Monday, May 02, 2016

Love

When I die, I choose to remember us like this. She is beautiful now later in life, but my God, look at her in this photo. Stunning. My favourite human.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Falling

I've written three novel manuscripts, met with major publishers about all three, but all came to naught. This was a long time ago. I destroyed all three manuscripts. Hard drives are long dead. None of them exist.

But in going through all of our stuff in storage I found there was a paper version of one of the novels. It is called Falling. The opening goes like this...

"The thin chime pierced the silence. Heads or tails. Life or death.
The coin landed.
He shrugged.
It was death.
Okay."

I might take a look at this survivor.

Great Expectations

Went down to our storage cage to find a book that has one of my short stories in it to give to my cafe helper (and friend) Loredana. Couldn't find the book; I must have given them all away.

But I did find millions of the books Ann and I have read (sooo many books) and all these long forgotten photos. Actual photos in albums. Strange to see who we were, what we were doing, who we were trying to be, compared to who we have become. This was me as an extra on the set of, I think, Great Expectations, this scene filmed in Balmain Court House.



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Please Forgive Me

Today walking along Smith Street... I love this song. It's one of my favourite songs ever. And the video clip... so fucking beautiful. Today walking along Smith Street, this song started playing from some unknown place. I smiled, because I love this song so much. La laa laaa, please forgive me, I never meant to hurt yoooo... la la la laaa

I vaguely wondered where the music was coming from until it eventually stopped. Then I remembered that I like this song so much that it's my ring tone. The Dreaded One had been trying to phone me.

This is not the first time this has happened

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Gone Doofing Again: Yemaya 2016

Sign on the cafe door before going to Yemaya. Such a good festival with good friends old and new. This is just kind of a bookmark: went to the festival, didn't catch up with Loredana. I hope to fill in more details later. Beautiful weekend with friends, but the Loredana thing was a big disappointment. Really wanted to spend festival time with her. Alas...

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Evolution Of Friendship

And so Badaboom Beverley's orbit leaves my realm. She will zing past again in one month before heading off forever into the future. We caught up briefly in the cafe today. It was the relaxed comfort of catching up with a good friend. Love the evolution of friendship. Once a stranger, now a friend. It's a beautiful thing.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Private Lives By Noel Coward, Balloon Head Theatre, Review

Private Lives

Reviewed by Lee Bemrose



This debut production by Balloon Head Theatre of Noel Coward's classic romantic comedy was also my first experience of the play, and although I know that it is produced regularly to mostly glowing reviews, and although I am a sucker for a good romcom, I can't say I'm a fan of the play. I honestly don't know what all the fuss is about.

For the uninitiated, Elyot and Amanda used to be married. Then they divorced. Elyot recently married Sybil and Amanda recently married Victor. By coincidence, Elyot and Sybil have booked their honeymoon hotel room right next door to Amanda and Victor's honeymoon hotel room. You're either the kind of person who reacts with “Ha! How funny is that?”, or the kind of person who thinks, “You've got to be kidding me.”

Elyot and Amanda discover that they are neighbours and decide, due to their acrimonious past, that they all must leave. They do not tell their new partners who is staying next door, just rather insist that they must leave. The newly-weds quarrel over this, with Sybil and Victor refusing to leave, and storming out for the evening. Elyot and Amanda reluctantly share drinks and conversation on Eliot's balcony. They reminisce and in the blink of an eye decide they are in love again, so much so that they have to elope at once without telling their new spouses what is going on. (Again... seriously?). Back in Amanda's Paris apartment, Elyot and Amanda hole up, booze up and talk incessantly about how much they love each other. Soon, however, they suddenly hate each other again. Sybil and Victor turn up, more shouting and bickering and insults and the play ends.

I once read that using coincidence as a device in story-telling was a pretty bad idea, so I admit that I was off to a bad start here with the coincidence of these former spouses ending up in neighbouring hotel rooms. I also questioned Sybil and Victor's obsessions with their new spouse's former spouses on their honeymoon – wouldn't this kind of talk have happened in the early stages of their relationships? Would they really happen on the first night of their honeymoon?

Thing is, the dialogue is pretty good and I found myself lightening up. WTF. Just a romcom. Lots of witty banter in this act and some pretty decent acting too, particularly from the driving forces of the play; Oscar Shaw as Elyot did Aloof Upper-Class-Twat really well, and Seren Oroszvary did Volatile Upper-Class I-Love-You-I-Hate-You-Psycho really well. The characters of Sybil (Rachel Shrives) and Victor (Ben Symon) appeared to be written as lighter characters and the roles were played accordingly, perhaps self-consciously going for the comic relief angle. This was most obvious in the second act when the mood was less fluffy than in the first act.

The second act seemed a little long and not as pacey as the first. This was because this was the serious part of the story, where shit was going to go down. The spirit of Elyot and Amanda being cocooned from the world in a drunken delirium of love was beautifully done, then a little over-done. The comedy to drama ratio was kept up even though a tapering of the humour to let the serious stuff bubble through might have worked better (if I had been Noel Coward's dramaturg... oops... back to reviewing).

By the time Sybil and Victor arrived at the apartment, I had long stopped wondering how this was all going to pan out, because I didn't care for any of these characters. I really didn't care how it ended. If we liked at least one of the characters and wanted things to go their way there would have been some tension. But as it was, meh, I don't care if she ends up with him or he ends up with him or if they all kill each other with rusty spoons.

In saying how much I'm not a fan of the text (did you pick up on that at all?), I did think this was a pretty good debut production. Lots of friends and family in the audience on opening night and so naturally some of the laughs came from said family and friends seeing, erm, a family member or friend doing funny things on stage. But not all; many of the laughs were a result of some very good comic acting.

Set design was minimally evocative, which is all you need. Sound was a slight problem in the second act when the hotel walls were pushed back on the stage and the balconies became the apartments walls and music was played loud.

The French housemaid Louise (Camilla Eustance) was funny without doing much, as was the Kate Bush piece, which I suspect
probably wasn't in the original text. Both these segments were absolutely enjoyable but didn't seem to move the story forward in any way.

If you're a fan of this Noel Coward guy, I suspect you'll probably enjoy Balloon Head Theatre's production of Private Lives. Looking forward to seeing to what Balloon Head does next.

Friday, April 15, 2016

This Will Be My Biggest Life Regret

Two of my favourite people ever. The one in the middle gets married this weekend. I loathe weddings, but I would gladly swap all the weddings I've ever thought I had to attend to be at this one.

My love for Ann is simple and obvious.

My love for Kat is more complex. My kid sister. Happy to be her older brother. Kind of crushed I wasn't able to be there for her marriage. Cried in the cafe today because I couldn't be in San Francisco this weekend. Actually cried. The moment has gone. I fucked up. I wasn't there.

And life goes on.