Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Busy Life...or Writer's Block?

Ah, me...I can't seem to make the time to write for my blog, and I want to say all these things about being very busy with work and evening commitments and all, but I just found an hour and a half to watch The King of Kong (which was glorious--Werner Herzog could have made this documentary--check it out, especially if you're of a certain age).

I have pages of notes on The Changeling, and I've done a second reading of Jonson's Sejanus (Erin: I like it, especially that fifth act, although I wonder if it would work on the stage), and...I don't know what the problem is. Stuck in the Summer doldrums, I guess.

One thing I am excited about is that I may do a bit of acting, for the first time in like 15 years...just a bit, but still. My old college theatre has given me the chance to present a little Shakespeare at their open house this August, and I've secured the commitment of the remarkable actress who was our Lady Macbeth last year to act opposite me in Act I, Scene 4 of Henry VI, Part 3--that incredible "Molehill" scene with the paper crown and all. I'll be enacting Richard, Duke of York, and she'll be doing Margaret, and it's very exciting--a chance to turn everything up to 11 and really lift the roof off the rafters.

And it's a busy schedule of theatre going, of course--I just saw a superb Merchant of Venice at the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, and I'm flying to Denver on Saturday to see Henry VIII, one of the eight Shakespeare plays I haven't yet seen live on stage. There's a reasonable chance I'll be able to see the last seven by this time next year, God willing and the creek don't rise (All's Well that Ends Well, Timon of Athens, The Two Noble Kinsmen, 2 Henry IV, Antony and Cleopatra, Richard II, and, believe it or not, King Lear).

So, at least I've mustered the energy to check in. Perhaps this will clear the psychic logjam and let me get on with the Great Middleton Experiment.


Emily said...

I have to say that taking the time for The King of Kong was well-chosen. That was a great documentary -- we went with several friends and then actually went to one of Billy Mitchell's restaurants (a difficult prospect in terms of testing out the hot sauce,since it generally comes on the chicken wings and I don't eat meat ... but still).

I look forward to your take on The Changeling ...

Alan K.Farrar said...

Block gets too us all - stuck myself at the moment.
My excuse is I am due a holiday (considering I only work a 3 day week that's a bit rich).
Still - my hopes are on a performance tonight by the Globe Theatre here in town.

Craig said...

I have got to get out to one of those restaurants some day. 'Course, what really bugs me is that I used to get up to New England several times a year, and I never made it to the Funspot. Talk about a time bubble.

Hope it's a good show, Alan!

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about Sejanus today. The right acting company could make the final scene quite terrifying, I think. I wouldn't be surprised if Jonson imagined the atmosphere to be quite violent, despite his espousals of stoicism and reason.

There's a scene similar to this - that occurs on-stage -- in the middle of The New Inn, where one of the characters gets her clothes "pillaged" by a crowd of angry women.

I love both scenes,and the plays and which they occur are two of my favourites. I think Jonson can be quite Marlovian sometimes (though he'd probably curse me for seeing so!)

Sympathies on the writer's block, but you do make me feel less guilty about leaving my own blog for so long!

Craig said...

Jonson put a couple of really profound things on the stage there at the end. First is the speed with which a regime collapses. One minute the goons have total power, the next they're being ripped limb from limb. It put me very much in mind of the fall of the Eastern European dictatorships a few years back. Second is the dawning realization that nothing, really, has changed--one group of bad men has been eliminated, but another has stepped right in to the void. Macro is little improvement over Sejanus, and the tragedy of Rome continues. So, yeah, I like that fifth act real well.