So how have the first few weeks of 2013 treated you?
They’ve treated me quite well, with loads of performative stuff going on. Firstly there is all the news from the Bayard’s Colts shows. The video for The Alchemist and The Devil is available online through a link on the Colts project website – you can also find the video for Robin Hood and The Giant on there – so please have a view if you’ve got the time spare (shows about 45min each). If you want some mumming goodness but don’t have three quarters of an hour, how about watching the four minute music video for The Tat Man Song on YouTube?
We are a company! Over the course of the shows so far the rag-tag group of wannabe mummers, made up of a variety of folk from first time performers to drama graduates and seasoned actors, have become a performance company. We are happy to welcome new people into the fold, but we are no longer a bunch of people having a laugh and putting on a show, we are a company of players that have a helluva fun time creating entertainment for the masses.
As a company, we have been invited to perform at events and festivals on top of our cycle of plays in Walsall. I will let you know the details of these performances in due course. In the meantime I’d like to tell you that the rehearsals for the next Colts play have got off to a roaring start. The Lovers and The Pirates will be performed in Walsall Town Centre on Saturday 16th February at the top of the market. If you fancy sitting down to watch this fantastic play about canoodling, corsairs and (of course) colts, then you can book tickets to watch a stage production of The Lovers and The Pirates on Sunday 17th February at Bookmark Bloxwich.
Blank Paige is coming along brilliantly as well. Tickets for the performance at the Arena Theatre are available on their website so get booking now folks. I’ll let you know as and when I get confirmation of other performances of this brilliantly written indie rom-com.
Finally I would like to invite everybody around my home town of Walsall to look out over the next few years as WWI commemoration events are advertised. I will be involved in a project spanning the next three years, culminating in a performance in the town centre and I’m sure I’ll be filling in details on here as the project progresses.
Have fun with whatever you’re up to, if you’re in snowy Britain, keep warm and take care when you’re venturing out.
P.S. If you are snowed in and want ideas for things to do, try watching Star Wars in a new way. too//damn//ninja has pointed out the “Machete Order” in a recent tumblr post. If you don’t follow his postings around the web already, I can highly recommend too//damn//ninja’s various musings.
The last couple of weeks of the year have been amazing – sorry I couldn’t say anything before hand it was a secret. I flew out to Australia to surprise my best friend in order to celebrate his 30th birthday. In his own words, “Best. Birthday. Ever.”
As this happened on the 20th December it was a bit of a no-brainer not to stay for Christmas. Let me tell you folks, barbequed turkey is all kinds of win. Every Christmas meal should be in high 30′s on the Celsius scale and include a nice long dip in a pool between the main course and Christmas Pud!
Looking back on the past year, it has been brilliant.
I have been playing great venues and fantastic gigs as Pirate Jimm Yaharr!; with my business partner I have produced a play; I have been more involved in the Sports and Leisure Industries departments at work – providing technical cover in the Sports Labs for a few weeks and joining the LI students on a couple of field trips; I’ve helped supply lyrics for a cantata; I have gone trans-Atlantic and visited New York; the team I work in won an award for our commitment to customer service; I’ve joined a gym; I’ve done some freelance lighting design; I [almost accidentally] got involved in celebrations in Walsall ending the U.K.’s great Summer of Celebration (the jubilee, the Olympics and Paralympics, the Cultural Olympiad, etc…); I’ve joined a troupe of mummers and thoroughly enjoyed appearing in two of their street theatre shows; I have ranted on a vaguely political agenda; I’ve delved into the artistic sectors of Birmingham and the Black Country; I’ve been cast in a play for next year; I’ve made a couple of contacts which will hopefully lead to some filmed acting roles (possibly for television); I’ve arranged a surprise birthday celebration for my best friend; I’ve crossed the equator to visit Australia; I’ve had a ton of ideas – some of which have been dropped, some are under development – for scripts, plays and other performative projects; I’ve spent some amazing times with my wife, my family and my friends.
For more details of all of the above, read the blog posts below from January onwards!
An important note I’d like to make is that none of the above items in my life have been solo efforts. Even the ideas I’ve had have been influenced by others. Without the support of my friends and family, or without opportunities being presented to me by others I would not have been able to do any of the above. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped me achieve so much in the last 12 months.
In the words of Tom Lehrer’s possibly fictional friend Hen3ry, “Life is like a sewer – what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.”*
At the moment; back home with the love of my life, my family, good friends and great memories of an awesome week spent in the Aussie Summer sun celebrating my best mate’s 30th and Christmas; looking back over what a varied and full year I’ve just had, my own ‘sewer’ currently smells of roses and overflows with joy and happiness. Life is what you make it. This year I’ve made it legen—wait for it—dary. True story.
With that in mind I’d like to wish all of my avid blog readers (both of you) an amazing new year. May 2013 bring you everything you need – whether you know it or not.
*I prefer this version of the phrase than the chocolatey one everybody quotes from Forrest Gump.
Hey folks, it’s only half a month until the end of the year.
So what have we learned?
Well I learned that if I get into a rant about racist dicks invading my home town I suddenly attract a huge amount of traffic to my blog. Other than that I have learned that I really enjoy street theatre, I’ve learned that since the Lucas/Disney deal went through I may still get a chance to play a Jedi (or Sith) at some point in my acting career – if I get my finger out of my arse and get into some T.V. and film work that is.
I have learned that I am too easily distracted and need to buckle down to things I plan to do – especially if these are self imposed targets, without anyone else pushing me forward.
So what will I be doing next year? Here’s the plan:
- I’ll be working on some of my writing so that I can finish off a few work-in-progress scripts, plan out a large story I’m hoping to write and e-publish in serialised format, work on an entertaining and slick stand-up routine to perform as myself (as well as continuing the Pirate act) in an attempt to get a few more gigs.
- I will actually get around to learning to play my violin
- I am going to focus on learning my lines as soon as possible for any plays I’m in next year – I’ve already got “Bayard’s Colts Winter Play: The Lovers and The Pirates” in February and “Blank Paige” in April. Further details nearer the time, and I’ll be updating my Projects page as soon as I know of stuff I’m involved in.
- I will tidy my study… No, this time I really will. I’m going to use it as an office to work in – arranging everything so that I can work comfortably yet productively. I will then no longer be heading down the pub for a bit of space to work in.
- I will be even more organised with my calendar than I already am, making sure I know exactly how much time I have to do what and making sure I have plenty of time to relax and spend with my wife, not just the odd moment around my hectic life.
- Also next year I’ll be turning 30. Maybe that’s the reason I’ve decided to become all mature* and organised. [*okay, not that mature, I'll still laugh at a good dick or fart joke!]
I may post up another blog update before the year is out, but in case I don’t please have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Yesterday (Saturday 24th Nov) the Bayard’s Colts moved indoors for a couple of special performances. The head of the project, Tony Kemshall of the Walsall Civic Society, gave a presentation about the Colts, the project, it’s research and the plays. Following this the Tat Man, Nell and their company of players presented The Alchemist and The Devil.
It was marvelous!
A little bit different from the street performances, with a roof over our heads, stage lighting and a seated audience the show felt closer in style to pantomime rather than mummery, but the important part remained – the audience enjoyed themselves and so did we!
And so now another Bayard’s Colts play is put to bed. The next one will be in February. If you would like to get involved, drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with the director. Rehearsals start on Wednesday 9th January 2013.
Catch you next time.
Bayard’s Colts: The Alchemist and The Devil was fantastic. The whole day was enjoyable, each crowd at the three performances were well up for a bit of silliness, screaming, joining in and mucking about. The Bloxwich Telegraph wrote a lovely piece about the play and they took a huge stack of photos (link to their Flikr album at the bottom of their article). Missed out on seeing it? Don’t fret – there are still tickets available for Walsall’s first Indoor-Street-Theatre event, including a presentation about the whole project, at The Performance Hub tomorrow [Saturday 24th Nov] – click through for tickets (£5 each).
In other news, rehearsals have begun for Blank Paige and it looks like it’ll be a lot of fun working for CurlyTash Productions and being directed by Reece Page.
A little about the rugby – the England win over Fiji was brilliant. The Australia game I kind of caught some reports on it but I was pretending to be a french alchemist at the time. We lost, but I can’t really say whether we deserved to win or not as I didn’t see the match. I also won’t be watching tomorrow’s match against South Africa as I’ll once again be donning the cape and accent of Maugis.
In completely uninteresting news, my ‘Gravatar widget’ on the side over there —-> has disappeared, as has my “About” page. In their stead I have put a widget linking to my About.Me page. There seems to be a communication problem with their server at the mo so the widget may not be there when you read this post, but I’ll keep trying until it’s working. For those who can’t wait, check out about.me/jimmrennie.
That’s about it for now. Have fun with whatever you’re up to. If you are at a loose end tomorrow around 2:30pm or 7:30pm, don’t forget the indoor performances of The Alchemist and The Devil at The Performance Hub. Catch you next time for another thrilling installment of Stuff Jimm Rennie Does.