Friday, 4 April 2014

SUPER BLOG 2

I've broken the fucking kettle.

The lid was jammed and now I've jammed it some more by trying to open it. Plus I have now broken the filter inside the spout, so it's doubly-broken.

But I still feel like blogging. Also, my New Flatmate isn't home and when she's in I can't do any work because she plays Lady Gaga really loudly and asks me questions about the boiler that I don't know the answer to.

Before tonight I would have said that My New Flatmate was ok- she pecks my head a bit and we've very different (I made a JOKE about cocaine when her friends were round which went down like a lead balloon)- but we'll have a chat if we're both in the living room at the same time...

Now however, I am definitely Not Keen on her, because I've just realised she's taken mine and Natalie's glittery reindeer head off the wall and also removed the two sparkly bauble wreaths I made to cover up random nails on either side of the reindeer.

Why would she do that???

Where is our glittery reindeer head???

She left an unopened parcel on the table the other day and inside it was a canvas with a dog printed on it. If she thinks that's going on the wall she can, she can...

She can hang it on the wall, let's be honest- I'm not going to say anything.

It's so weird living in close proximity with someone I don't know. I can't be arsed. I'm moving soon, but I'll tell you more about that later.

First I need to tell you about Punch Drunk.

I've wanted to see a Punch Drunk production since I learnt about them at uni- they do interactive, promenade performances where the audience is invited to explore and discover the drama for themselves. I can't tell you how excited I was to go and see it. I hadn't seen any posters for it or anything, but OJ and TC went to see it and they said it was amazing, so me and three of their friends (who I've met before, I wasn't being a creepy) booked tickets to go and see it.

I wrote loads of notes on it at the time so I could do a long, detailed blog post on the production, but I don't think I should reveal too many of the show's secrets.

It's called The Drowned Man and is set in a film studio in the 1950s. When we went into the venue- a huge warehouse building near Paddington Station- we were told to put white masks on. Masks make people feel uninhibited. Wearing a mask makes you feels anonymous- you can see but you can't be seen. It's voyeuristic.
At first we walked through black corridors, so dark I couldn't see anyone behind or in front of me. It was so exciting, because we had no idea what lay ahead. Literally no clue.

We entered a lift, where an actress told us about the evening ahead. We were guests of Temple Studios, she said. We would be welcome in the bar on the third floor and to join in the celebrations at the end of evening. We could walk around the studios freely, she said. But be careful of the town that surrounded the film studios, it was run down and dangerous, she said.

She stopped the lift at the film studios and told us we were all getting out, but after two of our group had stepped out of the lift, she slammed the lift shutters across and pressed a button that took us down to another level. She told us we were in the town and told us to be careful, then we all got out of the lift.

It looked like a town out of a cowboy film- there were shop fronts and motels along a wooden walkway and in the middle the ground was red with dust. It looked deserted, apart from the audience members walking around in white masks.

You could look at everything. Me and Katie stuck together at first- wandering in to a hut with a bed inside and furniture. There was a large mirror on the wall and letters on the table. I read the letters, looked at the photos, touched the pillows on the bed. I had no idea the set would be so detailed. I thought we'd be running around a dark, empty warehouse that was like a giant blackbox theatre, but it felt as if we'd been transported to a town in the Western reaches of America.

We made our way through the huge gates that marked the entrance of Temple Studios. Inside I saw my first scene of the evening- a very choreographed scene between two casting agents who were flicking through photos of prospective actors.

When the scene had ended and the actors disappeared, some of the audience members watching them ran after them. I realised after a while that it was because they were scared of getting lost and left behind. I soon lost Katie- it was easily done, when everyone was wearing white masks- but at first I relished having my own individual experience.

I wandered down a corridor of dressing rooms, quite alone, no other audience members around. Most of the time there was music playing, making me feel as if I was in a film. I went into one of the dressing rooms and sat down in front of a mirror, surrounded by lights. I touched the 1950s lipsticks and compacts. It felt like going back in time.

Back in the corridor, I saw a producer talking to a potential actress on the telephone. She was at home and he was watching her through a two-way mirror. She was in the room I'd been in at the very beginning, in the town.

I won't describe every scene I saw, just my favourite one.

I suddenly found myself in a forest with huge trees towering above me, wood chip on the floor. The ticket price was worth that moment alone. There were caravans for actors in the forest and two young men were stood outside. Suddenly an actress in a red glittering dress appeared and all three actors performed a contemporary dance that conveyed the characters and scenario perfectly. I loved it because it was clear and effective; when people take the piss out of contemporary dance it's because it's confusing and it's ambiguous, but this scene was so succinct.

After two hours of wandering around, I started to feel really tired. Sometimes I would be lost without a scene, going round in circles and not being able to find any drama. It felt lonely and sinister. I watched a clown dancing in sand dunes and afterwards, when everyone else had walked off, I stayed to watch him. He was just sitting on a chair. Just as I about to go, he turned at looked at me, then licked his fingers slowly one by one.

It was uncomfortable, and thrrrrrilling (to risk sounding like an Enid Blyton character). I felt my face heat up behind the mask.

The top floor of the venue was a wasteland. There were rows of scarecrows sat in front of a coffin. The music was eerie and the lighting was dark. In the distance was a sand dune with a neon sign half buried in it. I kept ending up there, like a bad dream, opening a door or going up a staircase that leads you back to the same, nightmarish place.

Luckily, just as I got fed up, I saw Katie. She recognised me and clung on to my arm. The last scene we saw had nothing to do with any of the other scenes I'd seen. This isn't necessarily a bad thing- I enjoyed every scene for its own merit, but I do wonder what the actual narrative was. It's tempting to go back a few times, to see everything and experience every story line, but at £50 a ticket few people can afford to see it multiple times.

It was an amazing experience and I would urge anyone to go and see it... but be prepared to see fractured pieces of the complete performance you're expecting to see. You might not get a coherent narrative. I think the themes of the piece are more important- how the studio controlled and created and how the actors were trapped, abused, ambitious... At first the wasteland and the town felt unreal and dreamlike, while the studio felt the most realistic... gradually as I made my way around the space I realised how everything was really the same thing- in one dressing room I walked into racks and racks of trousers, which went on and on, winding round corners until I was back in the desert town.

If you like theatre, you need to experience it. Get tickets here.

So that was a couple of weeks ago. It's funny because, even though I've been Fairly Miserable recently, I've been going out a lot more and keeping busy.

On Monday night I went out for tea with Lauren, Beth and Jen and we ended up drinking a lot, then going back to Jen's office to try out the slide. She has a slide in her office- from one floor to another! It's a metal shoot, like the ones you used to get at Wacky Warehouse only they were plastic, because they were for kids. This one is metal because it's for adults.

I came shooting out the end of it 'like a sausage', according to Jen, who was stood at the bottom when I flew out and bore witness to me smacking my head and scraping skin of my elbow. I enjoyed it though.

The next day I was hungover, so hungover and slowly but surely The Fear stretched over me like a nasty grin. People were talking to me... but everything they were saying was a metaphor for something else. I couldn't hear what they were really trying to say because I had to understand what the metaphor was. I know this sounds mental but listen.

On Monday night Lauren and Jen were explaining to Beth's boyfriend what the phrase 'gegging in' meant. They said it was when someone tries to tag along, or to butt in to someone's conversation- to get involved when they aren't wanted.

I went hot all over, then icy with shock as it dawned on me that they were actually saying to Beth's boyfriend's that he shouldn't have come to the pub. I couldn't believe they were being so mean and I was worried he would notice, so I quickly started to say that 'gegging in' can also be a nice thing- like when you 'geg in' on a present for somebody. I hoped he wouldn't notice what Lauren and Jen were slyly saying!

OBVIOUSLY I realised afterwards that I was letting my imagination run away with me, but then people started to do it to me.

I know this sounds like I have been dropping tabs of acid for brekkie every morning, but it really is just the alcohol. And also maybe I am a bit paranoid.

I like talking about things because if I don't talk about them I will just keep on thinking them. I told Amy and Kayt on the phone tonight that people have been speaking to me through riddles and as soon as I said it out loud I realised I was being insane.

But not 'insane' insane, just hungover insane.

Like I have said in a post before (and a girl said it really helped her which proves I am being sensible here) when you are a bit para and, let's be honest, a bit desperate for everyone to like you, the key thing is not to stop being paranoid, because sometimes people DO talk about you behind your back and take a disliking to you. The key thing is to not care, then you won't need to worry.

At my internship there are some girls that everyone slags off because they are really bolshy and rude, but do you know what?

They are fine, they don't give a fuck if anybody likes them or not. They probably have their friends at home and families who love them. I bet they don't scrutinise every word anyone ever says to them to see if it is loaded with snide remarks (although, they probably should tbh).

By the way.

Remember when I said fairies are real?

Here's some evidence. If anyone even breathes the word Photoshop to me, I will scream.



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