When I looked out in the morning it was as if
I had waked in Utopia
Shows – 48
Hangovers – 5
So this is it, the eye of the storm, the heart of the show, day 14 of 27, the number of lines in a sonnet, the number of stations of the cross, the number of incarnations of the Dalai Lama thus far. A time to take stock on what I’ve witnessed – great acting, funny-as-fuck comedians, graceful movements & quick-witted improv, moving writing & stagecraft to stir the soul… keep it coming people I’m havin a bloody ball!
This afternoon I ventured out into the rain to see acclaimed writer & actor Steven Berkoff’s OEDIPUS (18-29 / 13.20) at the PLEASANCE GRAND theatre. He’s acted in a Clockwork Orange & Rambo, early nudges in the right direction towards him producing this classic piece of drama. What a sensational piece of writing from the lad, turning the words of Sophocles into a wonderful blend of iambic pentameter & cutting half-lines, yet still mainting a thoroughly modern flow. The story is old, from the time of the Theban legends that were sung by the Greeks as they camped outside of Troy. Yet this tale of a guy murdering his father & marrying his mother still resonates, via Freud, through the modern psyche. Berkoff’s interpretation often grips you in the solar plexus & keeps your eyes & ears on every nuance of the action. This takes place before a vast Dali-esque backdrop & around a large table. There the chorus of 8 guys move about in grotesque synchronicity as a fantastic Oedipus plays out his tragedy. His wife, Jocasta, played by an enigmatic Anita Dobson (I saw her husband Brian May in toon the other day by the way), flows about the stage with menacing allurement & the whole package is a remarkable tribute to the timeless magic of theatre, born from the well-springs of the Elusian mysteries & still captivating onlookers today!
Come evening tide I went to sound engineer VICTOR POPE on the occasion his mum came to town. If it were my mam coming up & I was playing his material, I would have edited it to about 3 minutes worth. However, he ploughed on regardless &, depsite the flashes of mysogony & wanking jokes, she loved it! After the show she took me & Victor out for supper next door to the Jekyll & Hyde at the Edwardian tea-shop style Dogs restaurant.
We were joined by Victor’s elder brother, PAUL VICKERS, the one-time lead singer of psychadelic-poet-storm band THE DAWN OF THE REPLICANTS. He’s doing his own show, TWONKEYS CASTLE, the sequel to last years shows TWONKEYS COTTAGE. Its a surreal mad-cap laugh & has been getting good revies & tomorrow Im off to see it with the ‘family.’ A funny moment occured when one of the Dog’s lovely waitresses recognized him & said, “My hands stink of cheese becasue of you!” raising my expectations of an interesting show. The food was tasty by the way, a duck starter & a steak main I couldn’t even manage a supper come bedtime!
While I was out dining, I gave my review tickets to mi good pal DONNA SYME, who went up to THE JAZZ BAR to see Australian duo OUT OF ABINGDON (15-22 / different times). I buzzed her the next morning for her opinions & was told she’d had a great time – the music easy to the ear & soothing for the soul & I wholeheartedly agree (Im listening to the CD they gave us right now). The performers are Tina on double bass & Warwick on semi-acoustic & the chemistry they share is really relaxed, spreading the heart-warming vibe all through an attentive audience. They share vocal duties, hers flowing like liquid & his powerfully husky like the singer from Morphine. They played for an hour, blending their own well-crafted songs with covers such as Sensitve Kind (JJ CaLe), Clap Hands (Tom Waites) & Glory Box (Portishead). The musicianship was excellent, especially the unique accents & unusual techniques rising from Warwick’s finger-picking. Donna said it was just the right songs she needed to hear at that moment & left the Jazz Barr uplifted & ready to drink!