• News,  Theatre

    a less ordinary night in England

    This story should be of interest to those of you who are under 26 (or have friends/family under 26) and live in England. Check out the web site A Night Less Ordinary, where you can sign up for free tickets for theatrical events throughout the country. It’s a joint initiative by Arts Council England and Metro. The scheme offers thousands of free theatre tickets to anyone under 26 for all sorts of theatre events including comedy, tragedies, musical theatre, dance, modern mime, plays, circus and much more. There are more than 200 venues participating throughout England and you can search them all from the home page. Theatre attendance is traditionally…

  • News,  Theatre

    Theatre and Radio to consider

    In my capacity as blogger for the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild I have to keep an eye on theatre and film news around the globe. A lot of the information I read isn’t relevant to the needs of the Guild’s membership, but sometimes I come across information that may be of interest to those who read this blog. Here are two examples: Over on BroadwayWorld.com I spotted the news that the one-man play, Zombie, written and performed by Bill Connington, and adapted from a novella by Joyce Carol Oates, will open Off Broadway at Theatre Row on February 21, with previews beginning February 18th. Thomas Caruso is directing the…

  • Fiction,  Film,  Ireland,  News,  Screenwriting,  Television,  Theatre,  Thoughts

    Winter Cheer

    I started writing this blog post a week ago, but then I became happily distracted by the visit from a dear friend of mine. October and November are busy months for me. It’s when the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild organises its annual screenwriting awards, the ZeBBies, and it generates a lot of extra work. On November 25th we had the ZeBBie Awards Ceremony in the Sugar Club in Dublin, and it was a fun night. I put on a frock and shiny shoes. People were bewildered but complimentary. I spent all of that Tuesday at the Arts Council’s conference, New Media, New Audience? The panel I participated on was…

  • Television,  Theatre,  Thoughts

    behind the curtain

    08/08/08 – pretty cool eh? Of course, it is just a made-up number, an arbitrary system to mark the days. There are plenty of other calendars where today is not special at all. It all depends on your point of view. The Olympics opening ceremony was a beautiful spectacle, and there are many admirable ideas buried in the core of the games. Of course, everything is politics. The clothes the athletes wear, who carries the flag, who bears the torch, what diplomats turn up, who lights the flame – these are all political decisions designed to make an impact, to say something about each country’s agenda. And while I admired…

  • Ireland,  News,  Screenwriting,  Television,  Theatre

    we all stand together

    I’ve started working on a very part-time basis for the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild. Mostly, I’m working on streamlining their web site and maintaining their electronic newsletter. An early stripped-down version of the Guild site is now live. It’s serving up basic information at the moment, and I hope to add extra features over time. As one would expect, the Guild is not overflowing with cash, so I’m doing my best on a limited budget. It is thanks to the munificence and foresight of funding bodies like the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board that I’ve been able to begin work on our long-term plans. I’ve started up…

  • Film,  Theatre

    You're sayin' the FBI's gonna pay me to learn to surf?

    From Playbill I noticed a unique play that’s now starting an unlimited run at the off-Broadway, Teatro LA TEA, in NY. Called Point Break LIVE!, it’s a theatrical re-enactment of the original Hollywood film, except that the role of Johnny Utah (played by Keanu Reeves in the film), is played by an audience member who is picked at random every night. Utah is prompted by cue-cards throughout the play, and has a stunt double for the action scenes. “Keanu Reeves roles demand a special kind of acting,” explains director Hook, on the show’s conceit. “Essentially, in every scene, you have to look like you’ve just been dropped into a room…

  • Film,  Reviews,  Theatre

    hot comedy

    I’ve returned from the big smoke. Holidays are great, but sometimes they are more exhausting before and after. You spend days preparing to leave on a holiday, and days catching up afterwards. I’m hip-deep in work and email. Still, London was fun. Loads of good food, the occasional drink (ahem), great company, and a Chinese New Year parade with Lions and Dragons and Fans, oh my! Martin and I went to Spamalot – the only musical Martin has ever expressed an interest in seeing. The best thing about the show is that it always errs on the side of silly. What’s funny about watching Spamalot is listening to the inhalation…

  • Fiction,  Theatre

    the play's the thing

    Yesterday I finished my re-draft of my one-act play. Usually, a re-write is about cutting. This one was a slow measured increase. Writing for theatre is so different than writing prose or for the screen. I’m only at the tip of the iceberg in my understanding of it. The re-write required a lot of thought. I’d rework a sentence, sit, and think. Then add a sentence, tweak phrasing, sit back, and mull it over again. It was writing in slow motion. It made me a bit grumpy. Yet, I couldn’t let it go. I’m generally pleased with the result, but I’ve asked a couple of friends for feedback. It’s not…

  • Fiction,  Theatre,  Thoughts

    shifting zones

    Jet lag sucks. At least it wears off, eventually. My trip to New York was great fun. The Fantastic Fiction reading at the poky KGB Bar was stuffed with sf enthusiasts. Both Paul Di Filippo and Ysabeau Wilce were strong and distinctive readers. I picked up a copy of Ysabeau’s novel, Flora Segunda, after hearing her read a couple of chapters. It’s a fresh, imaginative novel, and I look forward to finishing it in the coming weeks. I met a number of people during the course of my visit who write, or edit, genre fiction. It was somewhat overwhelming at times. I find it hard to attend an event on…

  • Fiction,  Theatre,  Thoughts

    variety is the spice of writing

    Over the weekend I completed the edits on “Bone Mother” as requested by Paul Tremblay, the co-editor of the Fantasy anthology (and Fantasy Magazine). It was a painless process, because the suggestions were mostly wise and useful. I used the opportunity to correct a couple of small errors that a friend pointed out. On Monday I finished a short one-act play, which is currently called Consequences (that will probably change). I wrote it in response to a challenge my screenwriting/playwriting group posed: members were to write a short play/set of monologues/short film by a set deadline. The idea was to provoke new material, and also to see if some of…