What craziness is this? Four months since my last confession? Just shows how busy I've been - and not just in my own one-handers.
I spent the festival month of May running from the proverbial pillar to the equally proverbial post as I performed in three shows: I played Aaronow in the award-winning production of Glengarry Glen Ross at the Rialto; I was Alfie in the immersive Hydrocracker/Blast Theory show Operation Black Antler; and I did a week of Something Rotten with Sweet Venues at the Waterfront Hotel.
I'd taken some persuading to do SR in the Fringe, being of the opinion that it's an institution with too many shows and not enough audience - and though I've not entirely relinquished that notion, I was nevertheless pleased to get a week of healthy crowds (OK, so it was only a 30-seater), a bunch of very warm reviews - The Stage invoked the word "superb" - and an Argus Angel Award from the local paper. What care I if they're too cheap to make with an actual, hold-in-your-hand physical award and I have to make do with the words "Argus Angel winner" in the paper? An award's an award.
That all done and dusted, I played Mazzini Dunn in Shaw’s Heartbreak House at the Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT), assigning to the character a Welsh accent which, given my half-Welsh heritage, I expected to be a tonguely walk in the park. In fact it was quite the bugger to get right, and yet all the evidence suggests I did so. Actually, there is no evidence to speak of, for though the show was well received by audiences, there wasn’t a single review written.
HH was immediately followed by the part of The Man in Brief Hiatus’s lightning-quick production of The Bacchae, rehearsed in a week and presented for just one blood-drenched night at 88 London Road. I then revisited the role of Quint the traffic warden in my one-hander High Vis, revived for the Stroud Theatre Festival, before diving into rehearsals for The Ugly One, Marius von Mayenburg’s surreal comedy about the use and abuse of human pulchritude. I've been working once again with Pretty Villain, the in-house company at the Rialto, this time under the direction of Lauren Varnfield. She may well be the best director I've yet collaborated with - working in great detail yet having the confidence to allow people to be trying new things all the time.
Anyway, that's me in the picture up top, with Tom Dussek (one of my former real estate colleagues from Glengarry Glen Ross, as it happens).
Robert Cohen – a man in showbiz so stepp’d in that, should he wade no more, to go back were as tedious as go o’er. These are among his musings.