Friday, May 27, 2011

Nightingale from Scratch.

Part four of this.

Bit of an unfair advantage for the lads here, perhaps, because unlike the toe-in-the-swimming-pool almost-stories, half-stories or story-slices that formed the bulk of the evening, Duncan and Kev performed a story that was not only complete but a classic: 'The Nightingale' by Hans Christian Anderson.

I read me Hans Christian Anderson until the cover fell off, so there was no way I wasn't gonna enjoy this. Took forever to start mind you, I did wonder why the tech aspect couldn't have been pre-set, or why Kev had to do it all on his own.

Still, the break was nice and the performance was certainly worth the wait.

Duncan read,with the help of a book and Kevin played, with the help of a guitar and some pedals:
'The Nightingale'.

They had a nice 'Jay & Silent Bob' double-act going on with Kev providing the nightingale's reactions to the story ( with his face) and also the nightingale's incomparably musical voice ( with his impressively deft guitaristry*).
I reckon that with two months to prepare Duncan could've learnt and performed it rather than read from a book, but I suppose the book-reading element gains in its evocation of 'childhood story-time' whatever it loses in communicating more directly with an audience, and it's a handy prop to lean on, and you can hardly blame him either if he just wasn't arsed doing all that work for the sake of an experimental piece that's only on for two nights.* 'guitaristry' is a perfectly cromulent word,— I tell you!

Ridiculous quibbly niggles aside, I have to say that the piece I saw was really really great and a lovely end to the evening, the perfect end. It wrapped up the show and it quieted our minds and it sent us out into the world with smiles on our faces.

It was lovely for us, how useful it was in informing any future idea or development
I find a little hard to figure out: we were introduced to it as a piece that was yet to be developed and then informed that there was a desire to expand it in the future through use of puppetry and voice actors and additional music. This being the case, it was hard for me to see how the accomplished performance of this neat and perfect double-act was to inform any future decisions on that score.

It worked so well within its limitations that it was hard to see any addition of bells and whistles doing anything other than detracting from the minimalist dynamic, and that dynamic seemed to be the point of the piece.

To me, it seemed that its virtue was absolutely bound up in its simplicity and the addition of increased technical complexity would just simply turn it into a clockwork nightingale.

That's what I thought.

There was an 'after-show discussion' which I dreaded, but actually it was grand because was an informal 'everyone stand around chatting in twos and threes' bit: basically what normally happens in the pub after the show anyway. Despite the informal setting, I still got a bit painfully self-conscious anyway so God-only-knows what the poor oul' theatre-makers were going through.

Over-all they seemed pleased with themselves though, and over-all I reckon they have every right to be.

Over-all it was a really good idea and over-all it was a really great night.

I still can't believe the whole thing was only a fiver.

THE HANS PROJECT (The Nightingale) was produced by the LSA / Performed by Duncan Molloy & Kevin O'Malley, based on the children's stories of Hans Christian Andersen.

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