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The Madness Show. (and, gawd, do I ache now!) [Mar. 15th, 2004|01:28 pm]
Miss Von Trapp
[Mood |exhaustedexhausted]
[Music |Hum of the computer...]

I still have a yellow face. I tried to clean most of it off last night, but didn't bother with all of it as I was in a hurry to get to the bar...so now I've woken up, clearly didn't clear the rest off when I got home somewhat squiffy...and I have a vague yellow tinge all over my forehead and around my eyes.

Y'see, we wore white thermal underwear, big black boots, and our face makeup was a yellow half-mask (down to tip of nose and cheek bones), a line of colour to highlight the cheekbones and smeared lipstick. I went for red on the cheeks and black smudged lips...had a little black eyeliner around my eyes for definition, and half my hair backcombed up in a high ponytail. Looked quite crazy...but then, we were supposed to be.

I'm posting here now an elaborated running order of The Madness Show:

Sequence One

Began with Nick sitting on his own at a bar table while the audience are coming in...he is talking to himself...different levels of loud and quiet, occasionally talking to audience members for a sentence or two, but then to just himself for 20 minutes...

We come in one at a time, also talking to ourselves (I was running through plans for getting to Whitby, and potential for lack of sleep), and move in amongst the audience. There is a note on the piano, we look up with our eyes only. A beat, and we continue talking to ourselves for a minute, our voices filling the space at different levels...

Another note on the piano, we look up again and move our bodies as well this time...lots of twisting into awkward positions for a better look. Another note, we move alongside an audience member and stand at their shoulder without looking down.

Another note, and we crouch/lean into the audience member and begin to whisper 'affirming whispers' into their ear...'you have the most fantastic eyes, they're really really bright blue...' etc. Another note, we stop, breath in and then all whisper at the same time: 'Do you ever hear voices inside your head?'.

Everyone goes silent, except for Ali, who whispers it again to an audience member, and echoes their response, asking it again all the time...

'Do you ever hear voices inside your head?'
'No'
'No, you never hear voices inside your head?'
'Sometimes'
'Sometimes. Sometimes you hear voices inside your head?'


And so on... I pick this up, picking on another audience member, and she fades out but continues rolling it round...then Andy, then another cast member...then Nick starts up talking to himself again, a note, we fade to walls...

Ursula and Elodie help Nick to the stage, moving him by the armpits and depositing him in a chair... They then fetch the large white parachute, put his head through the hole in the center, and spread the rest out all over the stage...

They leave. Shane enters with scissors.

Shane cuts all of Nicks lovely long curly hair off, flinging it joyously all over the parachute...The Bedlam painting by Hogarth (above) is shown on the projection screen behind, focusing in on sections of it intermittently. He finishes cutting his hair off, Amanda enters, running fingers through audience hair as she comes in...gets clippers, shaves Nicks head.

Shane returns with purple paint (de-louser)...paints Nicks newly shaved head and face purple...

Piano. Nick sings two proper verses of 'I feel Pretty' whilst standing on the chair and pulling in the white parachute like a dress...

We join in with 'I feel Shitty'...choreographed head turning to Nick and back...get to the stage in a massed group of different levels around the now baldy purple-headed pershwun...

Mark comes in with an MC link : Random Act of Kindness : Gives away a fiver to an audience member.

Most of the cast leave the stage and melt to the walls, leaving object box people (me, Ali, Nick and Amanda) on stage. I get the trolley full of random objects and run it up and down the stage like a mad baglady whilst they get Nick out of the parachute, then we run through discovering random things from regular objects.

When done, we leave and go to our pre-set groups around the walls...Andy enters with 'I remember...'...more speed talking, trying to remember stuff....launches into his first poem (I'm a didactic dichotomy), then goes back to trying to remember...can't. Mark steps in with 'I remember'...recounts something from his childhood, then Jack takes over with one of hers, followed by me (deliberately getting my sister stuck up a tree), followed by Elodie in french, followed by Shane, followed by the rest...

Then we move into 'Noise Music'...three groups around the walls with sequenced noises/patterns of speech...beginning with a drone, then mmmwhaaaaaammmm chords, more stuff leading to loud 'what are you looking at/are you looking at me' then working our way with maniacal laughter/home home/soft ahh's back to the drone...

There is blackout for this piece, so that the different sounds (each group has a different pattern of sound which only joins for the drone and the 'what are you looking at') can wash over the heads of the audience members...like voices in your head. We leave one group at a time.

End of sequence One.



Sequence Two

Chanteuse enters (Beccy) and wafts her way over to the piano...Andy enters with more 'I remember...' about love/girlfriends etc...breaks into a poem about love and offers flowers (stuffed down the back of his leggings) to Beccy. She tosses them away, begins to sing 'And I Love You So'.

Halfway through, Andy breaks it by shouting 'I love you'...then they go into a love you/hate you sequence juxtaposing loving actions against 'I hate you' and hurting each other for 'I love you'...this stops with a kiss...they break apart and she continues the song, with distress. Reaches the end, puts on lipstick and begins marking her arm with it, as if cutting herself...then screams.

Dada duchess has entered with a pot of paint...the wall has a long piece of paper on it... She marks the pattern of the scream on paper. Beccy makes another noise, Dada duchess paints that. Then another, which is painted. This has become a competition, and now the Dada duchess makes a mark so that Beccy can copy it...which she does, and we join her, moving into the audience with the same noise, and then taking position on the stage for the 'noise choir'. Dada duchess points at random marks and we make those sounds...about two minutes of this, then we take a bow and leave.

Herr Professor and sidekicks enter for the 'Madness Lecture'...("Welcome to 'Group'") exploring such themes as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (nick goes into the audience straightening peoples pint glasses), Manic Depression (Shakira goes horny over an audience member, then calls them a wanker etc, then bursts into tears saying she gets SO emotional sometimes...) and various other things including Football, Shopping and the Atkins Diet...

They leave, we run the 'I want to be an alien' argument around the walls...until Khasrow stops us with a loud...'I'M THE ALIEN' and recites a poem in Kurdish (his native language). He stops still after poem and enters an imaginary lift.

Other people join him in the 'lift' and display a very low level of things they do bodily when they're nervous...piano goes up in chord progression for each floor, increasing level of action as they go, until at floor 10 it's almost out of control. Drops suddenly back to floor one, and Khasrow leaves (he has been stood still and 'normal' the whole time) the stage shaking his head.

People onstage in the lift suddenly start making conversation with each other...and it moves into the 'Mass Hysteria' phase...

This section stemmed initially from a real-life happening in Plymouth, in which a PEDIATRICIAN'S house was attacked because the people on the estate thought that meant he was a PAEDOPHILE!!! (fucking morons in this city)...

Andy breaks out of the group and shouts 'You Paedophile'...everyone joins him and repeats his shout...quick snap back to normal happy conversation...Someone else breaks out suddenly and shouts 'You PEDIATRICIAN', same again, back to normal conversation... This continues through 'Pedicurist', 'Pedestrian' and finally 'PEOPLE'!!!!

Ali crawls out from the throng and tells the audience how much she hates herself when she's angry: that she can't believe the words that are coming out of her mouth and that she just wants a hug...then Lisa runs 'Mad Girl's Love Song' (Sylvia Plath)...during which, the 'mass hysteria' mob close their eyes.

Following this, I sing the first verse of 'They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Ha' in a slow blues style with no piano, and we all join in for the chorus and the rest, making our way maniacally (but with a sense of fun) through the audience to the stage until we are bunched in a group on the thrust.

Mark performs another 'Random Act of Kindness' and gives out a tenner...we leave in physical character as the chorus of the song is repeated.

End of Sequence Two.

Sequence Three

'Show Me Your Legs!' : The Dada Duchess enters the space, performing a piece about legs...lifting audiences legs and commenting on them as she makes her way to the stage...and then a prose poem worked on from the story of a woman with alzheimers who woke up in a hospital room after an accident and thought that her left leg wasn't her own (from 'The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat').

She leaves, squealing 'Rickets! Rickets!' and the 'It's fine!' sequence enters...when on stage they stand in a group, telling each other all the problems they are having...illnesses, heavy periods etc etc...then Jack enters...swaggering in...'Hello Ladies, how are you doing'...to which they reply 'I'm fine, We're Fine' and leave, following him in a goose-like fashion...

The onion team enter, holding their onions up against their arses as they walk in...then producing them onstage... A line about themselves, eat a layer of onion...five lines each, eat the rest of the onion...begin to cry...then begin to laugh...

We all enter laughing - in an opera singer physicality, then go into the 'fish heads' song...Mark sings first verse, I sing next, then Jack, then me again whilst the cast place their hands on audiences heads and open and close their mouths - fish-like...rest of the cast sing the choruses and burbling two of them in 'nonsense sounds' at the end when we've got to the stage. Mass tangled group again.

Nick, (with his shaved head) steps forward...text sequence : 'I See A Red Door And I Want To Paint It Black!'...forgets his words...audience think we've fucked up...Nick shouts 'Line', gets no response, then returns to talking to himself as he did at the start and then breaks into 'I feel pretty': We then reprise 'I feel shitty'. MC link and announces its over...

We leave in lunatic/pretty mode...

End of Sequence Three. And End of Show.



...............................

After which we all rushed upstairs whooping, scrubbed as best we could, and dived back to the bar for drinks...

We'll be meeting again Wednesday for notes and runthrough...then 11am Sunday for running through and working bits and the last show in the evening.

SO worn out now...I ache all over...think I'll have a tingly-hot bath before work tonight;)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: vimster
2004-03-15 08:57 am (UTC)
Good grief, no wonder you're shattered! Reading through all that is sounds like someone talking about a dream: people coming in, whispers, semi-nonsense, all that sort of thing. Actually it's quite tiring to read, not the reading bit, you know, running along with the action. How did most of the audience participants react?

Well, a full day for you, by all accounts. Bonzah.
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[User Picture]From: missvontrapp
2004-03-15 09:08 am (UTC)
They all seemed to enjoy it; tho I wonder how many had nightmares later that night lol!!

Twas most certainly the weirdest of weird cabarets!!

Go out with a bang, and all that;)
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