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w/e 28 January 2018

This week I saw two things. I went out twice! Although both were only at the Barbican, so.

First, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri which was very good like everyone says. I’m not sure what else to say about it.

And then, as part of the London International Mime Festival, I saw Moeder (Mother) by a Belgian company called Peeping Tom. It was good. Here’s the trailer:

See on YouTube

Sometimes shows like this have visuals that look amazing in stills and trailers but there’s not enough substance to make an involving, affecting show. But Moeder managed both, with enough discernable narrative to keep one engaged in the slightly odd sights.

Occasionally, as glimpsed in the video, there was rubbery, uncanny movement that would be impressive and strange enough in a dance piece, but when the performers have, up until that point, behaved more conventionally, walking around in everyday clothes, it’s even more startling when they suddenly move in such a way. A woman holding her new-born baby did a front flip, with no visible preparation or warning, keeping hold of the “baby”, and elicited quite a gasp from the audience. And then did it again and again, as if possessed.

I always find it odd how eager theatre audiences are to laugh. Understandably, I guess, lots of people laugh out loud at things that are only mildly amusing. But they also titter and guffaw at things that are ingenous or surprising or uncomfortable. So often these moments could, for me, be serious or touching or suspenseful… but only if they weren’t accompanied by a laugh track.

I also spent some time this week learning lines, one set for a current class and one for a forthcoming class that requires a lot of learning in advance. I’m giving the LineLearner iOS app a try for £4 (here’s a brief review). The design and UI isn’t very elegant but it’s pretty quick to record several parts and play them back repeatedly, with the correct-sized gap for your own part. It’s helping so far. There’s also Rehearsal Pro for £20 although I think that requires you to have a digital version of a script to upload to it.

That was that week. I hope you had a good one.

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