Wednesday, 31 March 2010

UOoGB save the day!

Had a pretty awful (though admittedly to a fair extent self inflicted) day at work today, but it was all saved by the brilliance of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britian. Even seeing them in Aldershot (urg!) didnt diminish the sheer awesomeness of their "ironic covers".

Ukulele courtesy of T..Jones

My favourite, I think, was a cover of Bowie's Life on Mars that segues beautifully into My Way and a few other classics. You'll find it, as they pointed out, on YouTube - someone has pirated the whole of their back catalog. Other great stuff up there, if you're in the mood, includes a superb lounge cover of Wuthering Heights and a great take on Teenage Dirtbag from last year's BBC Proms. Go on, no-one can resist the power of the ukulele!

Now if anyone wants to buy me their live DVD from the Proms...

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Crewing the Kursk

In a break from the norm I spent this evening at the Young Vic, having great fun helping out behind the scenes on their production of Kursk. To be specific I was deputy cloakroom operative under Lisa's watchful eye :-)

The Young Vic is a not-for-profit theatre who plow their excess cash into working with local schools. They have a great team of paid staff but Kursk needs more ushing than the average play so they emailed local businesses asking for volunteers to help out. In return for running the cloakroom I got to see behind the scenes and watch the play for free. Not a bad deal at all, especially when you consider that the team are great fun to work with.

The production itself was excellent. The audience all stand, spread throughout the submarine stage, the cast moving amongst them. Over 90 minutes we follow the crew on their voyage and learn the fate of the Kursk. They do a brilliant job of evoking daily life beneath the waves and sketching out the gap between professionalism when on the job and larking about when not.

All in all a very good play, and all the better for watching it as a part of the team. I'm lined up to help again in a couple of weeks and can't wait!