Ideas & Inspiration

The Noble Art of Observation and the Power of Silence

[caption id="attachment_926" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Director sitting nicely, brain engaged and keeping quiet (for now) Director sitting nicely, brain engaged and keeping quiet (for now)[/caption] Listening and watching (in a positive way) are very underrated. In a previous 'life' I was a therapist (remedial massage mostly) and I spent many years teaching others how to assess the varying conditions of their clients. Listen, watch and, in the case of a physical therapy, get your hands on (but even then you are listening with your hands). In theatre, observation is everything - but not just in theatre. The same applies if you just want to help a friend. Watch .. listen. Where are they? (more…)

By Barbara, ago
Ideas & Inspiration

Art and Inspiration ..

[caption id="attachment_455" align="alignleft" width="350"]Art Installation at Croft Castle by Rebecca Farkas Rather cool Art Installation at Croft Castle by Rebecca Farkas[/caption] Inspiration is a funny thing. It arrives without warning, disappears without trace when you think you're on a roll and just occasionally it really surprises you by jumping out of a dark corner and shouting 'here I am come and get me' before running off into a cupboard and locking the door. At least .. I think that's inspiration. Equally it may also apply to many other things, including bottles of expensive champagne. However, one Tuesday afternoon we threw caution and computers to one side and wandered off to have a bit of a jolly at Croft Castle in Herefordshire (very close to where we live in fact). We were reliably informed that there was a contemporary art exhibition created by various artists-in-residence at the castle over the past year, so we went to be amazed and inspired by a combination of old (castle), history (all the things in it, around it and of it) and art. If inspiration is a funny thing then art is completely hysterical. It seems that anything passes for 'art' and it's all up to the individual to connect with it and be amazed, inspired, amused, impressed - or however it takes you. If you find yourself staring blankly at something that just bypasses all your available processes for comprehension and appreciation, then just move on. No doubt to someone else it will be wonderful. We did a fair bit of moving on to be honest. I think I like the idea that whatever I'm engaging with will transport me to another place and allow me, just for a moment, to get a glimpse of something I've never seen before. Theatre, of course, can be brilliant at that because it works with so many senses at once. [caption id="attachment_471" align="alignleft" width="224"]Rebecca Farkas again .. in the slate store Now we're finding keys .. this is good[/caption] In the graveyard next to the Castle Chapel they had made metal frames to represent gravestones that weren't there anymore. I stared blankly wondering why they had chosen to mark out old graves in that way. (more…)

By Barbara, ago
Ideas & Inspiration

What Inspiration?

[caption id="attachment_308" align="alignnone" width="500"]Brian de Bergerac  provides inspiration for Henry's story in 'Nuts' Brian de Bergerac provides inspiration for Henry's story in 'Nuts'[/caption] I just sat down at my computer, I looked at the blog wondering what I might write tonight and casually clicked on the category 'inspiration' (next to 'soapbox'). It seemed like the right thing to do. The page I landed on announced 'page or resource not found', which amused me a great deal (I considered leaving it like that forever). So true ..... Then I started typing and a bit further down the page than I am now I did something inexplicable with the shift key and another unknown key in a fateful combination which produced a strange result. I won't go into detail, it was far to traumatic, but happily it resolved itself by deleting everything I had written. Damn you shift key! One minute inspiration appears to emerge from its hiding place and the next it's been 'shifted' elsewhere. I'm now saving the draft every other word ... I don't trust the shift key (shifty jokes are tugging away here, but I'm resisting them bravely - you should thank me for that). (more…)

By Barbara, ago
Plays

Bring children to see Beauty & the Beast!

This is an old post from another blog - but one I thought worth repeating from my soapbox!! 6a00e54fcf73858834017d3e197c7a970c-800wiNot so much an order as a strong suggestion borne out of a great love for ‘children’s stories’ and much less love for the dumbing down of children’s stories…. What am I talking about? Well, time for me to explain exactly where I’m coming from in terms of children’s stories on stage. I have always loved children’s stories, myths, legends, fairy tales – you name it, they’re great! Why? Because they teach us about life in a way that is magical, beautiful, sometimes dark, sometimes quite scary, but always fair with an ending that usually uplifting (there are exceptions, but B&theB isn’t one of them). Bit like life really… Tales differ for ages of course, but there is ALWAYS a message underpinning the tale. Always something to learn, something that teaches us about how to act, how to love and how to live. This is why we should NOT dumb stories down to mere sugary, weak entertainment that does not engage a person (however old) at any level. Children may not sit around in discussion groups afterwards discussing the inner workings of the tale, but they get the message. We all do. (more…)

By Barbara, ago
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