Blakeson - Writer

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 (But mostly I watched telly)

To summarise for 2011:

Three episodes of “Tati’s Hotel” for CITV.

Short film written: “The Key

Short films written and directed:


Short “found footage” films made:

Two pieces of long fiction now available for Kindle:

Yer Blues

Plus a play for Frapetsus in 2012, if all goes well.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Free Folk

Another Welsh premiere of a play by Welsh playwright Gary Owen - this time brought to us as an “On The Edge” rehearsed reading from the Welsh Fargo Stage Company at Chapter, Cardiff. This was “Free Folk”, originally commissioned and toured by the Forest Forge Theatre Company in 2010 - a tightly plotted comedy drama whose action pivots around a rain-drenched incident of rustic petty crime which escalates into the kind of hostage situation in which most of the victims don’t realise they’re being held hostage. It’s instigated by wide-boy Shaun (Gary Knowles, clearly enjoying having the most complex characterisation to play with) who, with his unwilling accomplice, the justifiably nervy incomer Karen (Nikki Warwick), finds himself trapped in the home of the elderly, set-in-her-ways Pearl (Liz Edney); they’re later joined by petulant teen couple Tim and Hannah (recent graduates Simon Mullins and Stephanie Garratt). The direction by Elise Davison was cleverly fluent, the actors encouraged to abandon their scripts to enhance some of the more comic moments; although the decision to ask them to add their own sound effects (e.g. for the opening and closing of car doors) prompted audience giggles, which I found distracting. The author being fond of a monologue, the characters are all given room within the narrative to elucidate their back-stories, such that the moments of self-discovery on which they end are generally satisfying, in an essentially optimistic piece which reflects highly entertainingly on issues of home, belonging, and the concept of the rural idyll.

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Word 4 Word / Kindle

Lured by the prospect of an evening’s free entertainment, I wandered down to Cardiff’s Ten Feet Tall, to check out Word 4 Word – a spoken-word open-mic night, presented under the auspices of National Theatre Wales. Wittily hosted by Mark Blayney Stuart, it involved a dozen performers, some of them making their live debuts, clambering onto the stage to bare their souls, having been given the broad theme of “Space” and a time limit of five minutes (not always rigidly enforced). Pretty enjoyable, all in all – a broad range of participants and styles; mostly poetry, some fiction extracts, some rambling. At first it looked as though it was going to conform to gender stereotypes – men being playful, women more nakedly emotional; but the picture grew more complex as the night drew on. Personal highlights for me were the poems about loss by Jill Berrett, Hassan’s subtle musings, and Jack Pascoe’s punk rock lament. There was a competitive element, the main official prize being to headline the next event (the audience prize being an old Doctor Who Annual), but I guess that for most participants the prize was the experience itself. The December headliner was nonagenarian Betty Lane, who charmed all present with her poignant verse, not to mention her account of a close encounter with Dylan Thomas. And the whole thing was all the more entertaining for the knowledge that I’m too cowardly and inarticulate ever to attempt such a thing myself.

In other news, I’ve managed to make my novel “Yer Blues” available as an e-book in Amazon’s  Kindle store – a bargain at £1.45. Not to mention my novella “Oliviaville”, for even less. Irresistible.

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