Saturday, 6 September 2014

Birthmonth Day Six: Billy Liar

Seen here, impossibly pleased to be holding a vent.
So by this point in The Life I was vegetarian, which means I had enough intelligence to understand concepts and ask questions and stand up for The Beliefs, but The Personality hadn’t really formed yet.  That took a few more years of being incredibly irritated by everyone I ever met not understanding what vegetarian meant.  That gave me The Irascible Acerbic Edge.

Anyway, on with The Magic Of Theatre.

Wanting to be an actor, I was involved in (the lamest) amateur dramatics and generally hung out with The Drama Crowd, so I knew quite a few amateur actors and would occasionally go to see their shows.

I saw one friend in at least four shows.  It was something I got to do outside of school, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone, and so it made me feel nice and grown up.  And he was really good (which made a change in the kind of am dram crowds I knew).  Trouble with that is I ended up seeing plays that I didn’t necessarily enjoy thematically, and sympathised with the wrong characters.  Not that that has changed.  If I like an actor in one thing, then I’m bound to like them in the next thing too, even if they’re playing a completely different role.  I’m not sure if that is something that would bug an actor or not.  Yes, because they do have range you know, and no, because it’s nice to be appreciated, right?

The plays were:

  • Cabaret (Corpus Christi/Portsmouth Arts Centre/15th December 2000) – all I remember is it was unbelievably creepy.

  • An Inspector Calls (Corpus Christi Amateur Dramatic Society/9th March 2001) – unbelievably sanctimonious.

  • The Office Party (Joblot Theatre/Portsmouth Arts Centre/7th April 2001) – the kind of thing you wonder why anyone bothered writing.

  • Billy Liar (Joblot Theatre/Portsmouth Arts Centre/12th October 2001) – sad.

Weirdly the thing that has stuck with me most about these plays is the sets – or lack of.  I suppose I hadn’t really done ‘studio theatre’ yet and the starkness and the darkness live on in The Memory far more than the plots or characters.

Have you seen any friends perform on stage?

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