August 14, 2011

Vintage & Pubs

Apparently it's Elvis Week. I'm awfully far from Graceland... Looks like I'mna have to inject some big hunks a love into Ol' Scotland, trusting that the King will forgive me for celebrating in a blue silk dress instead of blue suede shoes.

It's vintage shopping day for me! Vintage shopping, seeking out a new cafe to haunt with my travel journal and, with any luck, finding a good bookstore, cause I'm going mad with nothing to read!! If I find brown boots, I'm gonna spring for them, but otherwise it's time for me to cut back on spending for a bit. Just purchased an extra ticket for Macbeth, and I want to make sure I still have "mad money" whenever I find a must-drop-into cafe.

Also, let me update you on the shows I've seen!

Blood and Roses turned out to be quite interesting. We started at St. John's church where we were greeted by a guide who offered us a free shot of vodka before our endeavor. Who can pass up free booze, right? So, despite it being far too early for shots, we all threw back a smooth Smirnoff. Scotland's going to make an alcoholic out of me if I'm not careful... (just kidding, parents.) After that we put on headsets attached to MP3 players with prerecorded narratives on them, all synced up with our walk around the city. Every once in a while we'd enter a bar or parish house or duck down an alleyway to glimpse work prepared by the artist detailing her story. It mostly centered around her marriage to a Russian man and adapting to one another's family traditions, but woven into this narrative were Russian and Scottish folk tales, her mother and grandmother's love stories, and some harrowing histories of survival from previous generations of ancestors. It was kind of like a collage story, but in theatre mode, and the whole thing came just from those headphones! I liked it cause it meant I got to create the story in my head, which lead to all these inherent connections in my own life. 4 stars for me, cause it lagged a bit. My classmates weren't as excited about this one, I don't think, but it gave me ideas for a piece I'd like to create about my own family love stories.

Man of Valour was my favorite show so far. A one-man production, this guy created a mime performance (complete with sad face makeup, which for the first time in my life I didn't find completely terrifying) but recreated every single noise -- computer start-up noises, squeaking hinges, soup pouring out of a can, voices from the television, every female character, and a creepy alter-ego that threatens to take him down. So cool. It's hard to describe, but it sort of blended cinema with theatre, and I totally loved the result. 5 stars.

End of the Line was a bit of a let down, but it really didn't stand a chance mere hours after Man of Valour. It was put on by a much younger cast -- probably college-aged -- but in a way it was one of the more valuable pieces, since it taught me what NOT to do as a young performer. Specifically in the realm of indication-acting, fake crying, and playing on emotions over actions. 2 stars.

The Literary Pub Tour was also ridiculous. Very long and waaaaaay under its potential. There are several Scotsfolk of note who made a contribution to the world of literature, but all I collected from this tour was Robert Burns. I couldn't even tell you where he wrote, because my eyes started wandering to areas other than the two men were presenting out of boredom. I'd also like to point out that they saved the female writers of note until the last 5 minutes of the tour, casting off their names just before trivia in the back alley of I-don't-even-know-where. I highly recommend making use of the occasional stops for drink on the way, cause you'll need one to stay awake. 2 stars as well.

Mmm-k, plans have changed and it's time for me to go to the park. Looks like vintage/bookstore/cafe hunting may have to wait for later -- possibly much later, because it's a busy busy week of shows coming up, and then -- Loch Ness!! If I get eaten alive by Nessy, pay my respects in daffodils.

Love to all,
R



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