I arrived at rehearsals about two hours early. So I did the only sensible thing which was to throw off my shoes, lounge on the beautifully comfortable leather couch and start reading the epic play that is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. The last time I attempted this, it was a chore, and I gave up. This time I was in, understanding the language, understanding the story. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy” (Act I Scene V)
And then busy rehearsing “Titus Andronicus” by Little Billy. Titus and the cast exit and I as Marcus, on an empty stage: “O heavens! Can you hear a good man groan, and not relent or not compassion him? Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy, that hath more scars of sorrow in his heart than foemen’s marks upon his batter’d shield; But yet so just that he will not revenge. Revenge, ye heavens, for worn Andronicus!” (Act IV Scene I)
Went with Julian to see a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan. Informed Julian that Lynne said to ensure a St Kilda victory in the AFL Grand Final everyone has to wear their underwear back to front and burn a green candle after rubbing it with sandalwood. Sadly I did none of this.
The first piece on the bill was “Cox and Box” with words by Burnand and music by Sir Arthur Sullivan. I had never seen it before and wouldn’t recommend it. However “HMS Pinafore” never disappoints (by G and S), and to my shock, one of my former work colleagues was in the cast, and did a very good job. The Captain and the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy were very very enjoyable, but sadly the crew was not as sharp or vocal, which I feel makes the performance lose a bit of its appeal. However a number of the jokes and insults were played superbly, much better than I’ve seen any one else do it – and I cracked up when Cousin Hebe whispered what she wanted to do to the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy which made his monocle fall out. Hehehehehe!!!!!
“For he might have been a Roosian, A French, or Turk, or Proosian, Or perhaps Itali-an! But in spite of all temptations To belong to other nations, He remains an Englishman!” (HMS Pinafore)
At the end of the play, Julian checks the footy score, turns around and says, “You should have put your underpants on backwards” which got a very good chuckle from the lovely granny sitting in front of us.
“… We are Geelong; we’re always on the ball. We play the game as it should be played; At home or far away; Our banners fly high, from dawn to dark; Down at Kardinia Park.” (lyrics by John Watts)
More rehearsals for Titus Andronicus, but this time I only arrived fifteen minutes early, and was almost the last to arrive. There is one line which four of us say, and I think Erin, Bree, Julian and Myself all thought that everyone one else would know it, so there would be no pressure to say it. I’m glad we rehearsed that line, and now we all know it, and there wont be just silence where it should be. “No man shed tears for noble Mutius; he lives in fame that died in virtue’s cause.” (Act I)
Afterwards I allowed Erin to convince me to see “The Rise of General Arthur” which is showing as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. (http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/the-rise-of-general-arthur). We walked to the café where it was to be shown and the techie told us that it was cancelled as the manager was sick and couldn’t come to open up doors and whatnot, however the techie thought that she might be able to get another venue. So Nell, Julian, Erin and I had a coffee, two hot chocolates and a honey-lemon-hotwater-drink (photos to follow).
A new venue was located and the actor, Phillip (I believe his name is), was all set to do the show. Using the techie’s script, instead of his own and without props and costumes. The techie using what limited light and sound effects she could use, knowing that another show would start in an hour and that she couldn’t change anything. But Phillip was wearing a groovy T-Shirt so we all knew that it would be fine. The T-Shirt said “I’m trained to use words you’ve never even heard of. You understand? Why, sometimes I use words I’ve never even heard of.”
And the story was, the tale of Pellinore but transported to the Gulf War.
The story was gripping, and the language poetical, painting perfect scene’s within our heads. I was gripped in the story, part of the story, and was transported away… Phillip’s story telling was superb, his emotion divine, his pronunciation clear…
At the start of the session Phillip said: “Six years ago, I formed a company called Maximum Verbosity, out of the belief that words could do damn near anything. Tonight, we're going to put that hypothesis to the test. Normally, this is a show punctuated by visual cues: by costume, props, and carefully-rehearsed changes in lighting and mood. I believe that this story is strong enough to survive without any of those things. It should be: it's already survived for over fifteen hundred years.”
Phillip Low, “The Rise of General Arthur” Maximum Verbosity, Errol Café, 27/09/2009
And it was.
Here is my coffee (photo by me).
You can tell that Erin took these photos as they are in focus.
Julian and Nell drinking hot chocolate. Erin, where is the photo of you? Where for art thou?