05 April 2012
|It's a long story..|
Marbles spent a weekend in Brussels, and boy did we ever! Three workshops (me Saturday and Sunday, Dave on Saturday) and four shows (two intermediate student shows - which Dave also played in, and two Marbles shows). The workshops were full, and the audiences for the shows were big and appreciative. It was exhausting and inspiring, in a word, it was exactly what we needed to rejuvenate our creative partnership.
As we discussed post-show on Saturday night, we'd been letting our two man experiment in open-ended audience-focused improv drift; we had just not been looking after it. Marbles has sort of always been just hanging there (in fact that was kinda the point - zero artifice). And so it was easy enough to just leave it, like a sleeping dog which you love but you're pretty sure is never going to run away. But you'll never get the most out of a relationship by ignoring it.
|Dave watches Brussels from the tram, and he likes what he sees.|
But we went off to Belgium and half-floated around, and were half-pinned to teaching workshops and doing shows. It helped that Dave had a group of wonderful newbies, and I was able to reconnect with a bunch of friends in Brussels, and work with the intermediate English-language improv community there. (Their next show is Cafe Theatre 18-12 April). So the workshops were fun, and everyone came out energized. So there's that.
And the Marbles shows themselves were pretty good too. Our Saturday outing, about a Scrabble coach whose student left him, and a guy searching for meaning in his life that he wasn't getting from marriage or hubcaps, was good, but not quite in balance - in terms of initiation and engineering. But after some long and drowsy hotel room chats, addressing some long-standing issues, we hit up Sunday refreshed.
And it was awesome, a really complete embodiment of what our show can be when it's at its best. From chats of psychological experimentation in attractiveness to the story of two slackers in Japan, and a heart-wrenching scene between a student and the coolest social studies teacher in the school, the show touched themes of loneliness and attraction. And spiders.
So now we've returned to London refreshed, with some long-standing kinks worked out, and the desire to take this show further. How far? It doesn't matter really, because we enjoy it.
Also, we've realized that Marbles has had a big issue, since day one, with meeting up and rehearsing. So we've decided to instead just find some time to hang out. You know, the stuff that friends do.
at 4:28 pm Posted by Ryan Millar