Taking up where I left off the last time. We were as good as our word and headed for the reworking of Franz Kafka's 'Die Verwandlung' in the Olympia Theatre. For a Saturday night there was an awful lot of empty seats downstairs in the venue. I knew there was something up when I met Dineen and he was heading upstairs to the balcony seats. When I bought the tickets about a month ago I was shown a seating plan for the Olympia. The young volunteer in the festival office pointed about eight rows back from the stage and assured me they were some of the best seats in the house. How fucking wrong he was! When we got to the seats there was less leg room than on a Ryanair flight to wherever. Not only that but when the curtain was raised there stood before us a two storey set. This meant that I spent most of the play with my head reclined as a lot of the action took place on the top level. For anyone who'd scrimped and gone for a balcony seat there were no such problems. Those were the optimum seats for this particular production.
Having never read the original Kafka short story I didn't know what to expect. Not knowing that it was a joint British/Icelandic production (Vesturport Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith) I was unprepared for the accents emanating from the actors. As you can guess I went to this thing pretty uninformed. That's my usual approach to things in life. My ignorance in this case was bliss. After five minutes I thought it was going to be a bag of shite. After ten minutes I was getting into the groove. After fifteen minutes i was loving it. I thought the acting was pretty hammy in places and that some of the interpretation of the work bordered on farce but the lead role of Gregor Samsa, as played by Bjorn Thors, included an amazing series of gravity defying physical feats performed at a 90 degree angle to the rest of the set. Its hard to explain but it was a great buzz.
In other news, I was only delighted to open the paper on Saturday and see a nice big article on one of Ireland's top illustrators/cartoonists Bob Byrne. I only have a virtual relationship with Bob on his clamnuts site but he's always struck me as a decent fella. I like to think of him as an Irish Rolf Harris but without the beard and wobble board and not anywhere near as good at singing 'Two Little Boys'. It turns out that Bob has done way more stuff that I've given him past credit for. I was banging on about his Mr Amperduke novel a while back and it gets a good mention in the article I'm talking about.
I picked up a copy of the now free (to read, not to publish, print, run etc.) State Magazine. Its as polished as they come for a freebie music magazine. They must have had the Brasso out. There's some nice stuff on Irish acts in it e.g. the MJEX interview & the one with Fight Like Apes.
Over on Jim's site today he makes mention of an award winning blog post. It was written by Paul Tarpey and anyone with even a passing interest in Irish clubbing culture should check it out. It has the makings of a brilliant book. Hats off to Paul. I'm sure that I've used a picture of his on this blog before. Here's Paul's post.
Two purchases I landed on 45rpm today come from Toddla T and Born Ruffians. The Toddla T release is a picture disc of 'Manabadman' and the flip side is my favourite. It features a dub version with Trigganom mcing on it. Top beats from the Sheffield wonderkid Toddla. The Born Ruffians 'Little Garcon' EP release is a double seven inch job. It's very different to the 'Hummingbird' tune that I got by them. I listened to the title track on this release and it reminded me of some alt-folk cajun style mash up. Sounds a bit freaky but I like it. The other three go off on different tangents too but the kids were dancing around pretending to be Michael Jackson in the Thriller video so I couldn't hear them very well. The tunes not the kids.