Friday night, comedy at The Ship in Borough. A bit of photography on the way home, trying a few more ambitious tricks with long exposures, some of which worked, some of which didn’t. Pleasant start to the weekend
Saturday afternoon: The Tempest, Islington. Half the cast were weak, (mostly the King’s Party and Ferdinand), and I really didn’t feel there was much directorial vision there – I had no idea what I was supposed to take away from the play past Shakespeare’s original themes and intentions – it sort of felt like the number of unusual directorial choices (all of the major roles filled by women, starting with a plane crash rather than a shipwreck, despite the fact that none of the later dialogue was changed to reference this, a sudden attack of (entertaining, don’t get me wrong) belly dancing in Act 4) were done to be “modern” and “challenging” rather than because the director has a point to make. And the sound engineer should have been taken out and shot. When the sound effects make it impossible for people sat in the middle of the audience to hear most of Act 1 Scene 1 (and a few other points besides), then you know that someone doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Still, all that said: it was perfectly enjoyable. Prospero, Ariel and Caliban are my favourite characters in the play, and they were all more than up to the job, and I can listen to Shakespeare’s language and metaphor for hours.
Sunday, daytime: catching up on sleep and emails. And then, in the evening, Jason’s gig.
He didn’t disappoint. I won’t go on about it, because I’m sure you’re all bored of me going on about him. I’ll just say thanks to those who came along – he’s deserved a London gig like that for years – and yah boo sucks to those that didn’t.
There was also a snake dancer, on after Jason, and I think I sort of understand how porn photographers (not that this was porn, but it’s an insight, anyway) do the job. Without the camera, I was watching a fairly attractive young woman wearing not very much cavorting on stage with a snake. With the camera between me and her, I was watching a collection of lines and curves and colours to be framed in the best manner possible. I was, I swear to god, honestly surprised at the huge difference in my responses with and without the camera.
This leads into something I was talking about the other week with alexdecampi and also with jhaelan – the idea that there’s an increasing number of people who do things in order to document, rather than to have the experience. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad, you understand, but I know that I’m often torn, at good gigs, between using the camera and watching the show. The difference isn’t as marked at most gigs as it was last night, but then, I’m generally taking photos of bands whose work I know more or less by heart, and I can listen to music at the same time. When I’m dealing with something that’s more, or even purely, visual, the photographic urge might well get quite badly in the way of the experience.
It might well also play in to my other interests in things like interface design and/or human/technological interaction. warren_ellis‘ Transmetropolitan comic, for example, features a protagonist with camera built in to his ever-present sunglasses. Would that be an elegant interface to prevent that disconnect, or would it do exactly the reverse, and keep that disconnect almost permanently in place?
Tonight, a five course dinner and wine tasting, for ewa‘s birthday meal out. Good comedy, theatre, company, music, photography, food and drink all in the space of a few days, and more of the same to come this week.
I don’t generally go a bundle on the metaphysical poets, but I have to say, I think George Herbert was right. Living well is the best revenge.