Pop into a bookshop, rifle through the "Graphic Novels" section and if you steer clear of the superheroes there's probably a one in four chance you'll open to a page where a small character passes wordlessly through a treacherous landscape (the potato man here comes courtesy of Chris Ware). I think more and more I wanted "Jonah Non Grata" to be like that. Now this isn't the promised post mortem (That will come later, I'll explain later.) I'm just pointing out an influence that's only recently occurred to me... something to bear in mind when I do post that mortem.
Or have you seen "Les Enfants du Paradis"? In fact, here's the clip:
For those without broadband I should explain that posted above is a recreation of an early nineteenth century Pierrot show. Baptiste Deburau, the mime being portrayed by Jean Louis Barrault, finds a noose and heads towards a tree. Rather than reaching the tree by just walking across the stage however, THE SCENERY'S SCROLLED AROUND HIM while the artist walks on the spot. I just love it...
... that same silly, ruthless, conveyor-belt existence. Against which, I have to say, my decision to throw into "Jonah" the song about Sonic the Hedgehog seems pretty watertight - heck, necessary! So something somewhere has all come together in that two week run. Not necessarily in performance, but in my head, and I want to get back on that horse when I can. Maybe even rehearse.
A little more about Baptiste: There were very few theatres in Paris in 1836 where an actor was allowed to speak. That's really the only reason there were such things as mimes. Mimes had to be silent by law. And Baptiste became a mime because he kept falling off the tight-rope. And they weren't allowed to walk onstage either, they had to jump on or roll on, or enter on their hands. And the character of Pierrot was a lot frillier before Baptiste came along. The minimalist whiteface, skullcap and shroudy jimjams, that was his idea. One of his shows was called "Raging Bull". And... having worked solidly every night for twenty years he was finally given the day off, took his wife and son out to the country, and accidentally beat to death a scrofulous sixteen-year-old who'd called him a "clown".
And his trial was packed with fans, allowed at last to find out what he actually sounded like.
Shh. I know I know. I've been absent far too long. But I've found out there's this deadline of Monday 10th for radio pilots, and I feel I should be concentrating on that. (My pilot will now be a space/time romp narrated by Laika, not a sitcom about weddings. What the hell was I thinking! Anyway the former's far more fun to research, and I want to be Doctor Who.) I had meant to break my blog silence on Sunday actually, but this cat... Kato... she sat on my laptop while I was in the bath and found with her magic ass the keyboard shortcut that ZOOMS IN on the screen so you can only make out two words at a time. It's the "alt" key, the apple key, and the number "8" apparently. I found that out yesterday, and the shortcut has now been disabled. Clever Kato's Magic Ass!
So yes I know we've catching up to do. But it must wait until the 11th.Then it'll be just me.
Alone at last. Like you care.