All plays, no work

I do wish though it was all work and no play. This is so reducing me.
But I’ve been going to the theatre since I was probably five (thanks Ma and Pa), maybe twice a week, certainly once a week, and nothing gives me more pleasure. Nothing nourishes me as much. But sometimes I get consumed with sadness, and feel that this is selfish in that I can’t pass on nearly sixty years of extraordinary images, stories, ideas, magic, sounds, emotions, observations, shared experiences, life enhancing and life changing moments, all that creative collaboration. It is of the moment, and that’s exciting, but I wish I could pass on my passion or somehow reuse it in a creative project – a book of 100 moments that make life worth living. I’d love others to enjoy even a fraction of what I have enjoyed. I hope a more economic personal future does not curtail all this.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve seen quite a few things, all mostly booked a year ago or when I was working. Firstly, Sheffield offered the Life of Pi – and that was simply extraordinary, full of profound beautiful moments, and joyously inventive storytelling. Gorgeous puppets of course, and at one point it was Pi and the animals in the boat, along with half a dozen seemingly invisible operators. it gets me every time when performers are invisible – it works in animation too, see Screen Play. who ever notices the black figures. But life of Pi was sublime. Then a birthday present of The Provoked Wife at Stratford – a play I got reacquainted with when doing Playhouse creatures last year. Glorious bawdy and rather dark romp with an interesting moral. The lady playing Lady brute was willowy Alexandra Gilbreath, and her understudy was a black, bald lady of restricted growth. I hope she gets to play the part, or has bigger parts in the company. well done RSC. Also in the play was Les Denis, doing little more than moving furniture. I felt very sorry for him, but he was at least working, and I gather he has a major part in the other play, Venice Preserv’d.
Then five years late to the party, I caught up with The Book of Mormon and marvelled at the slick, geometric choreography and fluid staging, and the sheer energy of it all.
And then live from the national/Piccadilly was The Lehman Trilogy. On the hottest day on record I didn’t really want to face nearly four hours of the complex saga of the banking family who set up Wall street, but it was thrilling, staged on an almost constantly revolving glass box, suggesting a modern office whilst its three performers resolutely wore 19the century frock coats. Complex and hugely satisfying. Inventive, non literal theatre at its best. Frustrating though as I have listened to friends designing plays at the Garrick, and coming up with literal architectural dead rooms. This should not be replicas but illusions. I believed I saw the tiger Richard Parker, and the moment, when finally worn down, he put his head on Pi’s lap I gasped so loudly.
interestingly I had done a talk at a film group last week. I was the first half and took the Tchaikovsky film to pieces, and then a fellow speaker talked about making screens and such images for films. I have a feeling my single puppet was found to be more interesting. Illusions still take our breath away, when we know it is just an illusion.
All this and not a sniff of work, even though a university asked me to apply for a job as a part time tutor, and sure enough I submitted the endless paperwork and did not even get an interview. Darn.