Another week over.
This week we went to see How to Win Against History a three man musical show about Henry Paget, 5th Marquess of Anglesey who, around the turn of the 19th/20th centuries, spent his huge inheritance by putting on elaborate, and probably doomed, shows. It was a lot of fun, very quick, very funny, and nicely warm-hearted. The music and lyrics are by Seiriol Davies who I was at LISPA with and who is marvellous. As is the way with these things, it’s completely sold out. Good old London.
As good as it was, the most surprising dramatic moment of the week happened in the Meisner class. I was watching an repetition-based improvisation: a brother and sister, living in their deceased parents’ old house, no money, she’s had a baby, he’s frustrated with her doing nothing… the scene was OK for a while but wasn’t really going anywhere, with emotions not building, and nothing quite hitting home.
The teacher talked to the brother, to get at the root of what he was upset about and the scene continued, a little more intensely. All of a sudden the sister recoiled and exclaimed, “You’re making me wish I never had the baby!” I noticed they way she said it before I understood the words. It was almost as if the actor had noticed something terrible, like a rat running across the floor, because the emotion, the horror, was so believable and true — it was her, not her-playing-a-character, who was upset. It was amazing to see. It’s rare for a scene in class to bring tears to my eyes. The moment made me realise how many of the emotional moments one sees in class, even when they’re good, are often that one step removed from this “emotional truth” (for want of a better term). And I wonder if I can ever do that.
Back home… I’ve given up on playing Horizon Zero Dawn I think. It’s just not for me. I find the world a bit daft and I don’t want to spend any time there. I also realised it’s too RPG for me — way too many bits of equipment and skills and crafting and upgrading and all that. Too complicated for my idea of fun.
Instead I started playing Elite: Dangerous, having fond memories of Elite from the 1980s but this is, so far, way too complicated for my idea of fun. There’s no way you could play the game without spending time online watching videos and reading forum posts to work out how to do anything. There are a handful of training missions included but they only cover a tiny proportion of all there is to know. I’ve spent a lot of time getting confused over the three different ways to fly around; which buttons to press to do anything; how to know what to trade anywhere; how to complete missions which initially sounded simple; how to find bad guys to shoot for the bounty… So much time feeling lost and bewildered. It’s infuriating. I feel I have hours of watching and reading ahead of me and that’s not fun. Such a shame because it looks lovely. On the plus side I did manage to successfully dock in a space station at the first attempt, which I always remember being a challenge.
That’s the highlights. Much of the rest of the week was spent at a desk staring into a computer, the usual. Let’s all make sure we do something else this week too.