Death by PowerPoint and Angela’s Ashes

It’s Wednesday evening and I’m sitting in pretty much the same position as I’ve been sitting in all day – cross legged on a cushion, typing into my laptop, and now I have square eyes and a sore bum, and the sky has gone dark and the air smells funny (tonight’s flavour is fish, faeces, fog and petrol) and I thought – hey! why move, why do anything different? I’ll just sit here and type some more! Into a blog post rather than a powerpoint presentation this time though.

We are not very good at not being busy.

We’ve been here almost two weeks now – which it’s strange to think is more than half the entire time we were here for last year – and the spare time is starting to grind us both down. Jojo has read three books (1984, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Angela’s Ashes). Maybe four if she is secretly reading extra ones on her ipad (UPDATE: she’s three quarters of the way through The Twits). I have listened to so much This American Life and RadioLab, and read so many articles about British politics, that I can’t work out where I am anymore, and even if I could the arrow wouldn’t point to India. Tom has made some music, so he’s probably winning, but overall the lethargy of unfilled diaries is starting to eat away at all three of our brains, and combined with the heat, which although reduced, still graces about 35 degrees in the day, we are reduced to a pale, slow-moving trio in this rowdy, colourful city.

HOWEVER, this is about to change, and so I must stick my chin up? out? in the air? and get over it. And we have done some things; I suppose it’s just that the schedule has been considerably sparser than either of us have experienced for years. And we’ve sweated all our energy out.

Tomorrow is the first day of Literature Live festival at the NCPA in South Bombay. It’s a big book festival that happens every year and is produced by QTP, who run Thespo. Jojo and I are helping out working on Front of House/AV operating respectively (hence my day of typing into Powerpoint – my poor British laptop had a bad attack of the red squiggly lines at the Indian names) and have to get a train from Goregaon station at 5.55am. I never thought I would look forward to a 5.55 train, but the prospect of being really busy for the next four days appeals to me right now.*

Whilst we woo literary types/herd audience members/press next on powerpoint presentations Tom will continue building up a bank of music (you can hear a bit of what he’s been making here, and also read his blog on which he posts up-to-date information about poos) for Falls 2-11, in preparation for our work in progress showing at the Prithvi Festival next Friday. We went to the press launch yesterday and got asked to pull faces in front of a camera. We’re not sure what they’re going to do with the footage, or why we were doing it, but we expect it might end up on the internet. We also answered questions about the show, which made a bit more sense, and posed in a group photograph. It feels good, the progression of performing at the Thespo fringe last year with our workshop participants, to performing a work in progress at the Prithvi fringe this year, to performing a full show on the Prithvi main stage at Thespo this year. Like a slow build through the Prithvi spaces. It’s a bloody nice theatre.

What else have we done? We held an audition for the show last week! That was daunting – we tidied the flat and fidgeted nervously waiting for everyone to arrive (we’ve never done an audition before and don’t really know how it works) and then everyone came and everyone was good and it was HARD because they were all good. However, after conversations and watching videos back, we have decided to work with Rucha Apte, who’s a brilliant actress that we saw in a show called Kabadi Uncut last year, and we’re very excited about working with her.

We also went to Pune at the weekend and met with Rucha (she lives there) and the creative team behind Kabadi and had a really great conversation about bringing their show to the UK next year, which we are going to do as the first instalment of an exchange between young Indian and British theatre companies that we are setting up with Falmouth. It’s going to be a fucking excellent long-running highly appreciated exchange, and definitely the most ambitious thing we’ve decided to do to date, but we think we can make it work. More on that another time.

Whilst we were in Pune we also came up with the idea for a youtube web-series called Clerke and Joy’s Spiritual Enlightenment which will be about how we found ourselves in India. It’s going to be hilarious, obviously.

We’ll start rehearsals on Tuesday for the work in progress, and then start properly the following Monday, working with Rucha. With any luck (does luck come into it? We’ll graft.) we’ll make a good show. With any more luck, we’ll also tour that show in the UK next Autumn.

So, those are some things. It’s not a lot for two weeks, but it’s not nothing either I guess. And now I’ve written them down I feel a bit better. And so this has become a grumpy-start, rambling-middle, satisfied-end blog post, which is probably at least a little bit better than just a grumpy one.

Nonetheless, I hope, for all of our sakes, to have less time to write such grumpy/long/boring/rambling/satisfied blog posts in the future.

Thanks for reading, and congratulations if you got this far without your eyes falling out of your head.

I’m going to bed because I don’t know what to do with myself now.

Good night. x

*I’m sure I won’t feel this way at 5.55am tomorrow morning, but right now it’s 9pm tonight and I’m going with it.

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