The Proscenium Arch: My little cameraphone can do no justice to the cavernous, blackboardish, mouldering oddness of the three large brick arches that make up the space in Shunt called the Arena. Having found myself at the wrong attention-end of the table in the pub after work I popped into the Shunt Vaults and the netaudio festival being hosted there (whence these photos) just in time to catch a gothic dance piece based on the works of Spike Jones and Doodles Weaver.
I couldn't remember when I'd last seen the Arena look like such an attractive proposition for a performance. It may be because I'd never seen it look so bare, or it may have been because I'd learnt on Thursday that our days in this place were finally numbered. Or it may have been that I'd recently been thinking about Jonah Non Grata thus (and thank you again, Andrew Haydon, for that review): If I were to perform it again in the Vaults much of the set I'd used for the promenade version back in January (the lobby, the lift) had now been dismantled, so restaging that wasn't an option, and as much fun as running around with the audience and pulling tricks with doors and light had been, there was always an argument for taking the show back to what it had started out as ie. a man gutting about onstage for an hour in front of an audience allowed to keep their places and, as a consequence, their anonymity... an argument now made all the stronger by the rich, found seediness of this Arena. It really did look like a great, godawful place to see one man stand.
But how likely am I really to perform Jonah here agan? What have I already got on my plate? For a start there's this film I'm going to make with Gemma Brockis, although neither of us really have any idea what it's going to be. We've mentioned "Fat Adolf" of course (I'm finding it very useful to write Winnie Verloc with the casting of Gemma in mind) but should LA not come knocking, or - Heaven Forfuckingfend - I never even get round to writing the bloody thing and live out the rest of my days teetotal, we also considered making a short. The one idea I had was to get Gemma to play me, film it in black and white and call it "The Git." Gemma, a little to my surprise, really seems to like this.
Okay, so what should the Git do? Well as of last night I think he should stand in the Arena and perform to the camera. Start with what you know. Gemma, now I think of it, is also fascinated by the proscenium arch (for her upcoming curatorship of the Vaults I think she's going to turn the long corridor into a series of Pollock Toy Theatre style flats) while I'm having enough problems working out how to make Iago work outside of the traditional thearical seating arrangement and I'm only doing that because it's going on the radio, so I see no need to fight this any more: REGARDLESS of the medium, there is clearly something about a person standing on a stage (preferably a big, bare stage) and facing front that I find potentially hilarious and complicated. Let's start there then, and just hope we get the whole thing wrapped before they move us to the sewage farm.