Tag Archives: favorites

Earnest, My Lover

4 Mar

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Here we are…halfway through the run of “Miracle,” over the hump of that 16 shows in 17 days marathon, back at performances as usual tomorrow, while today I have first read to begin the next show.

It’s the first time I’ve ever remounted a role, which is going against the grain for me.

…Whatever character I take on, I put everything I’ve got into it…so good, bad, or otherwise, there is no need to revisit them to my mind.  Obviously I could have taken later lessons and instilled them into earlier characters in my career to make the work more solid, but performance art being what it is…one could always say that, then end up playing the same 5 roles your entire career on repeat.  No thank you.  I learn what I can from each, and move the fuck on.  It’s healthier that way.  Even for the ones I really, really love.

…But this re-visit comes from what I’d call “unfinished business.” And it is also allowing me to work with one of my favorite artists I’ve ever shared a stage with.  The fact we had both done the same show before, is anything but adding dust to an old already-written book, as his role has now swapped and we’ll be firing on all cylinders in a trilogy of romantic mayhems together.  Our last chance to touch upon that regime was in “Importance of Being Earnest,” where we first realized the mad-cow totally platonic chemistry we apparently swim in together…which amuses the fuck out of us both, I think…as I doubt two more totally NOT interested-in-one-another-at-all people could be found. 

…The joy of finding a performing  “yin” to your “yang,” the always “yes-man” to every idea…the person who you can literally go anywhere you can mentally and physically conceive of, on a total whim, which for some reason just always fucking works…THAT is a hell of a lot of fun to play and work with. Actual communication isn’t even a necessity of the beast…it’s like we’re artistically wired to the other’s guys idea-sector.

…Which, given that it’s period and farce, outrageous and scintillating, means I’ll have a lot to keep my mind busy and inventive, and  joyful as I wave goodbye to my favorite role to date.  The transition will be far less bumpy with a buddy at my side…several buddies in fact. 

…Sometimes being “The Woman,” ain’t all bad…

Hark, “39 Steps”…it’s me again.  Grab the wigs n’ handcuffs…eets time to plaaaay. 

~D

Auld Lang Syne

3 Sep

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Bonus night off from rehearsal as one of m’home Theatre’s got a mayoral proclamation for it’s own day (Sept. 13th), tonight.  This lost us our director for the night, as he’s the Artistic Director of said theatre, so: am home celebrating artistic awesomeness by partaking in some artistic awesomeness.

Tonight is old favorites night.

Currently “West Wing” is in the BluRay player, uncorked champagne (brut) on the coffee table (minus a little in my glass.) This has been limited to this final DVD.  A bit of work on a blanket I forgot I was working on back in the “Anne Frank” knitting days…

…After that: a hot bath.  Bath salts (out of bubbles), then to bed and finish another one of those zillion books by my bed.

Wednesday to follow, at the office, is infinitely better than a Monday or even Tuesday (also known as a late month-end.)

Our numbers are reached.  Our weekend orders are booked. Our contracts are printed and done.  Wednesdays.  They are this whole other thing. 

…A crazy week at the office anyway, as the facelift FINALLY fucking begins.

Paint and carpets show tomorrow (in raw form.)  My desk system (the first new thing I’ve EVER owned, besides a ballpoint pen, at this place of work in SEVEN YEARS) is still in it’s Staples box, in the lobby, waiting to be put together.  We are without the new computers, using the old crap, but what can you do with these people?  The fact that we got this far is a nigh miracle.

T-minus 2.5 weeks before the Big Brass Corporate office audit AND my show’s Opening Night.

So, no stress or anything.

…Least, not right now. Right now, I’m partaking of a lovely Port Townsend boutique wine shop purchased Spanish cava bubbly. 

Suck it, stress. 

I burped you out with dinner.

Meanwhile…how awesome is bubbly? Am I right?  It’s been far too long since I had this kinda fun. Weird how a little air and squished grapes could end up so happy, but damn if it don’t.  You should have you some. Just cuz.  I promise, you won’t regret it.  Unless you have the sweet stuff. Then there is plenty to regret.  Buy Brute! Always! 

I am just here to help you, guys!

And know what ELSE is awesome?  Tomorrow opens our city detour street after like a year or something of traffic being re-routed to down town and adding fifteen to twenty minutes to the daily commute.

DONE AT LAST!

…Plus, I’ll be riding a three day work week, as the paint begins on Friday.  We will all be remote-officeing via tablets and phones for the day, as they gut the offices and (God I only hope) paint the right things the right colors, and don’t put the carpeting in until afterwards.

(Again: always a gamble when betting on “competency,” and the person who calls the shots at this place.)

…But that’s DAYS from now.  Now, I have bath salts to pick from.  And whether I want some Sci-Fi, Austen, Murder or History to take a bath with.

(I think we all know, it’ll  be Austen. I mean, lets be real.)

Joy, oh joy, for well spent nights off! 

…And so ready to hit the stage tomorrow and tear that shit up.  With three days off my handcuff bruises have practically healed…time to re-brand and re-mark, babes.

~D

Run Away To Happy-Land

1 Apr

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I need a break.

…I need a break like a shipwrecked , solitary survivor of a major boating travesty, needs water.

Water.

…I need water.

Water comes in the form of side-tracking my exhausted-sleep-depraved-month-end-numbered brain.

…It also comes from England.

English water is the best kind.

…Although prob’ly not literally.

…Have you seen the Thames, live?!

I have.

…And how much do I hold that against them? 

Not at all. 

Not even a little.

I love their freakin’ water.

…”Water” in this case meaning, “Escapism.”

So, I’m goin’ swimmin’ in it.

Right. Now:

English Theatre I Would Rather Be Watching Live Right Now, Instead Of Almost Everything Else I Am Currently Doing With My Life

If you wanted to buy me an early Birthday present, any of the following would spin my top with joy.  In case you happen to have a bunch of bucks, just laying around:

* Judi Dench, Ben Wishaw (The Hour), and Ruby Bentall (Lark Rise) in Peter & Alice at the Noel Coward Theatre, through June.
(About the 1932 meeting of the woman who inspired “Alice in Wonderland” and the man who inspired “Peter Pan.”)

* Helen Mirren in The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre , through June.
(Mirren takes on the Queen again, in a series of private audiences, across her rein, with all 12 of her PMs. **Olivier Nominee for Best Actress**)

* James McAvoy and Claire Foy (Little Dorrit) in Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios I, through April.
(A Scotsman PLAYING The Scotsman! Shut up!)

* Rupert Everett in The Judas Kiss at The Duke of Yorks Theatre, through April.
(Oscar Wilde, his arrest, and imprisonment **Olivier Nominee for Best Actor**)

* Rowan Atkinson in Quartermain’s Terms, at Wyndham’s Theatre, through April.
(A hopeless English Teacher for Foreigners, and his co-Cambridge colleagues, across several years of time.)

* Anna Chancellor (The Hour) and Toby Stephens (Jane Eyre — also, Maggie Smith’s son) in Private Lives at the Gielgud Theatre, through September.
(Ra for Coward!)

* Deborah Findlay (Cranford) in The Winslow Boy, through May.
(A father’s fight to clear his son’s name in a theft under the spotlight of heavy media.)

* Jude Law as Henry V at the Noel Coward Theatre through February.
(I want! I want!)

* Kristin Scott Thomas, Rufus Sewell (The Holiday) in Old Times At the Harold Pinter Theatre, through April.
(Darkly erotic drama of conflicting memories of a trio of friends across years of time.)

* David Tennant as Richard II at the Barbican Theatre, through January.
(Yes, please.)

* Ciaran Hinds (Jane Eyre) in The Night Alive, at the Donmar Warehouse, through July.
(A shyster, a chance meeting, a complicated lifestyle.)

* Dervla Kirwan (Ballykissangel) in The Weir at the Donmar Warehouse, through June.
(A pub, a stranger, chilling stories of the past.)

* Imogene Stubbs (Twelfth Night) in Third Finger, Left Hand at Trafalgar Studios II, through April.
(Two sisters, an attempt of reconciliation, reliving the turbulent upbringing that tore them apart.)

…Wow.

I want.

I want badly.

…Back to the lonely, thirsty island, I go.

~D

Some Quality Stalking Time

22 Oct

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Went on another stalking bender this weekend, during my down time on the couch with a heating pad plopped on my guts.

…It’s one of my all-time favorite things to do, and is usually accomplished in short blips as needed, unless I’m laid out for a significant amount of time and happen to be watching something that reminds me that Actors are fucking amazing human talent-Gods of mad skillz.  (Least, the ones I follow are.)  So while their super, amazing, talents played in serial episodes of yay on my TV, I got out the tablet and followed some of my current craze-crushes to see what they’ve been up to of late.  And because I feel you should be aware of these people (who are not necessarily really well-known “A-listers — though they SHOULD be), I will be including them in today’s blog as a special appreciation day to “That One Dude.”

…”That One Dude” is the known face, but often nameless actor (and by “Actor” I mean “Actress” too…I just prefer it as a general term.)

…So here are my peeps, (in no particular order), currently being stalked. (All English, of course, cuz they’re who I haunt the most.)  Some names better known than others:

Julia Sawalha – You’d know her best from Ab-Fab. I love her best from her period works. After a ten year acting hiatus she popped back onto the screen in literary-plums Cranford, and Lark Rise to Candleford, and after the the 20th Anniversary Ab-Fab specials is now sitting on two new series’ from which she has yet to pick. Being kinda the shit at the moment, she is well-open to be choosy, and cuz she’s got killer taste and obviously a good sense of self-humor, am totally chomping at the bit right now to see what she does next.

Imelda Staunton – RADA Grad, and one the best Harry Potter villains, ever. She’s of the original company much used in Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson works like Peter’s Friends, Much Ado, and Sense and Sensibility. Her acting chops are enormous (Vera Drake) no matter how diminutive the package it comes in (she’s only 5′ tall.) And she’s a major fav for her overt Character Actor-ness, sucking your eyes into her direction absolutely every time she pops onto the screen. Next up on her docket: a dark retelling of Sleeping Beauty from Maleficent’s POV.

Brendan Coyle – Right now, you know him as “Mr. Bates,” hailing from Downton Abbey fame, but I know him first from Gaskell’s North and South (also sporting Richard Armitage, in his break-through role.) A solid Actor who often shoulders characters in the working man’s fight, with political morals, (which is a thing I could always take a little more of, coming from a TV screen, thank you very much.) Next up, more Mr. Bates-ness, and cop drama Sunshine.

Lisa Dillon – RADA alum, and primarily a Theatre baby. She was part of the “who the fuck wasn’t in this series,” Cranford, but spends the bulk of her time on The Boards, with a whole slew of Acting Awards already pocketed. (She also wow’d the tabloids with her 43-year-difference romance with Patrick Stewart — hello, Captain!) She’s an acting heavy of her own accord though, with huge range and some awesome reviews for Ibsen’s “Master Builder” (with Stewart), Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter” and “Private Lives,” Fedeau’s “Flea in Her Ear,” Eldridge’s “Knot of the Heart,” Tennessee Williams’ “Period of Adjustment,” and Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”…to name a few. The woman is only a year older than me, and has such freak credits, that if she stopped acting tomorrow, she would STILL have had a better career than anyone outside of maybe Meryl Streep. True story. With the works she tackles, she’s definitely on my list of people to see on stage, next time I travel London way.

Derek Jacobi – On my trip to London, I missed seeing his Malvolio in “Twelfth Night,” by one week, and it totally tore me up to realize it. He’s a fav from back when I first started following the Branagh ensemble works like Dead Again, Henry V, and Hamlet et al. You’ll prob’ly remember him from Altman’s Gosford Park, or I, Claudius. As one of the co-founders of The National Theatre (with Laurence Olivier), and one of the RSC’s most elite, he’s shared stages with everyone from Ian McKellen, Peter O’Tool, and Richard Burton, to John Gielgud and Wendy Hiller. A major contributor to Branagh’s education when he first began, he works on with the equal force of Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, as war horses of eternal awesomeness. It is always good class time, well spent, to watch him at work…so I’m always on board whenever his name hits a cast list. Just closed in Bernard Shaw’s “Heartbreak House,” at the Chinchester Fest Theatre. Next up, some screen time with Emma Thompson, David Suchet, Robbie Coltrane and Julie Walters in bio pic, Effie…followed by period piece Of Corset’s Mine, and a Shakespeare Uncovered PBS special, as he performs and coaches a session at the Globe on “Richard II.”

Emma Fielding – Another Theatre mainstay, you’d prob’ly only recognize from the Cranford series. She does audio book work on the classics, and had also taken a turn winning Theatre awards for Noel Coward’s “Private Lives” (on Broadway), as well as Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia”, Moliere’s “School for Wives,” and John Ford’s “Broken Heart.” Among her other works: Viola in “Twelfth Night,” Lady Mackers in “Macbeth,” and title role in “Jane Eyre.” She just finished the UK Theatre tour of “The King’s Speech,” (as Queen Elizabeth), and Hesione in “Heartbreak House” with Derek Jacobi…so it’s too bad she has no range or anything…which is good to be mindful of and learn from when archetype boxes start hemming you in. For the life of me, I can’t find what’s next on her docket, but I’m sure as hell gonna see that woman on stage at some point, so need to figure it out within the next year…when hopefully I’ll be back overseas again.

Hugh Bonneville – Lord Grantham to most, this Downton Abbey alum goes back to Notting Hill, and Mansfield Park, for me. Read theology at Cambridge, and a graduate of Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, he is primarily a character actor on screen, always a comfortable, solid edition to any scene he’s in, without needing to trapes out a bunch of bells and whistles to achieve it. On stage, he gets to strut more in the spotlight…his first gig as Ralph Fiennes’ understudy in “Midsummer,” got him picked up immediatly with seasons spent at The National, and RSC, and has a huge reel of credits including “June and the Paycock,” “School for Scandal,” “The Alchemist,” “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” and played Laertes to Branagh’s “Hamlet” at the RSC. Also a Patron of children’s charities, he’s just an all-round awesome fella, which comes through in every print interview he gives. Totally on my list of favs, and people to watch at work live, oneday. Next up: More Downton, and Sci-Fi/History mix Return of Captain Nemo, with Captain America’s Haley Atwell.

Claudie Blakley – First fell hard for Claudie in Gosford Park, with her tiny details of awkwardness and heartbreak making a totally stand-out performance to me as an (at the time) totally unknown, on a screen full of giants. She won me over further with her ensemble work in Cranford and Lark Rise as well, never hogging a scene, always eager to play with her partners and match them and challenge them with continual, solid choices. She’s the kinda person I’d wanna share a stage with every day. A grad of Judi Dench’s Alma Mater, London Central School of Speech and Drama, I will follow her anywhere, on any future project she chooses, because one can never learn enough ways to share a scene, own a character, and exude consistent excellence as a specialist in ensemble working. Most recently in National Theatre Live productions of “Cherry Orchard” and “Comedy of Errors,” and “Macbeth,” at the Sheffield Crucible.

Victoria Hamilton – I did a whole freakin’ blog on her once, cuz the woman is fierce, and we fill the same esthetic theatre shoes including height and general look and build, so she’s an ideal role model to watch and learn from in dynamics, role choice and general chutzpah. A LAMDA grad, she’s swept awards for nearly every theatre role she’s done, from “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg” (which you can watch it here, in total. And yes, that’s Eddie Izzard as her co-star.), to “As You Like It,” and “The Master Builder.” She was Viola in the Derek Jacobi “Twelfth Night,” and closed in June with glowing reviews for Mike Bartlett’s “Love, Love, Love.” You might know her on film from the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice, or Lark Rise, or Mansfield Park. I know her as my more awesome Doppelganger. Either way, she’s always on my list of look-ups, and will always play a part in ticket purchasing, whenever I’m abroad.

…The list went on from there, going on until the wee smalls of the morning. Because I could.

…It’s a fetish that always makes me eager to get to work and learn things, and do them better than the last time. They’re my teachers, these people…as much as the ones I currently (and in the past) have shared the stage with. And at some point, I’m gonna see ’em all live, from a theatre seat, like I did with Dench.

One of my many goals.

…You should cue up and watch some of their work, if you haven’t already, and see what all the fuss is about.

~D

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