasi
Design: Stefan Caragui
Music: Cristi Juncu
Lighting: Constantin Ion
Sound: Bogdan Gadola
Photography: Ciprian Duica
  • the intimacy of the domestic setting
  • family propaganda
  • child abuse / suicide
  • the private and the public of 'speeches'
  • the table (!) - central
  • the eastern-european-ness of it
  • the archaic design
  • the presence of the dead
  • the un-synchronised surtitles
  • do audiences talk through Romanian Theatre?
  • emotionally committed

Saturday, 19 November 2011

twenty years on...

by Ariel Dorfman
Harold Pinter Theatre

Director: Jeremy Herrin
Design: Peter McKintosh
Lighting: Neil Austin
Music: Stephen Warbeck
Sound: Fergus O'Hare
Fight Director: Bret Yount
Photography: Ellie Kurttz 

Couldn't resist this for just £15, having seen the original at The Royal Court just over twenty years ago. I was on an eight month unemployment-stint between theatre-in-education at Theatr Clwyd and The Gingerbread Man at South Hill Park, Bracknell! It didn't sit comfortably between the two but it was what I was doing: the Court would have been a first choice! This Saturday matinĂ©e transported me back thirty years to the eighties and how I spent most Saturdays, cramming in two shows - and a film - and spending all my paper-round money...

Some poignant thoughts from the programme (my summary) by Clive Stafford Smith (Director, Reprieve):
  • the cycle: violence justifying violence?
  • i.e. George Bush / Tony Blair
  • the eternal trap/repetition of hatred
  • victim becomes perpetrator
  • the repercussions of...
  • sitting in judgement on others: human vs human
  • privately and publicly
  • the quantum of evidence
  • the burden of proof
  • the rights of the victim
  • the rights of the perpetrator
  • the courts of law
  • due process
  • the courts of public opinion
  • denial vs reconciliation
  • reconciliation vs revenge
  • re-victimisation of victims
  • accountability vs compassion
  • war vs truth
  • a the need for the 'legal' justification of war
  • the procedures of...
  • complicity: who decides and how?
  • Thandie Newton was compelling: slick, cinematic, resolved...

Thursday, 17 November 2011

the conversation

The Conversation | Pedro Barbeito | 2004

The image, with kind permission from Pedro Barbeito, being used for the youtheatre's next 'made', 'devised', 'created' piece:


Below, an extract from: Dialogues for a New Millennium
(click for the whole interview):

"From the beginning of history people have been trying to represent the world through pictures. Before photography, painting was the principal medium with which the world and its history were documented. We are all well aware of the liberties taken by artist and patron in that regard. The images left behind are what now define those moments in time. It only makes sense that photography would follow suit. Photography was initially seen as a more factual way of recording the world, the representation resulting from a chemical process. It turns out that from its inception, photography has been used to manipulate reality; there was the initial belief that photographs were factual documents, allowing for the ruse to progress more easily. In our daily lives we attempt to change our appearance so we may look more attractive, less attractive, younger, more threatening, thinner… Photography is an extension of how we want to see the world and how we desire to be seen in it.

The overflow and saturation of imagery in our current information age has only added to the competitive side of image making - how does one capture the attention of an audience? Whether it’s the news, entertainment or selling cosmetics, one has to try to visually differentiate oneself from one’s competition in order to maintain interest. Online this involves static images competing with moving images. The ads in magazines and newspapers that we once half glanced at or skipped entirely are now mobile online and even come at us with sound; a form of virtual Times Square, where every square inch of pixilated space competes, with lights and music, for our attention.

We can look at images of the war in Iraq in The New York Times and we can also look at different images of the same incidents on the Al Jazeera website. This cross examining of events and of commercial products that’s available to us allows for a greater truth than was available 50 years ago; we end up just having to search deeper for it."