11 October 2006

Poor Beast in the Rain

I spent a lot of yesterday and this morning working on the poster and flyer for Poor Beast in the Rain, the play I'm in just now, so I thought I'd stick the fruits of my labours up here. Kind of a dual purpose thing - I haven't been doing a whole lot of (any) art apart from (and largely because of) the play so these posters will keep this place from looking like I've dropped off the edge of the planet and advertise what will be a cracking play to all of you who are going to come and see it...


poor beast in the rain poster
Poor Beast in the Rain flyer text


The design of the poster, and especially the wonderful idea of a crumpled betting slip with the title scribbled on it as if it were a doped nag, were not down to me but I'm really chuffedPoor Beast in the Rain poster photo with the end result because it was my amateur, unschooled Photoshop dabbling that arrived at the image above from the photograph you see here. The photograph was taken using a mobile phone belonging to one of the cast in the makeshift studio and dodgy light of the director's kitchen. As you can see, I had to purge an earlier attempt at writing the title, as well as the director's bike, clothes horse and kitchen floor, change the colour and add the name of the bookies where the play takes place.

There's an official launch do for the Irish Festival at the Philharmonic Hall tonight and we're performing a 'rehearsed reading' of the opening scene to whet appetites and drum up some business. I don't suppose that many 'local' people read this and even fewer of those that do will be at the 'invitation only' launch but please say hello to the bloke playing Joe if you are at the launch tonight and you've read this. When it comes to the actually performances though I don't care how far from local you are, you're coming or else!

Those links from the poster in clickable form: Liverpool Network Theatre and Liverpool Irish Festival 2006.

19 comments:

Inconsequential said...

oddly, i thought it'd be a good name for a greyhound, instead of a horse :)

hope it all goes well :)

Molly Bloom said...

Great poster Dem. I really, really hope it goes well. I'm feeling sad now because I live so far away. Would love to see you performing. Let us know how it goes. I'm sure you will be fantastic. I've got great respect for anyone who gets up on stage. I don't know how people remember all of those lines. It's a gift.

Dem said...

Gawd it's years since I went to the dogs!

Thanks Inconsequential (still hunting a suitable shorter version of that - Incon? Quent? Icq?). The launch thing was good - they commisioned a special Liverpool Irish sausage especially for the festival and we got to sample it - it was great. The rehearsed read through went well and was warmly received and somebody complimented my accent and asked me if I was Irish as we left so that was nice. The downside was we weren't able to stay very long or enjoy the sponsor's free wares (the sponsor is the local brewery and they were GIVING AWAY beer) because we had to rush off to a rehearsal as soon as we came off stage. Hey ho!

Heyup Molly - ah well, maybe you can see me another time. If we cross our fingers and wish hard I might get to play 'third pervert on the right' in The Bill one day, or 'surly farm hand no. 6' in Emmerdale, which is my preference of the two. Remembering lines is not a gift. Just about anything to do with art is learned technique and remembering lines is the easiest technique of the lot. Think of a favourite album from about ten years ago that you haven't listened to for a while, play it and see how much of it you can sing along to. Remembering lines is just about recognising and believing that your memory is a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it. If you believe it's crap, it will be. If you recognise that a bit of exercise will build it's strength up and have faith in it, it will work well enough for whatever you want it to do (unless you're planning on remembering a whole phone book - you probably need to be some kind of freak to do that...)

I'll let you all know how it goes anyway.

Inconsequential said...

I thought it was fear that learnt the lines.
The few things i've done in my life acting/play/ err...Gang Show..
it was the fear of fucking up that got me through, i didn't want to be the c*nt that got it wrong..

Dem said...

I suppose whatever works for you is good. The fear of fucking up stopped me doing drama at all for a long time, after a sixth form house drama competition where I was patchy on my lines, we all fucked up and corpsed for about 5 minutes. I didn't do drama at all for the next 14 years after that. And since I came back I'm almost robotic about learning my lines just to make sure it happens again.

Dem said...

Or rather, just to make sure it NEVER happens again I should say - that's a bit worrying that slip! I'm suddenly thinking of the season finale Curb Your Enthusiasm I saw last night where the theatre goer is cursing Larry to fail.

*stumbles away shivering*

Natalie said...

Sorry I missed wishing you well for this, Dem - or rather: break a leg, or rather: merde. Would love to hear your Irish accent some time. Great poster and idea.

Dem said...

I'll give you a sample of my Oirish over the telephone - we're over due a chat. You're not actually late - we open next week so no worries (not that it would be anything but 'no worries' if you had missed the opening), no need to be sorry and thanks!

Dick said...

A late hello to the bloke playing Joe & a late invocation to break a leg! I'm looking forward to an account of how it all goes.

Great poster too.

Inconsequential said...

do people still avoid mentioning...

you know....


the scottish one...

?


:)

Dem said...

Cheers Dick - with about 5 more days to go it's all looking good. After feeling I'd bitten off more than I could chew in terms of the number of lines I have and my general state of mental health for the last several months, I turned a corner in the last few weeks - I learned the script early and it's bedded in properly and I know I'm doing a good job - I can feel it and the feedback I get from the director and other actors confirms what I feel. I can't wait to start!

Over the last few days I've found the words of Sir Ian McKellen in his guest appearance on Extras very useful - I'm not actually a loafing factory hand from Wexford, I'm just pretending!

Speaking of the poster, I've lately noticed something about it - my character has more to say than anybody else in the play, sings on four occasions, occupies the stage for all but about 5 minutes of the 100 minute show and was the best mate of the legendary wide boy Danger Doyle AND YET he doesn't even get a mention on the flyer blurb! I shall be having words!

Ah, the thing with MacScottishPlay depends on who you mix with, how superstitious they are and all that sort of thing. The reputation comes from the many fights in the play - all those flashing blades are bound to cause a number of injuries over several hundred years and so it has been (incidentally, the 'leg' we all want broken is a curtain rail that will break if we get loads of curtain calls - although the theatre this is on at doesn't have a curtain - I don't know where Natalie's Merde! comes from. Anyway...) I know loads of amateur luvies who always refer to the Scottish play and never whistle or wish good luck but I'm not superstitious, don't care and all my problems on stage have been of my own making - not spending enough time on lines for instance or having a double gin at lunchtime.

Once, however, I was duty manager front of house at the final show of a teenage production of Tartuffe. The wife, who had just been in The Dresser, accidentally said McBeth in the dressing room before going up and so, in going along with what they did in The Dresser, she went out into the corridor, did 3 anticlockwise revolutions and said 'Pisspots!' Right at the denouement of the play, at the most fitting moment to do so it has to be said , she fainted on stage. I was front of house and only heard an out of place bump and apprehensive rustle of alarmed whispering amongst the cast and crew. Of course it might have been the fact that she was starving herself rather than what she said but who knows..?

Dem said...

Ooh just read my last comment and thought 'the wife' sounded like my wife and I ent got one and never have had one - I meant the wife of the bloke in the play who the religious fraud is trying to gull. It's a long time since I saw it so I can't remember names except I think the religious fraud was Tartuffe.

Inconsequential said...

Hope things are still going well :)

I keep popping in on the off chance you've done something other than the play :)....

oh, and re: 3x3 animalcide things,
have put some up on my site...

here

will put more up as and when...

once again, hope all is running smoothly :)

catch you when it's over...

Molly Bloom said...

Part 19.

The beautiful edges of pencil lines were etched on Nancy's memory. Soft aches of dark and light, which, when mingled made up who we all are. Nancy put her starlight down for a second to see something equally as beautiful, the heart in an image. She gently held her starlight once more and drifted quietly away.

Now go to part 20

Molly Bloom said...

Hope you are alright Demster. Not working too hard I hope. Give us a bell when you get a moment.

You know, even though you say I could learn lines if I tried...I couldn't you know. When I was in a band, I had to stick my words to the keyboard.

But if someone played me a tune, I could play it back instantly on the piano. How strange is that?

Dem said...

Heyup Inc, Molly - thanks for stopping by, saying hello and leaving your mark. Apart from being run slightly ragged with visitors and the play (which is going well - two audience members assumed I was Irish which was nice but even nicer is that the production as a whole is going well and my daughter enjoyed seeing me on stage for the first time ever last night) all is good. Final performance tonight and then I'll have more time and, in theory, energy although it's normal to expect something of a dip when the sudden absence of huge overdoses of adrenalin coincides with a post-party hangover. But I will be active here soon!

Molly Bloom said...

Hurrah! Get your black Russian out Inc! Hope it went well Dem. I'm sure you were brilliant.

Dem said...

This is a bit wrong! From the front page of the blog it shows no trace of your comment - when I click on comments it still shows no trace of your comment - only when I click on Post A Comment is there any trace of your comment's existence. On top of all that I didn't receive an email notification of your comment so I guess there's something wrong with this blog - or your comment. Anyway, recovering slowly, not so much from the hangover as from the exhaustion and the sudden withdrawal of hourly adrenalin od. Will gather my thoughts and soul and kick this place into some activity soon. Take care xx

Inconsequential said...

bloggers been a bit f@@@ed up of late, not letting you post or comment or, as happened to me, look at your own site for 3 hours...

guess they're doing maintainance...

:)