Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sanctuary Lamp at Riverbank Arts Centre

A few of us went to see "The Sanctuary Lamp" in Riverbank Arts Centre last night.
The production was directed by Tom Murphy and produced by b*spoke Theatre Company.

I really didn't like the first half, and the second half was really excellent. So overall, I really liked it. The set and lighting was really beautiful. The sound was excellent, they created a reverb to make it sound like a Church and it really gave the production a sense of space in a relatively small performance space. All of the performances were good, a special note has to go to Declan Conlon who for me anyway was exceptional and lifted the whole production. B*spoke have put together a really good touring piece of theatre that will hopefully be a great success for them.

So where was the problem? It was all with Murphy's direction. The was a real sense of the writer and none of the director. Murphy seemed way to caught up in the beauty of his own words that he seemed to forget he was meant to be directing a play. There was a huge amount of actors having their back to the audience, and I could see no real artistic need for that. It almost seemed that Murphy didn't care about the audience.

For me it brought up the question, should a writer direct their own work? For me it has to be a no. They are two different creative processes and need to be treated as such. Now, of course there exceptions to that rule and some writers are really great at directing their own work. But in this case I think Murphy should just stick to what he is best at and leave the directing to someone else.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Creative Block

I'm blaming Ninja Cat on youtube for my current creative block. When I can't get inspired, I usually look to the internet for inspiration. And it's never high brow thought provoking websites, blogs or visuals I go for, it's always purile nonsense! And I have no problem with that as sometimes you need to completely turn off your brain in order for it to percolate an idea.

I usually go for some trusted favourites like this daily webcomic (be warned once you look at it you could get lost for days!) or Charlie Murphy's true Hollywood stories with Rick James, or of course youtube. They always make me laugh, a lot of the time in very, oh my god I shouldn't be laughing at this but nobody else is around so it's ok, kind of laugh. And after about 20 -30 minutes I can get back to work. The same with playing "Call of Duty" online on PS3. 30 minutes of killing nerds in the US for some reason is really relaxing and puts me in a creative mood.

But not yesterday. I'm working on adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" and it is going pretty well, but I hit a complete block yesterday.
Don't worry I told myself with assured confidence! I will consult the interweb and we will be back on track in mere minutes. Ah yes, youtube my old friend, we meet again, what videos of "Man getting hit by football" do you hold for me today? What's this? "Ninja Cat" A cat who is a ninja? Why this sounds right up my street.

4 hours later...

I have watched all of the vides of "ninja cat" and other related videos as suggested by youtube, I have watched the original "ninja cat" video 7 times and "ninja cat in box" 3 times. I have watched a video of "cat playing the piano", "cat talking", "flying cat" and a brief dalliance with "Greatest The Rock moments" before returning to "Simons Cat" (whose book I purchased in Barcelona last year). I feel dirty.

My creative block is still there, I can only think about how funny cats can be, and following my own cats around hoping to catch them doing those funny things cats do and post it online. I need to get past this and back to work.

I need to stay clear of the internet for a while so, does anyone have any suggestions of how they get over creative / writers block? Music, walking, whatever... just nothing to do with Ninja's or cat's.


Monday, February 8, 2010!/group

Till I get there

Hi Everyone,

I should be another string on the bow of the director’s mentorship program but at the moment I’m sweating it out in Ghana. I’m working on a play here I’ve written for the kids of Christ Orphanage with some other members of CARAVAN/ON/FIRE/COLLECTIVE. It’s called Oh! Away! It’s loosely based on the story of Óisinn in Tír na nÓg except with a lot of Africa, Ewe druming, and tin whistle playing.

I’m really excited about the program and really looking forward to getting stuck in when I get back. I really want to be as involved as possible while I’m away so it’d be great if ye could keep me updated in what’s going on and if there’s anything I can do! I think some of you guys are planning on applying to the Fringe. I am too and would love to hear some ideas on what ye're thinking of.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"and if you feel like it posting random quotes from artists that inspire you"

Why don't I get the ball rolling then while this blog finds it's feet:

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." -Beckett

1st session YAY!

Ok. So the first session is over with. And I can breathe a sigh of relief!
After snow delays and all that it was great to put a face to all of the names and start a programme that has been developing for a while now.

This whole thing started last year when I was writing the Youth Arts Strategy for Kildare County Council. I started to think about programmes and supports I would have liked when I finished in college. I studied Drama and Performance in DIT, when I went in I only wanted to act, but the staff there especially Pete, Miriam, Vic and Declan opened up a whole new world of teaching, directing, even dance! to me. I left the course with one clear vision, I wanted to work professionally in the arts. What wasn't clear to me was, in what area?

So, back to the Youth Arts Strategy and this programme. I felt emerging artists needed, contact with the sector and a group of similar minded people to work with. I don't want to bore anyone with the details so lets skip to... some months later and with great input from Gavin, Jim and Orla at Fishamble: The new play company, here we are.

There was a great feeling throughout the first session with the group. Everyone seemed to be there to share as much as learn from each other which was great. I think everyone brings something different to the table which can only be a good thing.

Being in a room with other people who want to work and learn is always inspiring.

I don't know where we will be in 10 months time, but I do know I will be enriched because of this programme.

1st session 24th January 2010

Welcome to the Mentoring Programme Blog!

The purpose of this blog is for the group to put up their own opinions of the programme, ask questions of the group, letting people know what you are up to and if you feel like it posting random quotes from artists that inspire you. And generally using it as a tool to stay in touch with each other.

If there are any other blogs we should be following you can add them to this blog. It would probably be best to keep it focused on writing and directing and maybe not the blog of someone really funny who keeps chickens or something.

I think I've set this up right, everyone should be able to post to this blog and comment etc, but if i'm missing out on something let me know and I'll fix it.

Like most things it will only work if people use it, so em... let's use it!

See you all at the next session on Saturday 6th Feb. I know I can't wait.