Pork scratchings

That was interesting. I’ve just finished Pork , by David Egan at the Burton Taylor, directed by Joe Austin. It was one of the two winners of the 2009 Oxford Playhouse Writers Competition, the other being Storm, by Lita Doolan.

Both plays were well written and presented their own challenges for the actors. Pork is an everyday tale of bestiality and cannibalism, set in a future where animals are our equals and many humans have gone to live on reserves with them, throwing caution, and their clothes, to the wind. Ellen (Amanda Golding) and Robert (me), two supporters of the reserve, invite a reserve inhabitant (Kieran Donnelly) to join them for a ‘civilised’ evening.

But (of course) they have an ulterior motive…

It was great to work with Joe Austin again, after he directed me in last year’s Never Tell Them, also at the Burton Taylor. But the process was strange for this one - I had so little time for rehearsals that the largest chunk of time I could spend learning lines was the weekend before we opened, AFTER rehearsals finished and with only the tech and dress to come. I new from the start that that was going to be the case, so didn’t panic too much, and it worked ok, but over the three nights, I was disappointed. I don’t think I nailed it once.

That may have been partly because I had a weird ear thing (and a weird eye thing but that didn’t really affect me). I’ve got grit or something in my ear which has never properly cleared from Tough Guy (six weeks ago!) and I think it’s now plugged my ear. I’ve gone totally deaf and half my head is full of cotton wool. I felt disorientated and sick, and my voice was echoing around my head every time I spoke. A very odd sensation - I’ve been trapped inside my own head for ten days. Not good. I may have an inverted eardrum or something. The doctor told me to pour oil in every night for two weeks, then come back, but it’s so frustrating, I’m going to try to book an appointment tomorrow before I explode or punch a wall, or someone.

An everyday tale of bestiality and cannibalism

Ringo was right about needing eight days a week - great to hear the Beatles wherever you go, by the way. The remastered cds and the downloads.

I had hoped to see three plays this week, The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh at the Playhouse, The Ragged TrouseredPhilanthropist in Swindon (starring Rob Hall) and ‘Avin’ A Laugh in Kennington (starring James Card, Louise Cobb, Sam and Katie Mansfield, Hannah Quinn and loads of other dudes). But I didn’t get to any of them (sorry guys, I really am).

I was working round the clock getting the paper out, taking Dylan to dance rehearsals and rehearsing for Pork, which opens at the Burton Taylor tomorrow night.

I did wonder if I’d been able to put enough preparation into it during the first part of Friday’s rehearsal, but it’s cool, I’ve got it. Preparation time has just been stripped to the minimum because of all the other stuff going on, but it’s going to be a good evening and I’m looking forward to it.

Next week I’m going to a talk by Anthony Neilson at the RSC. I want to talk to him about a production next year, and I hope he might be interested on some level. Then it’s into Collider, which I think could be brilliant.