Hammer & Tongs Rehearsal Blog

24 February 2014


We’ve crossed the start line. Hammer & Tongs has opened and we’ve done two shows so far. Though we’ll continue to re-work and develop the thing in short bursts over the coming weeks, the main body of rehearsal is over. Like the curlers in Sochi we’ve pushed off and will be frantically brushing the ice for the foreseeable future.

Read the rest of Them and Us

17 February 2014


"Lord I’m a travellin man
trying to make a living and
doing the best that I can."

It was once we were settled in a quiet corner of The Lost Jockey pub - lager for him, rosé spritzer for her - that it occurred to me that it was Valentine’s night and we were surrounded by romantic couplings. Theatre Alibi had set the date and we were on it. This thought though didn't seem to have crossed Fret's mind, as he tucked into his pork scratchings and sank into a shabby green armchair which looked just like home.

Read the rest of The Legend of Fret

10 February 2014


"It’s enough to make the cat laugh. Do we have a cat?"
Harold Pinter, ‘Moonlight’

I should set my stall out. I’m about to write some thoughts about comedy. But they won’t be funny. It’s a serious business, and the pressure’s on, especially as tickets for our ‘very human comedy about arguing’ are selling fast.

Read the rest of The Comedy of Errors

3 February 2014


I've been made to dance. A lot. I've been dancing all week. If my buttocks are anything to go by I've been dancing since about 1999. It serves me right.

I've made a strange and surely annoying habit during past shows - some of them with Theatre Alibi - of prancing around the rehearsal room when I shouldn’t have been. I've usually pulled up my trousers unnaturally high to create a sort of nappy-cum-art-dance costume. Basically I've been an arse. I think some at Alibi may have noticed this, and now it's come back to bite me on the bum.

Read the rest of Under My Skin

29 January 2014


“What do I know about man’s destiny? I know more about radishes.”
Samuel Beckett

The ghost of Samuel Beckett has popped into the rehearsal room more than once this week, the first of our rehearsal period for ‘Hammer & Tongs’. Not necessarily the Samuel Beckett that first springs to mind, the one of artful precision carefully dissecting the human condition, but another Beckett – Sam, let’s call him – who is as interested in the banana skin as the meaning of life. Mind you, perhaps the banana skin is the meaning of life. I think Sam likes it here at Emmanuel Hall at the moment. Not least because the question of the week, poking its half-face mischievously round the book-flat has been ‘why?’ It’s a very Beckett question.

Read the rest of The Five O'Clock Beckett