Day 1, the first day, a bitterly cold Lancastrian morning, a meeting over coffee took place to get the day started. Andy Smith and I unpacked my ten minute performance as performed at the first DRUNKEN NIGHTS III. A performance established as panic, panic due to the capitalist world, my journey back home, back home to its dirty nightclubs.
A list, a poetic list took place.
‘Hello I’m Rob Gregson, I fear routine and often find myself questioning what does it all mean, iPods, iPhones and self-service checkouts. Skype, the hype and online discounts…’
‘Apple macs, clothes racks, sunglasses worn indoors; Laptops, flash mobs and embarrassing bodies on channel 4’
Day 1 enabled me to get a clear picture on how to develop my show through a clear structure. Keep things open ended and work with its contradictions.
How well the first day has opened up my piece for development! Tomorrow I shall be meeting with Chris and Sheena. Another brew will take place somewhere I’m sure.
Day 2 began, quite similarly to Day 1. A meeting over coffee took place, slightly early however. I arrived early to think over Day 1 and its progress and to keep writing the poetic rant list. Andy was there early also, so what more than to just talk. Stories of driving instructors’ lives took place, where they (driving instructors) sit in very close proximity studying clients and then their client leaving again, a life of constant detachment.
And a story about my parents’ children’s entertainment company ‘Absolutely Barmy Children’s Entertainment’ took place. From as early as I can remember my stage name was Rascally Robert, a timid young child who would attend other children’s birthday parties to hand out sweets. My father’s stage name was ‘Mr Crackpot’ oh the 90s… A world when crack and pot didn’t have to necessarily mean narcotics.
ANYWAY, I’ll have a pint, where does it go? We have spoken about the piece structurally as a journey up the mountain and back down. But where back down to? Of course, back down to the pub, the present situation, at the Wagon and Horses in Lancaster and at the George Tavern in London.
So Day 2 sees the structure mapped out with its preferable routes and altitudes. A certain question arises, ‘What is the relevance in Paul Heaton?’
Good question, previously in I’ll have a pint, Paul Heaton in its ten minute context is a mixture of the two stories from south to north and in the end of the piece it is revealed that my words weren’t necessarily my own but a mixture between myself and Paul. But does that need to stay?
We establish that a ‘tadah’ moment might be a bit cheap, a bit cheap considering its layers of the piece. The layers of capitalism, panic and something so bitter sweet, arriving some place, and it’s full of hooligans drinking cans of Carling.
Day 2, a very productive day, a day where the whole piece has been mapped out and it’s down to me to build on its content. Some homework is to be done for day 3.
A script has been made; it is time to rehearse…
I meet with Chris and Sheena and read them through the script and feedback is given. Some more repetitions needed, in some places. One thing they both say, something quite controversial in the absence of Andy on the Day 3.
They like the Paul Heaton Clip! It was a nice moment for the audience.
It is time for me to think and to keep rehearsing. I take a break and go to central campus of Lancaster University. I arrive at a burrito stand and ask a member of staff ‘I would like the spicy one please’ I am then advised that I should take a couple of tissues as I will most definitely need them in the aftermath of this chilli consumption. Ouch, I arrive back to the rehearsal room, mouth on fire. Luckily Chris and Sheena offer me some ice cream to bring me back down to temperature.
Day 3, a productive day script wise, tomorrow is the finale!
Day 4 (Final day)
Day 4, the day where I perform my material to both Andy and Drunken Chorus, I met Andy and of course we get a brew. I then inform him of the Paul Heaton clip and the feedback given by Drunken Chorus. Andy is preparing for battle, he is aware of the feedback conflict. Only one thing for it, I’ll perform and all mayhem will be unleashed!
I perform with all costume and props barring the pint of beer. Bit early to be drinking from a keg at 10:30 am…
Performing back on the final day is vital for my development as it pushes me in the right direction for the performances in March.
Then feedback is given, I am awaiting this conflict, this battle about the clip and then quite instantly it is resolved. Drunken Chorus and Andy both agree that the clip isn’t needed; especially now I have performed it in its developed stage. I will just need to refigure some repetitions. Great!
A fantastic week with some wonderful people, it was great to have a discussion at the end about my piece. It is, in its developed stage much more layered, less about Paul Heaton. More about a timid Rascally Robert stood on a mountain, a comment on the ridiculous capitalist world that I struggle to be in. That a lot of us struggle to be in really, next time you go shopping try your best not to panic when offers are shouting at you ‘BUY ME, BUY ME!’
Honestly I don’t believe you if you don’t panic in these situations, we all need a moment of solitude and an escape. So I urge you all to go and walk a mountain and to go to the pub and have the perfect pint. Nothing is better.
Until you arrive there and the pub smells of piss, and there is a coffee shop on top of the mountain…
Thank you Drunken Chorus, thank you Andy Smith and thank you LICA,
See you all in Lancaster and London in March!
Rob Gregson x