So, one project is nearly at an end and I'll be sad to say goodbye tonight to the brilliant people who have helped give Ignition the energy and enthusiasm that have carried us through a pretty hectic 10 days of shows. I've written a page all about it here.
And on to the next project. I'll be spending the next few months working on Tiger a new dance piece with choreographer Natasha Gilmore and writing a new version of Sleeping Beauty for Sherman Cymru this Christmas. Magic! Have a look in the Future section for more info. Not to mention the ongoing tour of Pondlife and the upcoming French production of Simon La Goudouille. Maybe I'll get to go somewhere further south after all.
What an amazing time I've been having working with some of the people of Shetland who have put everything into bringing Ignition to life. I have really loved all the workshops and rehearsals that we have tried to fit around people who have normal lives and can't just come to a rehearsal. Sometimes they have to get a 2 hour bus ride just to be there.
I have loved all the stories and I hope we've always worked from what they have given to us rather than imposing any kind of crappy cliches on them.
It's resulted in some unique pieces; a boys' love of Dolly Parton; a man searching for a view, somewhere he can lay his ukelele; a woman cast adrift in a camper van trying to forgive her husband for dying; a girl surviving in a world without power, just her and one last battery to remember the world with; a storyteller trying hard to tell the one story that has always haunted him; the thoughts of 5 lost souls as they travel on an endless bus journey. There are so many parts to this show that it's impossible to write about them all. People are amazing. You just have to listen.
Photographs courtesy of National Theatre of Scotland
Nice review for Pondlife in the Auckland Theatre Festival this weekend.
I suspect a few tears were shed and, who knows, the person sitting next to the person sitting next to me may even have shed a few herself.
Well, I've been updated and it feels nice. New page on Peter Pan with some great reviews and a link to download the script. Why the hell not? And updates to Pondlife with it's endless world domination and the French script now available 'Simon la Gadouille'. Also, some exciting stuff on Ignition in the Future section. And I must say the future looks bright, but more on that to come, I hope, in the next month or so (shhhhhh, keep it secret).
Music-wise, it's all about Ane Brun right now. I can't stop listening to her...oh, and the 1985 London Cast Recording of Les Miserables, but I think that's just a passing fascination. I keep going up to the top of Plockton, standing in the shed and singing "I dreamed a dream". Oh dear.
This isn't me.
London. And I have to create a new identity for myself. People keep confusing me for the other Rob Evans; not, I should add, the 82 year old producer of Rosemary's Baby and The Godfather; I didn't produce those films.
Nor am I Rob Evans the model.
Though I did try modelling once. See!
Rob Evans, writer of Sadie J
This is the Rob Evans I am confused with. Luckily he's quite handsome, so that's good.
You SHALL NOT PASS!
So now I go back to my full name. And I quite like it. Maybe with my new identity I'll discover I have wizardly powers. I always thought I might.
"If you’re looking for excitement, great storytelling and don’t want to grow up this Christmas, then Sherman Cymru is the place to be." What's on Wales
Wendy played by Rebecca Newman. Photo by Farrows Creative
Last night was the Peter Pan press night. And I reckon it was a good one. I love it when the adults suddenly realise that they too are enjoying themselves. Here are a couple of nice reviews from the Western Mail and What's on Wales. My favourite audience quote so far:
"Hahaha! He just got peed on."
Next it's Shetland for 10 days to travel on local buses and talk to people about their stories of living and journeying across their island paradise. Some structures and initial ideas forming for the National Theatre of Scotland show Ignition.
Brrrrrrr! Packing my thermals and hoping I can find my hat somewhere in the chaos of my moveable life. I'm going to Unst for a bit while I'm there and I'm hoping to get a sight of this famously beautiful landmark.
It even has its own website, here.
Here's the trailer for Peter Pan this Christmas.
Today we went and ran the first half of Peter Pan for a group of 7-9 year olds at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. It made me realise I've learned a lot from working on so many shows for young people.
I'm not sure I would understand how important the audience is if I had only written for adults. I might be more nervous about showing the work after only 2 weeks rehearsal, but not now.
Writers are all too often protected from the audience that they are working for. The amount of times I've sat watching a show for adults thinking that a 9 year old just wouldn't put up with some of the self-indulgent crap that an adult audience think is somehow good for them; like church or...green tea. If only the writer had seen a run-through of the show with a bunch of young people yawning and eating crisps and saying 'What's he doing that for? Who's she talking to?', while they had a chance to change it.
Even if the play is meant for adults it is good to have that nagging 10 year old voice in your head saying 'I think this is shit-boring, I wonder what would happen if he/she/it fell over right now or a cow fell from the rigging....look at that man's nose. It's massive.' Cut, cut, CUT!
And that doesn't mean you have to constantly entertain them. Far from it. But everything in your play has to get to them somehow. It has to make them uncomfortable, or laugh or recognise their own situation so they stare at the actors like they are magic. Staring up thinking 'Wow! What will happen now?'
I think the performers were happy today. They realised they were getting it, the audience were leaning forward and silent. I think the show is going to be a good one. I'm excited.
And look! Alors! Je suis en français.
The Lost Boys (Meilir Rhys Williams, Daniel Graham and Adam Scales)
Peter Pan. A good first week of rehearsals for Peter Pan. I get so excited as the scenes fill out and the actors start to enjoy what they're doing. I even get to do Tinker Bell's voice sometimes.
Pondlife McGurk. Pondlife is currently running in Washington DC where Pete Collins is contending with Obama and Mitt to wow as many people as possible.
Paris. Pondlife has been published by l'Arche Editeur in French and will be premiering en francais at the Salon du livre jeunesse de Montreuil.
Penarth. Back home in Penarth where I grew up. Amazing things that come back to you as you wander round. The way to school. The trees everywhere. The smell of autumn and the smoke from bonfires drifting through my mind.