I would love to, but I haven't done that in years; I might be a little rusty. If you
bring the duck, I'll bring the pillowcase.
Thanks! That was sweet of you. (One question: the traveler's checks, I get, but I don't get the
purpose of clubbing the octopi...explain?)
I wouldn't recommend it; I have heard it's bad for the kidneys. Besides, who needs
that much propane?
Exactly! The last time I was there they kicked me out for the same reason! Prudes.
Come as you are should mean what it says, I say!
Not since my time in jail. That was a long time ago; I don't want to talk about it.
Maybe. But, you have to understand, if we don't spelunk, the terrorists win...
--J Brian Long
My Dear Brian,
With an imagination as vivid as yours I morn the loss of words in your piece.
It will work for sure, it will be fun and an actor can really get into this piece and make it what ever they like.
My problem, being a lazy git at heart, is that I want to have your words cast their spell on my mind. I want to be transported into another world through your eyes. I dont want to have to work at imposing my interpretation into your work.
You are very clever with words and I just LOVE your answer to my reply. With a rich bank of imagination such as this, I feel robbed.
I yearn to see you do something with words.
That does not mean that your 22331 piece did not work, but it was a disappointment to me for I long to see some of the images inside your mind on paper. Living in hope and anticipation.
In a strange way this reminds me of something I have seen by - I think - either the late, great Ronnie Barker or the still early, great Eric Sykes (and I can't remember which). It was a whole film, feature length, where the only word used was 'rhubarb' - but the different uses, expressions, volume and vocalisation of that word gave it meaning. Loudly and gruffly, it meant anger; softly and gently it meant love; rising in tone toward he end of a sentence it meant query; dropping in tone, it meant answering denial and so forth!
It could demand a lot of a cast - but I do wonder if you could maybe get an entire play out of this! You could maybe even do it as a musical?
It was... different. Don't think it's fulfilled its potential yet; it could grow up stronger!
"In a strange way this reminds me of something I have seen by - I think - either the late, great Ronnie Barker or the still early, great Eric Sykes (and I can't remember which). It was a whole film, feature length, where the only word used was 'rhubarb' - but the different uses, expressions, volume and vocalisation of that word gave it meaning. Loudly and gruffly, it meant anger; softly and gently it meant love; rising in tone toward he end of a sentence it meant query; dropping in tone, it meant answering denial and so forth!"
I had a strong feeling that what I was doing with this play wasn't completely an original
idea (is there such a thing anymore?), and your post confirmed that for me. Thank you.
"It could demand a lot of a cast - but I do wonder if you could maybe get an entire play out of this! You could maybe even do it as a musical?"
You may have far more faith in me than I have in myself; I feel fortunate to have
milked even a minute of half-formed theater out of this idea! Thank you, though, for the
This, I think, says much: "It was... different. Don't think it's fulfilled its potential
yet; it could grow up stronger!" The elipse, the diplomacy of "fulfilled its potential",
the hopeful "could", and the friendly, optimistic exclamation point at the end are all tells
of your kind-heartedness. I appreciate the gentleness you displayed to my virgin effort.
I will put in my two cents and say that I am a huge fan of theatre of this genre - absurdist type stuff. I can't get enough of The Bald Soprano. I really enjoyed your piece and think that it would be so fun for a director and a cast to get a hold of.
Please don't take anyting I say as either (a) authorative or (b) criticism! What I meant by all my comments was that I felt you definitely had a strong idea here, there's a similar (not identical) successful precedent for what could otherwise be considered to be a somewhat tangential approach, and that what you have seems, to me, to be worthy of more than a careless toss into some drawers (oooeeerr missus).
Leesuh makes a good point - with the implied subtext that just because something is absurdist doesn't mean it's an absurd idea. I'd definitely look for more here.
Maybe a reading or a workshop would help. I reckon if you got a bunch of halfway talented actors in a room and explained what you were trying to achieve, you'd get a good idea from the map that you have sketched whether there was a longer journey here.
The trick would, I think, be to conceive of enough strong emotions - and strong characters - to maintain momentum, generate pace and retain audience interest. But if you could do that, and write sufficiently clear directions, I think you could say more without words than many say with them.
You could maybe explore immigration issues (with just one character, perhaps, who has restricted knowledge of the numbers, and so uses the wrong ones, or in the wrong order, and is therefore shunned or derided by the others, ); disability (another who knows the numbers but who simply cannot say them coherently, or another who is dumb and can only sign the numbers, which the others would not understand but the audience would, or another who has tourettes and keeps shouting the shocking 4, 5 and 6 and, worse, the obscene 7 and 8, even an occasional 8 or 9); or xenophobia (with one character who only spoke in letters).
Any one might make a human study and give you a standpoint on the topic. All of them in one play possibly gives you a commentary on how much we rely on words and how, actually, the words themselves are somewhat trivial, because it's only one's understanding of the words and one's acceptance - or otherwise - of the user which matter?
We all often talk glibly about getting the 'voice' right - it seems to me that this one would be an absolute sod! But even if it only made a one-act, I think it could be highly appealling to directors; especially as it almost screams for a relatively small cast and minimalist or zero set!
At worst, a good competition piece, I'd have thought. But as I say at the top, I am no authority; others here are far, far better placed to judge, and I'd be perfectly happy for anyone to allege that I'm talking total crap!
If this was executed well I think it would be very, very good. If it wasn't...
Good luck - or should I say '10'?!
Last edited on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 05:39 am by Poet