Friday, June 4, 2010

I have programme blurb to write. It’ll come as no surprise, to those familiar with me cantankerous curmudgeonly ways, to discover that when it comes to programmes; I’m agin ‘em. I feel like they’re a hidden cost and I almost never buy one and then feel irritated when I’m surrounded by folk busily garnering snippets that I’m not privy to. In other words, I’m cheap. Cheap and resentful mainly but also I don’t want to get any of the story before the story starts to tell itself. I don’t watch trailers or read video blurb for the same reason: not always wise but there y’go. Either way, opening night approaches and there is to be programmes and I am to write summat.

Not easy. For example there’s the fact that some folk like to read their programme before the show and some folk after (or perhaps even during if things have gone really bad). You have different things to say to people before and after, (and lets not forget the ‘during’ element; what do you say to someone who got so bored with the play they started reading the program?).

Should your words be preparatory, informative or apologetic? Should you provide a sudoku and a pen? I could adopt the tone of all the programmes I’ve ever read but- because I’m agin ‘em; I haven’t read that many and I cant remember what the tone usually is.

It’s probably best with a monologue, as potentially confusing as this one, to keep things simple, in other words: ‘A basic thank you list Darren and none of your oul’ rameis!’ which I’m sure is what will do, but just before I do that, right here on the interweb is a wandering bit of self indulgent palarver for you.

Spinal Krapp programme blurb- The Directors Cut:

‘Spinal Krapp’. It’s all in the name isn’t it? With ‘Spinal’ the name came last. It was the very last thing and I still don’t know if I’m happy with it. Names are important; it’s not that people judge a book by its’ cover, (or a ‘Stand-up Tragedy’ by its’ title); but names do affect the way we approach things. With this play the problem has been that, in conversation, ‘Krapp’ sounds just like something else, and as a result it is entirely possible that people might presume this monologue must be vulgar and that it takes neither itself nor its’ subject seriously.

Well the monologue is vulgar,( insomuch that I’m vulgar: and you will find me vulgar or not, depending on who you are; vulgar and refined are relative positions,) but, as for seriousness, it’s as well to tell you now that ‘Spinal Krapp’ most definitely does take itself seriously. It has a playful element and there are a lot of jokes in it, (some, I have to admit, from the ‘old-jokes home’ that you ‘fell off your dinosaur laughin’ at’) but it goes to some dark places too and is really so demanding of it’s actor that it couldn’t be more serious.

The name seems like a joke but on closer examination isn’t really. Here’s what the name’s about: the play has a mock-documentary element, like ‘Spinal Tap’ (although not in the same way) and it does have an element of the existential trapped soul talking to himself that you find in ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’. So it’s fair enough that a title should suggest elements of the two. Also, it’s all about a back and therefore ‘spinal’, and it’s all about personal baggage which is one’s ‘krapp’.
Voila! So now y’know.

I think it fits.

{I stand to be corrected. To facilitate any attempts at correction; I offer you the reader the use of the comment box at the bottom of this page. So just throw your opinions into the correctional facility.}

Incidentally, if people want to know how much of it is actually me and how much of it is true, the answer is it’s all me and it’s all true but you have to remember that if there’s one thing true about me it’s that I’m a complete liar.

I told you the jokes were old.

It’s neither joking nor lying to tell you that we’ve both worked very hard on it and we hope you like it. I have my problems with monologues as a form( see rival to plays proper) and I’ve always preferred the ‘stand-up comedy’ type of one person show, so I did try hard to write something that could be accurately described as a ‘stand-up tragedy’.
The version of it performed in the unFringed festival, though well-received*, didn’t get enough rehearsal time for meself and Zeb to take it where we felt it should go and as a result, we’re eternally grateful to the Bottom Doggers for inviting us here to the Loft and giving us the opportunity to perform a version of it that we feel is much closer to our vision of what it should be. Whether that vision will work, connect or mean anything at all to you the audience, we have yet to find out.

But we’re SO excited!

* reviews of the show at both contain spoilers.

Images stolen from b3ta

No comments:

Post a Comment