Saturday, 27 February 2010

Ok, Wake Up!

I know it's been quiet for a while, but we're about to get into some serious action.
(I believe the guys from B61 have already been in action during the past week, but as I wasn't there, I have no first hand information).

As of tomorrow, I'm back on the road.
Still in the new van.
I'm convinced the initial hiccups must have passed now, and me and Mr Tatmobile are off to the ferry to Goteborg tomorrow.
From Monday the PHR (Past Half Remembered) team will meet up in Oslo to re-rehearse. A man called Tom Anderson will alternate David in the show, and we'll spend a week getting him worked in. He's no stranger (he is part of the New Arrivers gang), so I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun.
Then we're off to Stockholm, one of my favourite cities in Europe, even though I've only been there once and it wasn't for very long.

Then straight after that, we're going to Denmark, to a village near Haderslev. I can't remember the name of the village, but you'll hear enough about it once we're there. Why are we going there? To be closer to Margit, who will be performing at that time.
And while we're there, we'll be rehearsing the Sea Journey. It's been a few months since we've been on the boat, and I for one am very excited to explore what we got out of it. David just emailed most of the music we made on the boat, and listening to it brought back fond memories.
A few weeks ago in Graz, Alex was saying he'd like to go around the world on a cargo ship one day. We couldn't work out how long that would take.
I'd like to go around the world without flying. But not just with boats. Boats and trains seems like a great combo.

So that's March laid out for you.
I will keep you updated as always, and if you're around in Oslo, Stockholm or the small Danish village: come and say hello - and put your stamp on our van.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Driving by numbers 20: Graz-Berlin

Distance: nine hundred and thirty six kilometres
Duration: twenty eight hours and twelve minutes
Idiot drivers: one.
Accidents: many.
Snow most of the way.

The actual driving was only eleven hours and twelve minutes, but added to that I waited by the side of the motorway (and nearly froze), I spent the night in Passau, visited four different garages in Passau, and found new bolts to put my wheel back on.
After all of that, I still have no clue what Passau looks like.
Very white, I'd say.

On the way I saw two cars slip but pull their car back into their own lane, I saw 5 cars stranded (3 of them badly damaged), I heard about many terrible crashes on the radio, had two slight slips myself, and saw lots and lots of snow. And a lot of trucks.

I also heard Lady Gaga on the radio 9 times and Dancing Queen twice.

And now I am home.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Stuck in Passau

In a perfect world, this post would have been called: driving by numbers: Graz-Berlin.
But I didn't make it to Berlin yet. I am in Passau.

One of my wheels came loose and I lost two bolts. 
I blame the man in Sweden who put the tyres on two weeks ago. Wouldn't you?
By the time the mechanic came to help me (it took him an hour and a half to arrive), the garage was already closed so I couldn't get those two bolts.
So I need to wait until tomorrow morning.

While I was waiting by the side of the motorway for the mechanic to come and fix the problem, I did this:
So the van is now a little less generic, and a little more NIE.

Everything Falls Apart at Spleen - Post 250

The get-in for Everything Falls Apart finished around 10pm, and as everything was set, we decided to have a later start the next day. 1.30pm would do - enough time for a music rehearsal, soundcheck and run through before Alex had to fly off back to the UK to prepare for a scratch performance of Sea Journey.

In the morning Iva, Anna, Alexander and I went for an international haircut. The ladies at the hairdresser were very nice, and once Anna's hair had been cut to the required length (I think she got about 20cm cut, if not more), and the kids were waiting for me and Iva, one of the ladies asked Iva if she could put some colour in Anna's hair, promising it would wash out with the first wash.
Iva agreed and shortly afterwards, Anna had some pink streaks in her hair. It was very cool, so Alexander wanted some colour too.
He got some blue.

I just got a trim, because I don't want my hair too short during winter.

In the afternoon, we went into TAO to rehearse EFA. It was great to come back to that show - the last time we did it was in September.
We made Beate run around a bit to pick up some stuff we broke/forgot/needed, and we were ready for the show.

Since TAO is a little bit narrower than the space we usually use, 80 people suddenly felt like a lot, but they found their way around and understood quite quickly that they could move to wherever they felt they would see best.

And then everything went very fast: we played, went to bed, got up, played again, packed up, had lunch, filled the van, got in cars/vans/trains.

Exit Graz...

Monday, 8 February 2010

My Life With the Dogs at Spleen

(the van arriving at the theatre - it has been 4 years since we were here last, and I had forgotten where to unload vans)

We got to the theatre at 9am and unloaded everything. TAO (Theater am Ortweinplatz) gave us a nice big room to put all of our stuff in. We went straight to work taking out the stage (we'd have to take out even more for Everything Falls Apart, so we thought we might as well start with the stage immediately).
Clemens and his colleagues were very fast and moved on to hanging lights and our enormous sodium lamp in no time. 

Tom went missing for about an hour - he didn't emerge from the train Beate was picking him up from, and while she searched the train for a sleeping actor, Iva phoned anyone she thought could have more information on Tom's whereabouts. Tom himself wasn't answering his phone, and after several tries we decided his battery must have run out.
Doom scenarios were constructed: did he forget to get off? If he did, where could he be? Bratislava? Further? Or did he miss the train altogether?
Four people confirmed he got on the train. Or at least left the theatre in Prague on time to make it onto the train.

An hour and a half later he walked into the theatre.
Due to reorganisation of the train he was on, there was a delay which made him miss his connection from Vienna to Graz. As simple as that. He used someone else's phone to reassure everyone we had succeeded in worrying, and then helped us with setting up for a run through.

The show in the evening was very full, and a lot of fun. The audience made them come back for five curtain calls. (Five!)

In the meanwhile Liz had arrived and we took her along to the festival centre for some food and drinks. (And a lot of praise from the people who had seen the show).

When we got back to the hotel, Unai arrived. He'd come from Vittoria to Graz via Palma de Mallorca.
The next morning (well, noon), we played a second show to mainly teenagers. It was great fun again.
This was our walk to the theatre:


After we finished, it was time for a lot of action. Kjell and I went for lunch while the others packed the set, and an hour later we swapped teams and I made Clemens and his colleagues take all of the seats out of the theatre.

Most of our shows are very simple and we generally don't ask for much, but with Everything Falls Apart it is quite a different story. But I think that after all of these years of being flexible and simple, we deserve to be more demanding now.
Clemens didn't seem to mind, he kept smiling and didn't ever call me a slave driver.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Driving by numbers 19: Berlin-Graz

Distance: nine hundred and thirty six kilometres
Duration: nine hours and seventeen minutes
Idiot drivers: none
Snow during the last 5 hours.

When I arrived in Graz, the Moberg family, Alex and Bob were already there. I got there at 6pm and after showing off my new van we headed to the festival hub to get some food. We met Ossi who had invited us there and whose theatre we were about to perform in. He was in great form.

Graz was covered in snow and cold. But the festival atmosphere made up for the cold. Colombo was there as well - Sgaramusch had performed the day before and he stayed behind to be in the jury of the Jungwild section of the festival.
Jungwild are young people who make theatre. Three of them would win a prize to help them develop their work further.

We had some drinks with old friends and new friends, and then headed back to the hotel to get some sleep after a long travel day and before some long festival days.