Thursday, December 24, 2009


Our first Xmas in the new house; miraculously, we got a kitchen with a few days to spare, so I'm sitting in it typing while the mince pies cool. Then there will be ham. And hopefully a postman. Won't be cooking him, of course - although if he takes much longer, someone's going to get a roasting. Aren't there supposed to be extra elves or something?

It's hard to avoid envy over the snow in other parts. Of course, people are now moaning about the travel chaos; we're never happy. Anyway, cloud and rain is far more nostalgic, I suppose. This Child's Christmas in Wales was always a soggy affair. Still, I'll have half an eye on Twitter for the #uksnow tag, and try to enjoy the excitement vicariously.

Whoever and wherever you are; enjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

George & Ira Gushing

Once again the Taliesin theare came up trumps last night, with a screening of "An American in Paris". Unfortunately, the print was truly dreadful; scratched to buggery and with jumps galore. The sound was fine, though.

It's a bit embarrassing to admit I'd never seen this. I know most of the songs of course, but somehow the show has eluded me. More fool me. For the first hour-and-a-half, at least, "An American In Paris" is the perfect kind of feelgood flick. The kind that makes you perversely long for it to be over, so that you can get outside with your friends to talk about how great it was. Meanwhile, immerse yourself in the mood, because if you didn't check your cynicism in at the door, it's going to get a good kicking.

Like so many musicals, however, it slightly overstays its welcome. A bedazzling (if not always technically perfect) balletic cutaway at the climax is fine in itself, but unfortunately it entirley replaces the last act of the plot. Thus, instead of the intended romantic payoff, the final scene is left dangling as an unsatisfying non-sequitur. Shame.

A good night out, all the same. Exhilarating, inspiring, and cheering. The walk home across the iced-over park? Hmmm... less so.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shining #2

Lawks, I don't even write when something actually happens, do I? Berk!

"The Shoeshine" appears to have been a success; a full house, ample amounts of goodwill, just the right level of constructive critical feedback, and the improved possibility of further performances. The sandwiches weren't bad, either.

Actually getting laughs onstage was a new experience for me, as this is the first thing I've done that is even mildly comical. It certainly gets the juices flowing, and is also a fine test of discipline; the temptation to play up to the laughs is enormous. I hope I managed it adequately.

And so to Christmas...