Blakeson - Writer

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

Friday, August 03, 2007

Incubator II/Simpsons

The second workshop for the section of the Incubator Project at the Wales Millennium Centre in which I’m involved took place over four days last week – variously entertaining, alarming and frustrating, but always invigorating. The idea is to come up with a play which manages to be coherent, despite multiple authorship. The consensus, though, was that when too much structure was imposed, things tended to fall a little flat. So it looks as though, by default, any piece that results will make a virtue of its random nature. Interesting to note that, despite the majority of the writers involved being female, the majority of characters generated, at this stage, were male. Probably says something deep about patriarchalism.

On the Saturday, our workshop coincided with the afternoon performance of “Never Forget”, the Take That musical. Through the wall, it sounded as though the audience was having a good time, although the fact that furry pink Stetsons were on sale outside the venue sounded a note of warning as to the tone of the piece.

I had to give a presentation of my thesis at the M.E.C.C.S.A. Post-Graduate network conference in Bristol a few weeks ago. Somewhat nerve-wracking, but I managed to get through it without embarrassing myself much more than I do in everyday life. The general message given via the various workshops was the importance of getting one’s work published if one wants to get anywhere in academia; so, painstaking, intellectually demanding work involving much rejection and little financial reward – where have I heard that before?

For the first time in ages, I visited the cinema this week full of nervous anticipation – it was “The Simpsons Movie”, of course. Naturally, I emerged feeling slightly flat, although I’d laughed all the way through, and it contained all of the elements (wit, warmth, facetiousness etc) which make the series so special. Maybe it’s just that brilliant television shows should remain just that. Or maybe, as with TV episodes, I need to see it eight times to get the full impact.


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