Friday, 20 February 2015

Captured In Time

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night dear readers,



To be Captured In Time is to be forever young. Or so I am told. I don't believe them but hey, perhaps?!

Until we meet again through the page, I hope this finds you in sterling health and a happiness,

Warmly Yours

@RJWardle

Friday, 6 February 2015

Out Of The Cage - An explosive NEW play by Alex McSweeney

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight dear readers,

  Out Of The Cage is an explosive NEW play about the female munitions workers of Silvertown, London during World War One.

  Sitting warm as a sun-soaked piece of wet toast, feet soggy from underground perspiration on my commute across 'town' to Finsbury Park, I got the best view of the upstairs bar area whilst lubricating myself with a coca cola at the Park Theatre.

   I cast my eyes to the Gods to view the ceilings drooping bookshelf. No, seriously. Probably fifty-shades of rope suspended books are literally drooping down from the Gods. Introducing The Theatre by Ernest Short was the first and most prominently apt book for this occasion to capture my attentions as my eyes wandered fleetingly across the wooden countryside grotto meets Shoreditch Box Park bar area. In Finsbury Park. (Lest there be any confusions) My heart was already beginning to skip beats. My second in as many weeks (and at the time of writing this post-second affair with Out Of The Cage, approaching my thrice weekly) extra-curricular excursion  to embrace our Twenty First Century Globes'  Bard of the English written word, Mr Alex McSweeney's NEW play - Out Of The Cage.

Did I already mention the name? Out Of The Cage?


Out Of The Cage, If seen please view with a heart pump and fresh box of Kleenex.

Ps. Suspended emotions

  Alex's wanton wit and deeply psychologically inept play leaves an audience jaw dropped and flabbergasted. Dialogue driven one cannot help but become enthralled and in-tune with the characters and by progression start to look inwardly to ones self and soul for comfort and fortitude. All in one gob-stopper of a hullabaloo and what not.

 Hullabaloo not of confused dialogue or plot I hasten to amend. A hullabaloo of emotions. You understand.

   Alex's exquisite cast manage to straddle both dark and gritty drama and musical theatre - with varying degrees of musicality (not to be confused with this being a musical. It is not!), with physical theatre to an almost dance club like bassline representative of the machines these women work day after day, night after night, week after week, year after god forsaking year on. The entire all female cast (of eight) - and quite right too  - capture the gut-wrenching inequalities and hardships faced by the women of the munitions factories during World War One in an ongoing fight for Equal rights. Equal pay.

A Master Crafts-persons of their trade. The art of story telling and creation.

Now come on Annie Casteldine, we'll av none of that Hullabaloo from you dear.

  The cast capture some moments of light relief with, for one notable example, Lil' Ginny -played beautifully by Jill McAusland - as the endearing young girl of the factory who bless her kind heart spends the entire play being told to be quiet and move on, oh and scrub floors. And things. Business. Which she dutifully does " But...but . . . mum . . ."

   One further episode of joviality comes in the form of Annie Casteldine and good old Carrie Sefton played by the mesmerizingly skilled Emily Houghton and Lindsay Frazer respectively - as they become the cheeky girls of the group conducting a mini-play within a play as Carrie portrays a favourite silent movie star of hers under direction from her friend Annie Casteldine. A sisterhood is quickly established with each character assuming her position within the united arms of sisters for Equal rights and Equal pay. A whistle is harnessed as a tool to mirror the men's call to go over the top as for the women to strike and stop running the machines. Psychologically implanting the shared fight for freedoms both men and women fought.

   Interestingly Alex's in-tune mind to the era he writes in affords an audience many many moments of literary realism.  Full names used, Annie Casteldine, how dare you . . . Hullaballo . . .  what not . . . and oh so many more moments of literary magic when woven into the fabric of the play in its entirety and the consummate skill and deftly deployed art of storytelling by ALL cast members.



See, multi-skilled, multi-engaged piece of theatre. Not too dissimilar to Shakespeare himself one may posit. So I shall.

  The construction of this play has to my mind many hallmarks of a great Shakespeare script. A play by an actor for actors. Quick mood and character changes, complex characters and relationships, running scene changes, musical interludes, inopportune and wholly un-expected dollops of light relief bordering on comedy, in-fact comedy on occasion, and a chance to hark back to the silent days of cinema with physicality being the mode of storytelling in part (cinema reference plainly not applicable to Willy). . .  etcetera . . .

So, back in the bar . . .

  I sit post-performance utterly and suitably stunned. Shell-shocked one may say by the gravity of experience delivered to us by the company of Out Of The Cage. Have I mentioned the title yet? prey do tell. Have I?

  A lump in my throat and yes, a dampness to an eye forced me to silently slip away to the solitude for a cup of Yorkshire tea. In mug! To yet again be warm as a sun-soaked piece of wet toast, feet soggy from underground perspiration on my commute back across 'town'! But I would do it again everyday if I could. I felt a genuine sadness to leave these characters from a bygone era behind, on the stage, relinquished to the recess of a dark theatre until the light shines again and the show goes on in the morrow.

Well anyway's and what not, Out Of The Cage is one of the rare moments in life when a pin drop can be heard amongst a sea of silent souls. Captivated!



Until we meet again through the page, I hope this finds you in sterling health and a happiness

I'm going out for a cup of tea
Just thee and me, and me and thee
With not wanton wit repatree
Just thee and me, and me and thee
At a quarter to three
Tootling along, no hullabaloo, along the streets of London Zoo
Just thee and me and me and thee

Warmly Yours

@RJ Wardle



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Merchant of Venice - Almeida Theatre Production


Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight dear readers,

Welcome to 2015! Here's to a fruitful and pleasurable journey.

Mhh . . .

Yes. Let's write!

   As I entered the street aptly named Almeida Street, just off the Islington - Angel connection road, clutching a steaming spiced Apple and Cinnamon tea my heart skipped a beat. So, this is what it feels like to see Shakespeare out of The Globe. The theatre itself is a sort of mixture of art deco 1920's esq reception, box office and bar area neatly situated alongside a more traditional red brick building which is the theatre proper. Seat A 22 is in my view by far the best seat in the house. My seat for the evening. Front row of the dress circle up in the gods I was centre line of focus to the array of colours and energy some ten foot below me on stage.

Opening in a Las Vegas Casino Esq stage setting I wondered what have they done to one of our bards finest comedies. Or is that comi-traj? We open to a scene initially quite disconcerting I'm sure to the Shakespeare faithful. Dressed in 1920's/30's esq attire the scene before us conjured up some mis placed inertia for an anything other than cosily furnished period traji-com. Or comi-traj. Or just plain comedy. It was to my mind though wholly enjoyable and psychologically appropriate to set-up the forthcoming gamble, turmoil and game of love about to unravel. So, a win in my book.

  Shylock was exceptional in his depictions of a Jewish money lender. Capturing the Yiddish accent, the stoop of a man weighed down by society yet still able to conduct a hilarity to his role.
Was he a convincing Shylock? Not in my view.
Was he a convincing character in its own right? Yes indeed. And hugely watchable.

As the play unfolded we were treated to a rising settee where Portia and Nerrisa sat as if gazing to a camera, taking on an 'Old wives Tale'  meets an evening in front of Cilla. Match maker Cilla Black from the 1990's Blind Date of course. You understand.



Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas attired as 'the boys' sat in a would-be car ready to journey to Belmont in search of love. And the humorously exuberant Vincenzo Nicoli as The Duke strutted about the stage in a dazzling array of energies and humour,matched only by his severity in the trial scene.

At the climax we saw Scott Handy as Antonio attired in a USA Orange onesie. Sorry, prisoner uniform, strung up like a sack of soggy spuds to a chain awaiting his pound of flesh to be ripped from his heart by Shylock.

Sadly not. Insurance. Oh no, apologies, its not actually in the story  is it. That shylock actually gets his pound of flesh, so Insurance can settle back down behind there clipboards.

For me, Vincenzo Nicoli(The Duke), Emily Plumtree (Nerissa) and Susanna Fielding (Portia) rip-roared my attentions into an array of exasperated exuberance. A constant desire and longing to jump down from A 22 and join in at playtime. Scott Handy as Antonio acted as a central focus point for me. When Scott was on stage my eyes followed his silent but deadly expression. Loud voice too. He is one who can most definitely be heard at the back of the room dear! Annunciate!

It is "Among the most exciting productions of the last decade." Michael Billington, The Guardian

Until we meet again through the page, I hope this finds you in sterling health and a happiness

Warmly yours

RJ Wardle



Thursday, 20 November 2014

IS THIS THE WORLDS SHORTEST STORY?

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight friends,

Dear diary (blog),

'I awoke'.



On this note I bid you farewell dear friends. For now.

Until we meet again through the page, I hope this finds you in good health and a happiness

Warmly yours



RJ Wardle

Monday, 20 October 2014

WHY? WHAT? HOW?


Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight friends,

Dear diary (blog),


 
When in the study of science, 'the art of no definitive answers', it appears something of a repetitive strain injury to continuously ask the question why?  What does this mean/tell us? How does this enhance our understanding(s) - of the given discipline within the wider spectrum of sciences - of which there are many.

   When in the study of poetry, individual poets from our seemingly embedded cannon of English Literary magnets, novelists, playwrights and others, it again appears something of  a repetitive strain injury amongst both scholars and keenly interested parties (myself included) to ask the very same questions as scientists and other interested parties (myself included) as noted above:


  • why?  
  • What does this mean/tells us? 
  • How does this enhance our understanding(s)
   I turn these questions over to your good selves dear readers, to ponder on for a little moment.



..............passing of time representative of your moment.................................................


   So, any thoughts?

 Good, well I shall continue in the fashion to which I hope you have by now become accustomed to from this pen, (laptop strokes on its keyboard). This is to write, in blindly oblivious to the outside worlds views thanks to not as yet having been able to gage your views - I only hope in my most passionate of humble wishes it inspires, challenges and is of some small interest and use to you - in this bold and forthright transplant operation of my thoughts to this screen.

   Fear not the blank page!

   It will be filled!

   William Shakespeare of Stratford-Upon-Avon circa. 1564. Is by all far and wide reaching postal, sorry, colossal, analysis by people such as myself, PHD students, Doctors of literature - Dr. Funny applicable term I know. Maybe they can assist my current transplantation? - as a transcending and 'universally applicable genius.

 Theatre goers and even those as yet disaffected, unaffected, by this great bards genius are aware if not also in love, with his words if not the dead man himself. (Myself included) 

'...this great bards genius.' REACTIONARY STATEMENT. Last seen being the sole view of the author and not representative of anyone other than this pen (laptop strokes on its keyboard).



  • why?  
  • What does this mean/tells us? 
  • How does this enhance our understanding(s)

  
  In order to answer each of these three questions with the depth and breadth of research required may indeed consume this already consumed customer of Shakespeare's works, an inevitable lifetimes time. 


 I turn these questions over to your good selves dear readers, to ponder on for a little moment


...........passing of time representative of your moment........................................

  Are we all on track? No. Ok we can wait.


.......... passing of time representative of your moment (Part 2) ......................


  Ok, So perhaps Shakespeare is considered as afore mentioned - you do not of course have to agree - because his subject choices are so generic they are applicable across the ages.

 Relationships. 

Would be just one key subject choice of note. 

What do I mean?

Well, in my view (I can of course only write what I think and feel. All words unless otherwise cited are that of this pens and not representative of anyone other than this pen unless cited) whether we be viewing - as his plays are written to be played not read - a tragedy such as Macbeth, a history play such as Richard III or a comedy such as As You Like It, one key denominator is Shakespeare's complex and psychologically engaging multi-layered characters. As a result of these we are treated to an all consuming multitude of relationships, breakdowns, loves, losses, doting, rebuking, indeed all if not more of the very same relationship trials and tribulations we can all resonate with. 

All. If overused please pass by without affection.

   So if this be the case, why do we consider something so engendered and ritualistic as relationships and there applicability to us all as a starting point in the exploration in search of 'the truth' of the meaning behind the bards plays, sonnets, literary works?

What is he trying to tell us? 

I laugh out loud at this. In my minds eye Shakespeare is tutting and chortling over a manuscript as he ponders over what, in 2014, people would try to define as his art of no definitive answers. His words. Purely and deliciously inter-interpretable. 

And so he continues to chortle and laugh in my mind. 

Thanks for that!

 Whilst this is to me quite funny, in a childish sort of way, let it not detract from the sincerity of his achievements and my devoted enjoyment of this great man of words, words. 

  Could it be, that because we all have relationships, in all forms, we can, across the borders of time, geographical location in our great globe and access to Shakespeare's works, all be affected by the complexities of relationships for the better or for the worse? And by progression as a result of this resonance, we can all find an affinity with Shakespeare?



On this note I bid you farewell dear friends. For now.

Until we meet again through the page, I hope this finds you in good health and a happiness

Warmly yours

RJ Wardle































Wednesday, 24 September 2014

UNIVERSALITY OF TIME

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight friends,

Dear diary (blog),

The universality of time is indeed cyclical and continuous. It affects us all no matter where inthis beautifully lushes globe we currently reside.This update, whilst brief will, I believe, and I hope you can see this too, encapsulate both the fragility, the beauty and the power of life.

Said in 'the bards' - William Shakespeare - own words:

Prospero:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstancial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are sich stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Shakespeare, W. The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148-158



On this note I bid you farewell dear friends. For now.

Until we meet again through the page, I hope this finds you in good health and a happiness,

Warmly yours

Peace Friends X

RJ Wardle




Wednesday, 20 August 2014

AILEEN MAY WARDLE - 1922-2014

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight friends,

Dear diary (blog),

Time.

   What is time?  I mean, what is time really all about?

It cannot truly be quantified, at least not in my jaded view. By this I mean we cannot get time back. Each moment passes us by and is lost to us. So what is time?

Time to get ready for work. Time to see friends, time to visit places of interest, time to meet a partner and grow a family, and then we look back and we think. My, where did all that time go? Didn't that go quickly.

  You may sense some underlying sense of frustration in this months update. You would, dear reader, not be mistaken.

 It was this last month that we lost our dearly loved Grandma, mother to my father, wife to granddad Sidney (deceased in the latter part of the 1990's), sister to Phyllis (deceased some ten years previous) and Pam, aunty to several cousins, and life-long friend to a one Win Windybanks of Dorset. England. So, yes, I am not ashamed to write it is with some sense of frustration and longing for a time lost to us that my quil falls upon this tea-stained parchment paper. Otherwise known - in this day and age - as tapping away on this laptop. My how the times change.

   As a young boy I remember with clear twenty-twenty vision the sights, smells, ambience and adventures we all shared. Grandma's famed roast dinners, with proper, thick gravy. Her chuckle and warm smile as I would enter her living room having dressed-up and done my hair like a one Elvis Presley - she did not know, or rather, I thought she did not know, that I had also used her hair-spray - Granddad singing old war tunes to us and regaling me with tales of adventure as we all strolled out together for miles through local woods.

Sleep overs at my grandparents were a magical mystery tour all of its own. Possibly of no real interest to anyone other than myself, but still, hey, each to their own.

So, time. As much as all of my heart and mind yearns to get this time back, to revisit that age - the 1980's & 1990's specifically - their home, the home where my dad grew-up, the home where my grandparents lived most of their married life together, the home I first new as Grandma and Granddad's home, this time is lost. Gone. Vamoosh.  Sad but true. So, as I sit here, deep in thought, I have two choices as I see it. I can live for a time that is lost, and believe me readers I have spent far too much time doing this and I can wholeheartedly dissuade you from trying it. It is a lost cause. Or, I can do as I am doing, that which my Grandma would wish for me to do. And I can live. Relish each special moment of time, cherish the opportunities that present themselves and go out and create my own luck, my own opportunities and rejoice in the luxury of life. Not to be confused with the luxuries of life. I mean the luxury simply of living and breathing. A whole world is out there and as a sprightly young thirty something I can wholeheartedly write to you in my grandma and granddad's memory I shall go forth in to this world carrying the warmth of that time with me, no one can take this away, and attempt to live a life that is stimulating, helpful to the many not the few and brings me some mild sense of contentment and happiness.

   In-keeping with a previous update 'It's All A Bit of a Knot' I am not sent to depress literature, I am merely using this months update as a tool to convey to you some small semblance of what life has thrown at us these past moments of time since the last update.

  Please do not confuse the seriousness of the content in this for anything other than what it is. A literary note to oneself as a public record of the emotions associated with the loss of Aileen May Wardle at 11:30 pm GMT on Tuesday 29th July 2014 aged 92.

What will be will be.




On this note I bid you farewell dear friends. For now.

Until we meet again through the page, I hope this finds you in good health and a happiness,

Warmly yours

Peace Friends X

RJ Wardle