NOVEMBER 2014

NOVEMBER 2014

Postby Barry » Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:49 pm

November 8th 2014

Oh dear lordie, I'm letting this slip. too many projects, but all good. I'm having a lot of late nights writing projects and they are running away with me. I am hoping that Chopin, Verdi and Wagner will be all part of my next two years. Wagner and Verdi look pretty definite.....watch this space.

I've done a couple of talks in the last fortnight. One was for the Stoke Cine and Video Society, and I think we all had a good evening. I was agitated with a terrible motorway journey, but I just made it to the Methodist church hall, and what a great projector they had. And what great tea and buns. A mature audience, and one lovely lady said she would have given me a standing ovation but that would have taken twenty minutes for her to get up. Some very interesting questions, and I loved their warmth for the group and the way they met every week. I was made to feel very welcome and they loved the films.

And yesterday was an 11 hour round trip down to Farnham, and a paced house, truly packed. Again I was agitated after the journey but I think I fired on all cylinders. As usual I think I probably talk too honestly, and very matter of factly, about sex and violence, and since much of my work does deal with those themes that does get discussed. (Oh if you want to read of moral outrage read Quentin Lett's review of the National theatre's production of John - he had a fit) .Sometimes I'm reprimanded gently but I suspect that is out of deference for sensitive souls in the audience, and I should respect that, and not, I hope, for resistance that animation can't tackle such subjects. I had a mail this morning from one of the students saying that they were a great deal shocked by Plume and when could they see it again. Great. that encourages me as I hopefully keep walking along the path towards a dark feature - a very dark feature, though not as dark as American Horror Story that I am watching at the moment. Pretty dark and complex all the same.

And not as dark as the Scream Park I went to last weekend. I had been to a pretty limp one at the Trafford Central the weekend before, and this was pretty full on and gruesome and well staged, especially an area that was pyscho-sexual themed. You went in alone, and very nasty things happened and got touched and tasted.......yuck. When can I go again.

Getting a little anxious about all the projects that are lining up as they are from different sources, and will take some considerable juggling, and they could all fall to pieces and i'll be left with none of them. It's very had to ask people to move along otherwise the window of opportunity will be gone. You can't hurry these things, but.....

Very much looking forward to an evening in Bristol celebrating 25 years of the Lip synch Series. We've only got 90 minutes......do they not know what talkers we are.

And I'm looking forward to the Bradford Animation Festival in ten days.
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Re: NOVEMBER 2014

Postby Barry » Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:38 pm

November 15th 2014

Am just heading off to Stratford, no not for a meeting but to finally see a play there. I'm off to see Love's Labours Lost, with music by the wonderful Nigel Hess, who composed the scores for my Screen Play and Achilles. They've set the play cleverly on the eve of WWI and are doing it with Much ado about nothing (hear called Love's Labours Won) which of course starts at the end of a war. Neat.

Much WWI talk this week, and I saw a production of Oh what a Lovely war at the Garrick. Amazing work from the cast but I still found the tone uncomfortable. It has to be an ironically angry piece otherwise it just comes over as tasteless. A great set.

I'm still getting tremendous feedback from the talk I did at Farnham last week, and one lady in particular has written about my films with a depth of understanding that I have not met before. she really understood what I was trying to do.

This next couple of years is shaping up to possibly be hugely busy and diverse, though in the way of tings I am officially out of work in a few weeks, but crikey there's a lot that could happen.
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Re: NOVEMBER 2014

Postby Barry » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:20 pm

November 22nd 2014

I'm not sure I have had a week where so much was required of me, but you know what, I'm not complaining at all - a lot of the pressure was of my own making. But here's a week in the life of Dr P......
Last Saturday I drove to Stratford to see Love's Labour's Lost and it was without doubt, one of the most joyous Shakespeare productions I have seen. It kept me giddy for days. A full week of shooting on the tv series, but on Monday night was a rehearsal for the Pie, Pint and a poem event at the Garrick, and this happened for real on the Tuesday night and was very moving. Those World war One poems are heartbreaking. We had a little bit of staging and it was very effective. Wednesday night, and after much organising and fretting, Mackinnon and Saunders were back in the Garrick for our Quiz night. Much laughter and drinking, and my round of mixing character names from the carry On films with character names from Dickens worked well. Yep Dickens really did have characters called Dick Swiveller and Fanny Cleaver. And on Thursday we were back at the Garrick for the screening of the first episodes of Twirly Woos - we projected them on a screen on the set of Yes Prime Minister.....in our world that seemed perfectly normal. And boy the episodes are good. Very pleased to have been part of all this. And then on Friday I was over at the Bradford animation Festival, the last Bradford Animation Festival as it turns out. and very sad it was too. I presented the legend that is Joanna Quinn with a lifetime achievement award and then hosted the Awards evening. It was difficult to keep focussed on the films, but after 21 years the festival is going - very sad. so many great many of that festival, and I have to admit I have done a lot of events there, and particularly enjoyed having 'In Conversations' with on stage with some true legends. But there were tears, and anger and disappointment, but also celebration. Along with all this I have still been trying to write and keep up with mails from very enthusiastic students, and keep several new projects going.
And as I sit here at Saturday lunchtime, I've not got much left to give. But a good week.
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Re: NOVEMBER 2014

Postby Barry » Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:48 pm

November 29th 2014

Am coming to the end of my current contract, and bracing myself for a few lean weeks, but rather long term prospects could be startling in their diversity or I could merely be staring at tumbleweed. The next few weeks are going to be interesting as these projects are sorted out one way or the other. A lot of careful juggling is required. I suspect music is going to be significant - I hope so. There's the possibility of working with two huge pop stars - one British, and one not. And then there's Chopin, and Verdi, and Wagner, and now good old Tchaikovsky has popped back in the frame. Always happy to see him.

The most immediate project is directing and designing Breaking the Code - the play of the book that the film Imitation Game was based on. I saw the film on sunday, and a mark of how good it was was that my friend did not fall asleep as he usually does. and yes it was brilliant. it had the same fractured structure as the play, but had lost the mother character and bumped up the part of Pat/Joan. A superb cast of truly magnetic actors, and directed to make mathematics and the turning of cogs the most exciting thing ever! And Benedict Cumberbatch is astonishing......does he ever blink those amazing eyes. On stage that part is a marathon, quite literally. We haven't cast it yet. It's going to take a good few months to learn all those pages....

Black Friday - a despicable and manipulative scam from shops that has revealed a dark side of humanity. Hideous and humiliating to watch.
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