Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Boy Least Likely

I went to a reading of John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger in Chapter last week, commemorating 50 years of the Royal Court, and subsidised theatre in general. It’s quite easy to see how it made such a big impression on cosy 1950s Theatreland, and Jimmy Porter is certainly an epic (if undeniably unpleasant) character, but there are those uncomfortable “fluffy bunny” moments, which seemed to provoke some giggles. It’s a pity Osborne didn’t do more acting, considering how good he was in Get Carter.

Excellent gig at Cardiff Barfly last night. I unfortunately arrived too late to catch We Are Trees, but was rather impressed by Philadephia’s B.C. Camplight – shades of Ben Folds and Fountains of Wayne, sugar coated nuggets of acid whimsy. Headlining were The Boy Least Likely To, who were very likeable, in a melodic Anglo-alt-country vein, despite the presence of a recorder-player. Amongst their tunes was one about their home town of Aylesbury, with the lyrics “this town is full of monsters”; and another was apparently about gay animal sex (as if there was any other kind). The night was topped off by R1’s Huw Stephens on the Wheels of Steel, but I went home after a few minutes of his pulsating rhythms, to rest my aching knees.

It’s fascinating to read some of the comments surrounding the Euston Manifesto around various web-sites; although the unconstructive gutter language utilised, and anti-Semitic sentiments expressed by some of its detractors is somewhat dismaying. I signed it, if only out of relief at the discovery that I’m not the only socialist with misgivings about the Saddamite tendency within certain quarters on the Left. It’ll be interesting to see if it enters public discourse outside Blogland.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Custom House

I caught an excellent new play a couple of weeks ago – The Custom House by young South Wales-based writer, Kit Lambert at Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre. A ridiculously clever and surprisingly funny piece set in an abandoned hut in some Middle-European no-man’s land, featuring two would-be emigrants, endlessly procrastinating as they prepare to set out for the New Europe, only to find it coming to meet them, firstly in the shape of two idealistic young women making the journey in the opposite direction, and then by the border itself, as the world changes around them. A satire on both globalisation and anti-globalisation which ends up being about the tension between love, fear, hope and stasis. Just the kind of witty, outward-looking piece we always complain that we never see in these parts. A refreshingly high audience turn-out as well.

I had a Tracy Beaker episode on BBC2 last week – very handy in terms of my dwindling finances. Apparently the BBC are going to start making it available via Video-on-Demand, although I think everyone’s in the dark as to how that’s going to work out financially or technically. Hail the brave new dawn, etc.