Self Doubt

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Here it is… here it comes.  Can you feel it?  It’s there, just lurking on the edge of your awareness, needling… the voice of self-doubt. Everyone gets it.  Me… I’ve always been lucky enough to do stuff pretty much by myself, for myself.  As a scribbler I don’t read my own reviews, I definitely don’t go looking for them, and even if bad stuff is written about my books I figure, meh, everyone’s entitled to their own point of view on something as subjective as writing. But then other things start to nag.  In the five years in which I’ve …

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In Praise of… Pattern Recognition

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To clarify – this was a dance show at the Platform Theatre in April 2016, rather than a book.  It was put on by Alexander Whitley, and I was taken to see it by my partner not ‘cos we know anything about dance (we don’t) but because it was a show in which dance and lights collided  in a way we kinda had to see. The premise is pretty simple.  Two dancers perform on a stage, while three XBox Kinect sensors monitor their movements.  That data is then translated and transmitted to eight moving lights.  In various different ways, these …

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Posh actors

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There’s a bit of an ongoing barny about how many deeply successful (mostly male) actors in Britain right now are posh.  A mull….  It’s an argument not without a grain of truth to it.  A long list of Harrow, Eton, Westminster, Oxford, Cambridge graduates grace our screens and stage.  Even if those institutions weren’t on the list, as someone who went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, I’m here to tell you that fundamentally, if you’re someone who gets to spend time and money watching theatre, let alone making it, that very act is probably going to factor into …

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In Praise of… Moira Buffini

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She writes plays. I start with this statement, because usually I praise books and occasionally films, but remember how I also do a lot of theatre?  I’ve now lit a fair amount of work by Moira Buffini, and I think her plays are wonderful.  I first encountered her work on a production of Silence, which always stuck in my mind as one of the first plays I ever lit where I got to create arty stuff, and atmospheres, instead of just lights up, lights down.  It was also a play full of women – not Women Being Strong or Women …

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LDs and Arnica

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Recently I did 5 days of tech.  They went like this: Day 1.  Sunday.  Arrive 9 a.m. at the venue, meet the crew, trot through any final, obscure details on the lighting plan, then commence rigging.  Rigging involves lifting some heavy lights – the heaviest being about 50kg – onto lighting bars, plugging them in, flashing them out, then flying the bars to their deads.  This process takes to about 2 p.m..  At 3 p.m. focus commences.  Focus is pointing the lights at the correct place, and requires one person – today for ease of speed it’s me – climbing …

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