Thursday, December 08, 2011

Sax Comedy

H's accomplices, The Women In Jazz All-Star Band, were at it again at the Swansea Metropolitan Townhill Theatre last weekend, laying down swing standards to an appreciative audience of students and old ladies. There was boogie and good times in the moonlight, and no-one disappeared on the flight home. V for Victory.

Meanwhile, I'm in rehearsals for "Much Ado About Nothing", and struggling manfully to get my share of the script before my colleagues chew it all up. Probably the Shakespeare play I know best, finally getting a go at it is a bit like scoring with an old crush at a school reunion. About the only weakness of the play is that the two "leads", in a large cast, get nearly all the best lines. Even in the major role of Don Pedro, I sometimes feel like I'm feeding off scraps. But that's a churlish complaint when dining at so fine a table. Strike up, pipers!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who Lives In A Shoulder Like This?

I finally underwent arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) at the weekend to perform "capsular release" which - despite sounding like an intriguing option from the menu of a seedy massage parlour - is actually to do with excising inflamed tissue to treat adhesive capsulitis, or "frozen shoulder".

No wince-inducing X-Rays to share this time, I'm afraid; but I do get to walk around in a sling for a few days (again), drugged up the the eyeballs (again), and receiving soothing ministrations from 60s dolly-birds (again)*, all of which seem to be becoming my regular mid-September thing.

Having to turn down work again due to the sling is bloody annoying. I'm hoping to get a "walking wounded" walk-on, one of these days!

* It works better as a one-liner than a full anecdote, trust me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Light Relief

First Draw - episode 4

Stone Fever's web series is edgy, uncompromising, often brutal. What it really needed, then, was some fat old guy telling jokes...

This was a great fun cameo to do, with a strong young cast. Director Aaron Fisher and star Jason Goddard are names to watch, so apologies in advance for telling you I told you so at every opportunity.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kicking Off...

Land of My Father
by Dave Jenkins

Delighted to be finally under way with Swansea Little Theatre's production of this new original comedy. The show runs from tonight until Saturday 20th August, and tickets are still available from the theatre box office on 01792 473238, or online

Plenty of the jokes still make us guffaw after hearing them 100 times, so we're confident of raising a chuckle with audiences. The play takes a sideways look at Anglo-Welsh relations, often with tongue-in-cheek but always with respect and affection in both directions. You'll fall for Gareth and Bronwen as their love conquers all, but there are memorable cameos aplenty too; I think you'll find Gemma, the waitress, worth the admission price on her own...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seismologists "Excusing Tsunami" - claim

Leading seismologists have been accused of "Tsunami Apologism", after forwarding several varying theories of the origins of the disaster which killed tens of thousands in Japan in March 2011.

Politicians and commentators have been quick to denounce the theories as "sympathizing with earthquakes" and "excusing catastrophe".

"What these boffins don't seem to realise," wrote blogger ReActionNerys, "is that when they write these bleeding heart treatises on 'body wave magnitudes' and 'plate tectonics', they are giving succour to lawless forces of Nature that are merely intent on wanton destruction. They need to condemn a little more, and understand a little less."

"It's not about 'hypocentres' and 'isoseismal lines' , FFS!" argues @MyOPearce on Twitter, "It's about sheer mindless destruction!!! If scientists can't see that, there (sic.) part of the problem!!!"

Meanwhile, other observers have highlighted the contribution to the Earthquake's destructive power made by the ability of shock waves to freely propagate in the Earth's crust. This has led several leading politicians to call for a partial repeal of the Laws of Physics.

"No-one wants to restrict legitimate geophysical processes." said one minister yesterday, "But when the layer of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock was first laid down, I'm sure it wasn't the intention to allow rogue seismic waves to use it as a medium with which to terrorize and kill."

"Of course, I totally condemn the scenes of devastation we all saw in Japan," said Irwin Allen, Professor of Seismological Science at Didcot University. "But we maintain that studying the underlying causes of earthquake activity can help us predict future disasters, and mollify their effects." His comments were derided by Daily Mail columnist Malady Fillets as "Music to the ears of evil geological faults everywhere."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Straight out of a successful run of "Witness for the Prosecution" with Swansea Little Theatre, and into rehearsals for the next show, an original Anglo-Welsh comedy by Dave Jenkins called "Land of my Father". I'm playing pretty much the only completely English character... which is a bit of a challenge, accentwise. Of course, most of my "Welsher" colleagues think I sound English enough already. Er... no.

Also trying to scramble together rehearsals for a performance of Aykbourn's "Confusions", or at least, some of them. Schedule clashes and cast casualties mean we haven't had a proper run-through yet... two weeks to go..!

No news is bad news on the surgical front, and I'm still carrying my left arm as an idle passenger. Bah. But H & I are on the home straight as regards getting our house sorted out. All the structural stuff is finally finished, and now - apart from upstairs carpets - it's just the painting. You can imagine, I'm sure, how much use I am to her with one arm. I boil a mean kettle, though...

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I'm really quite chuffed with this;

It's film student coursework. I was originally intended to read on-camera, but studio time pressures kyboshed that. The result was cobbled together from mere test footage, but for all that, I think it's still a cut above the average student short. I'd love to have had a play in that trench, though...

More like this to come, plus I've got a small role in SLT's production of Agatha Christie's "Witness For The Prosecution". Not quite blink-and-you'll-miss-me; but a good yawn might do it. After "Inspector", I needed something a little less all-consuming, so this is a nice change of pace.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Big Top, Cold Shoulder

I've become the official owner of one of these. Ow. It's been getting steadily worse since my accident and now 2-1B has decided to intervene. He'll be going "through the keyhole" presently.

Other things are going better, specifically in the thespian sphere. "An Inspector Calls" went down well enough, and I've been busy with some short movie parts; some student projects at the Met Uni, and completed work on"The Doll" last month. I'm currently growing a moustache for another studio date next week. That's suffering for Art, that is...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fire, Blood & Anguish...

After a hideously short, intense rehearsal process, Swansea Little Theatre rolled out J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls last night, to a full house. The classic play's presence on the GCSE syllabus has ensured big audiences for the run, which lasts until Saturday 19th.

Last night was intended to be a final dress rehearsal, but demand from school parties was so great that the theatre had to open it up, thus losing us another day from our already tight schedule. Seeing the results as a kind of "shakedown" makes me feel very positive about the remainder of the run.

It's been a fraught and nervous few weeks but, as usual, it all seems worth it when the audience cheers - and, bless 'em, they went for it last night all right! We even managed to survive our stage manager being taken ill at the last minute (Get Well soon, Hannah!) which only increased the sense of a backs-to-the-wall triumph.

Playing the title role gives me a (relatively) easy ride from Priestley's complex, wordy and often repetitive script. Others are not so lucky, and it has been an education to witness - not to mention, a privilege to benefit from - their grace under pressure.

So it's Thanks and Well Done to; Ian McCloy, Deborah Rees, Jeni Lewis, Mark Rees, Piers Morgan-Harvey and Hannah Harries. Troupers, all. You make it easy.