mazz0626: (Default)
2012-10-26 11:31 pm

(no subject)

My friend, you have to stop-
the thing in the woods is bad.
It's making you ill
and won't stop until
it's driven you all the way mad.

My friend, you have to stop-
the animals have no clue.
it's nothing they know
they don't run, and so
they die, knowing not what to do.

My friend, you have to stop-
you're bleeding and you don't sleep.
what's it doing to you?
your late memories are few
can't you see you're already too deep?

My friend, you have to stop-
leave the thing in the woods in its grave.
Trust the dog when he barks
leave this alien ark
Let it go. Only then you'll be saved.
mazz0626: (Default)
2012-05-15 02:13 pm

Starlight Express UK tour press night!

The whole show has a feeling of great optimism about it. Perhaps this is all informed by my own opinions, but whereas the last tour felt like a stripped down, chopped short, sad, apologetic little remnant of something once great, this one feels like the start of something good (I can feel my heart is jumping, this could be the start of something....). Like it's a scaled down preview of a production planned to be mounted at the O2.

The opening animation is cute, but being a visible figure of 8, limited. It is somewhat reminiscent of the special effects in Hitch Hikers, but messier – someone had a lot of fun with the Find All Edges tool, in this and other animations. I'm not convinced it wasn't overkill to have some sort of video playing pretty much 90% of the time, though. Some of it was relevant(I liked the image of the decrepit sidings for the Freight yard), some of it was cheesy(What time is it? Time to show a gif of a sped up clock!), and some of it was just a bit Rorschach. What was the deal with the shamrock-shaped thing approaching on the tracks that always faded into nothing before it could resolve? What was with the endless circles and lens flare? Any time it was footage of an actual thing, like what looked like the view from a driver's cab somewhere in Germany(overhead power lines), was heavily treated with Find All Edges and usually quite a short loop. I couldn't quite work out what the red thing that crossed the tracks at the end was, possibly several cars? Possibly a very big fox? Either way, you can make out real life details like trees.

I don't think the foldback onto the stage was complete, as several times the timing was dodgy until a new instrument kicked in and then everyone was fine. It could have been directed rhythmic pauses, but it came across as “should I come in yet? I can't see the MD or hear the beat!”

The races are possibly the most dated thing in the show. If they could refilm them it would be good, possibly without using the exact same corridor in both heats and the final(actually, it would be nice to have the Uphill Final back too), and maybe a bit less sharply focused on the characters which makes it so very clear that these are NOT the same people you've just seen on stage. Not going to happen, of course. These ones are serviceable and they were expensive. I felt like the races were more or less completely divorced from the show.

While it was somewhat reassuring proof that at least one review was being written at the press night and not before, I do wish that the critic sitting somewhere to my right and maybe 5-6 rows back hadn't had QUITE such a loud, rattly keyboard on his laptop. Or had at least constrained himself to typing during the loud bits.

Likewise, it's great to know that the Stalls Bar turned such a huge profit tonight – perhaps the show could have been even better if it hadn't all come from a group of three or so behind me up to the left. I get that a lot of friends and family of the cast were in to support them, and indeed I saw a few familiar faces, but generally “support” does not manifest itself the same way in the theatre as it does at, say, a football match.

I like the new lights. I've been out of the loop for a while, so I don't know what they are, but they seem to be a combination of low-brightness LEDs for atmospheric purposes, and bright, focused beams for stabbing the audience in the eye. The three concentric rings of LEDs can be made to dance! They made the Starlight Sequence ever so pretty, in a Mission Impossible laser grid sort of way, even though I did have to blink rhythmicly to avoid the aforementioned eye-stabbage.

The use of flying the LX bars to simulate the Bridge was lovely, too. Even if you didn't know that's what it is, it adds a nice, interesting texture to what is essentially a black box set to allow the lighting rig to have a go at being set.

I really liked Ruthie Stephen's Dinah. She's not as battered wife as most Dinahs, so you don't get the same sense of unease when she accepts Greaseball back, and she does the Dinah Splat magnificently, especially when you consider that she doesn't have a run up from the Bowl. She's a little bit over the top, but not so much that she's not – and I beg the suspension of your disbelief for my application of this word to an anthropomorphic personification of a toy train in a child's dream – real. She draws the eye with her gestures, but not when she shouldn't, and you're never at a loss to know what Dinah's feeling.

Duvay(apparently they have spelt it that way – maybe they pronounce “duvet” as “dove-it”, as a girl I went to college with did)'s “are my pillows still there?” tickover makes a little more sense once you've seen that she removes them to race, on account of their not being in the video. They apparently come off pretty easily, so you can understand her concern that she might have lost her head-Poptarts by accident.

Flat Top didn't work for me in Act 1, but somehow he was brilliant in Act 2 without changing a thing. I think perhaps his character just needs conflict to shine. When he's refusing to race with Poppa, it just comes across as a bit nasty and makes you wonder why he's hanging around with the other Freight if he despises them so much, but his “Y'awrigh?” and “Shuh UP, Controw!” are perfect and nicely make that little bit more of his character. He didn't make much of his brick, though. It's hard to do when it's not onna chain. You can't teach it to come to heel, you can't play Swingball with it, you can't play ball inna cup with it, you can't chuck it at people and have it return... really all you're left with is talking to people on it, lending it to Dustin when he forgets his mouth organ and a really, really last resort sandwich.

Seemed at first as if Greaseball wasn't going to have an entourage – after all, there was only one flag bearer – he came on stage alone, and it was a while before the Gang came on to flank him. The choreography here looked so crisp – they must have cleaned it to within an inch of their lives.

I don't know if it's deliberate or not, but the Components didn't have any distortion on their voices. Sometimes it sounded planned, when they split the triad and sang it, but at other moments it fell flat. What is usually digital shriek near the end of Laughing Stock was more like a limp “fnah.”

Thinking of Electra, those of us who watch True Blood in this country are now used to Lafayette, so he totally makes sense. And somehow the opening of AC/DC sounds more 80s now, in 2012, than it did in 1984. I still love Joule and Volta both doing the traditional Volta choreography, mirroring each other.

I do like the new Nintendo, born of Cheezburgr. “Rusty? Who he?” after consulting (possibly) Facebook. I hope he goes on to add more Engrish.

Amanda Coutts' “Make Up My Heart” makes it look like anyone could sweep into perfect sur le coup de pied two-wheeled pirouettes if they felt like it. I r jelly.

Gavin Ashbarry is absolutely brilliant and adorable as Dustin. If I ever see him as Poppa again, I will bear this in mind to block out the trauma of how absolutely bloody terrifying he is in that role. His Dustin does not, in the least, call up unbidden memories of Professor Burp.

I can't say I like A Whole Lotta Locomotion, nor do I think I ever will, but it's certainly the best I've seen it yet. It's still cringeworthy that the old lyrics have been shoehorned into the new style, but the new lyrics work nicely. I just can't reconcile myself to the “Gotta have a man! Gotta have a sexy man! Look at me touching myself!” heart of the song. If Phantom Two was still open, would they have had to revert to A Lotta Locomotion? We know His Llordship doesn't like to have the same song in two shows open at the same time.

The ramps are still dinky, the Romeo and Juliet(The Musical) blocking remains for Coda of Freight.

I would have liked Hopper One to make more of Princey's being scrapped – it isn't entirely clear that that's who he was partnered with to race, and so had just lost out on his chance to participate.

Ah, yes. Given that we're now back to three engines in each heat, we could totes have “No Poppa, don't listen! Besides, what's the point? There's three trains in each heat. They've got all three trains, the race is complete!” instead of “No way, it's all over – the race is full up, they'll blow you away!” which I'm not even sure it still is, but y'know.

There's only so much track-checking the Traxes can do. Given that it's the same configuration of ramps each time, and you do see the same identifiable bits of abandoned Welsh missile silo in every race, you do wonder if they can't just say it's good from the last race. Actually, given the train corpses, German engine hoping for a lift, falling masonry and rodent infestations, maybe they do just sign off the paperwork without looking.

If Ruhrgold gets stuck trying to thumb a lift out of race-Purgatory, how does Duvay get back out of there? Does she have the sense he doesn't to double back and leave via the starting line or something?

It feels a bit weird hearing the What Time Is It? Rap. I don't know why, but I wasn't expecting it. It's the one time the Hip Hoppers are Hip Hoppers as they were written, not just re-costumed Rockies with their tickovers confiscated. Mind you, lyrics like “If he's fastest, he wins! If he's slower, he loses!”...

I like how Girl's rolling Stock has been entirely re-choreographed using only moves from actual Rolling Stock – it's like the polar opposite of Whole Lotta. They're kinda taking the piss out of the engines, but also showing that they can do the same as them and not be gratuitously oversexualised while they're at it.

The Traxes do somewhat steal the Hoppers' thunder for Right Place Right Time. Given as wot they ARE stunt skaters, it's understandable that the Hoppers aren't doing tricks that are quite as impressive as them – even though they're doing stuff you know you would ooh and aah at if you saw someone do it in a dance-off. A triple spin is something I can only dream of doing, but when you've seen Electra casually chaine across the stage on two wheels from each foot, it's not as awesome.

The absence of “Wide Smile” is palpable. Like how in the last London production the “I must find Pearl”s accelerated into the opening of “No Comeback” and then died off again, “Wide Smile” is about to start, then it sounds like they all remember at the last second that it's been cut so um, yeah, moving on.

Oh yes - “The sound's too loud” is a GREAT time for your mic to go dead.

During But I do, I made out several smiley faces in the star field behind the stage, two of which were poker face faces
(), studied the reflection coming off the “safety goggles” resting on top of someone's head a few rows in front of me, counted the domed houselights I could see, cackled like a banshee at the We Will Rock You moment(which could legitimately be inserted into the Megamix reprise of the song to give it some rhythm, but in the main one? It's just random) and realised that in fact, both of my feet were numb. The left one was slightly pins-and-needly, on account of being crossed over the right above the knee. I did not, even though I had about a week to do so, work out what the melody's past incarnations were. At this point, having a looped video on the screens would have been a Good Thing. Perhaps an “I can't fight this fee-LANG any more” style photo montage.

Overall, the cast are amazing, the show feels like it's starting something big. It no longer deserves to be called Starlite. I have realised that the word “update” is not necessarily a dirty one, though wholly new songs are rarely an improvement. As ever, Mykal Rand is a genius and has drawn it all together into a more cohesive whole than it has had a chance to be in a while. I really hope my gut's onto something when it tells me that this is the precursor to a post-Olympic big production. There'll be a velodrome going spare...
mazz0626: (Default)
2012-03-16 11:14 pm

(no subject)

MY BRAIN: I want to make a proper feature film animation set to the best possible audio recordings of Phantom and/or RENT!
ME: But Brain, that's a huge undertaking! That sort project takes a team of proper artists years to accomplish, and you can't draw! I mean, even your stick figures leave a lot to be desired.
MY BRAIN: Don't care. Wanna.
ME: It's not going to happen.
MY BRAIN: Fine. I'll just bombard you with images and sequences from it until you want to self-trepan and smack me.
mazz0626: (Default)
2012-03-14 04:20 pm
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: National Pi Day

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mazz0626: (Default)
2012-03-10 01:30 pm

(no subject)

Okay. So... The BBC are sometimes accused of only having 6 actors. While this is an exaggeration(it's more like 200), you DO see the same faces over and over again, often playing very similar characters. We all know Freema Agyeman only plays Martha Jones, even if she's in a Dickensian period drama. Lenora Critchlow is variants on the same slightly quirky, a bit insecure, keen to please absent-minded teenager whether she's Sugar, Cheen or Annie.

But the BBC 200 have interesting faces.

Sure, we'll see Aidan Turner rocking the devilishly handsome dark brooding Irishman whether he's a vampire or a pre-raphaelite painter, but take a look at him next to his American Being Human counterpart -

Which one would you be able to identify in a police lineup?

I mean no great insult to Sam Witwer, but he looks like at least 20 other tv actors. He could be just about anyone. Maybe the fact that the BBC only has 200 actors in its stable is just a sign of efficiency - rather than have a few thousand bland, identikit people who vary in skin colour and age and very little else, they have one or two of each strikingly different type. And so the result is that they do cast the same person over and over again in different shows, rather than just appearing to.

And damn, I want to be in the BBC stable.
mazz0626: (Default)
2012-03-05 11:12 pm

(no subject)

Why are the BBC so bad at casting actors to be younger/older versions of each other? With one notable exception in Ashes to Ashes, it's like they get the skin colour more or less the same and then adjourn to the pub.
In the Doctor Who episode with the giant wasp, it looked like Felicity Kendall's younger self had called in sick that morning and they'd shoved one of the assistant directors into a 1920s ballgown instead. They didn't even match her hair colour. The younger Leo in Hal's prequel for Being Human S4 is only recognisable because he's identified as a werewolf, he's talking to Hal and he's black!

mazz0626: (Default)
2012-02-09 05:01 pm

(no subject)

So close to ending every sentence with "-you stupid bitch." today. How do these people remember how to BREATHE?
mazz0626: (Default)
2012-01-27 01:18 am

Make up your own minds, but I think awareness is a good thing.

Originally posted by [ profile] cantarina1 at post
Originally posted by [ profile] electricdruid at The fiasco continues

ACTA in a Nutshell –

What is ACTA?  ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.

Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”

What is the goal of ACTA? Reportedly the goal is to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.

Essential ACTA Resources

  • Read more about ACTA here: ACTA Fact Sheet
  • Read the authentic version of the ACTA text as of 15 April 2011, as finalized by participating countries here: ACTA Finalized Text
  • Follow the history of the treaty’s formation here: ACTA history
  • Read letters from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wherein he challenges the constitutionality of ACTA: Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Read the Administration’s Response to Wyden’s First Letter here: Response
  • Watch a short informative video on ACTA: ACTA Video
  • Watch a lulzy video on ACTA: Lulzy Video

Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.

Via Tumblr

This entry was also posted at (comments: comment count unavailable)
mazz0626: (Default)
2012-01-25 08:15 pm

(no subject)

Being warned off Mountview... hmm.
mazz0626: (Default)
2012-01-23 11:29 am
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: Happy New Year of the Dragon!

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Fire tiger! I know, right? If I'm a tiger I'm a skinned one that's lying on the floor as a rug.
mazz0626: (Default)
2012-01-08 02:43 am

Is that really my hand? Maybe I am still asleep.

I don't recall previously having talked in my sleep whilst at the same time being awake enough to notice and remember most of the conversation. I think it's exactly the same phenomenon as my occasional waking hallucinations, but with added speech. I don't remember anyone being around to talk to during one before.
I was pretty sure I was awake, looking Purdy in the face and wondering if she was going to poke me in the face to gain admission under the duvet again like she did this morning(odd cat), when I had a clear conversation with Alice about whether or not she had been shining a red light in my window. I even corrected my vocabulary(determinated is not a word,not even in America) and confirmed that I definitely was awake. She replied the only way you can to that sort of gibberish and apologised for disturbing me.

The weird thing is that it took me a few minutes to accept that what I had said made no sense at all... I don't feel any more awake now than I did then. Can I ever trust that I really am awake again?
mazz0626: (Default)
2011-12-27 02:55 pm

If you only get to see one jukebox musical starring a former X-Factor contestant and a well-known...

...TV personality in the West End, make it Rock of Ages.

Basically it is a huge amount of fun and a standard of performance Dreamboats can't even see from where it's standing.

I see there's going to be a film. It looks much like the Hairspray remake(no great surprise since it's the same director) - good visuals, high production values, screwed up nonsensical version of the plot with good names playing the wrong roles.

Here's who I reckon SHOULD be playing who -

Lonnie - Adam Sandler
Dennis - Jack Black
Stacee - Owen Wilson
Sherry -
Drew -
Herr Herzklein -
Franz -
Regina -
Justice - Queen Latifah

Anyone wanna help fill in the gaps? These ones just sprang to mind.
mazz0626: (Default)
2011-11-27 03:15 pm

(no subject)

No-one's coming to Showstoppers, are they.
mazz0626: (Default)
2011-09-24 10:25 pm
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: Riddle me this

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Why nothing can go faster than light. I accept that this is so, but why? What is so special about light that it defines ultimate speed?

Is it just a coincidence that light is the same speed as the fastest that can be, or is it based purely on the limitations of human observation?
mazz0626: (Default)
2011-09-21 01:43 pm
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: Bone-chilling birthday wishes

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Quite possibly Dolores Claiborne. She's sensible and resourceful and damn straight she got away with murdering that abusive arsehole of a husband she had.

I would so love King to collaborate with Steinman on a rock opera - it would be quite possibly the definition of awesome.
mazz0626: (Default)
2011-07-21 11:03 pm

(no subject)

You can find a positive spin to most things. For example -
"I so admire your dedication to your craft. Not many actors would take the initiative to inhale helium gas in order to achieve the unbroken voice of a prepubescant boy every night."
mazz0626: (Default)
2011-07-15 11:50 am
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: Happily ever after…

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Go on his gap year and build wells in Africa.
mazz0626: (Default)
2011-07-11 01:35 pm

Nurofen - a declaration of love

Nurofen, I love you.
You make my day go by
Almost as unafflicted
As when I wake with working eyes.

When I carry my head like a too-full cup
When my stomach threatens to invert
When my gyroscope won't allow down or up
And I want to trepan to remove the hurt
When the storm cloud gathers off-centre
So I can't see, let alone read
When I lie still, unable to sleep
I reach for you, you're what I need.

Oh, Nurofen Migraine Pain
In your Cadbury purple box
Thanks to you I am not a caveman
Drilling into my skull with sharp rocks.
mazz0626: (Default)
2011-06-16 11:16 am

(no subject)

I have yet to see much in the way of evidence to contradict the notion that our younger cat, Brummel, was in fact raised by dogs. He has a tennis ball he plays with when his attention span(approximately that of a gnat with ADHD) allows, and he won't seek shelter from the rain, instead gambolling around on the lawn or stalking through the dripping bushes during a downpour, and he always brings in some portion of the garden with him.
mazz0626: (Default)
2011-06-07 01:29 pm
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: The long and short of it

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I think the longest was Stephen King's It, and the shortest Garth Nix's The creature in the Case. I actually bought It because it was nearly as thick as it was wide, because all his books on that shelf were £7.99 and I'm going to get my money's worth if I possibly can. The creature in the Case was actually a free booklet to promote reading, given away as part of World Book Day. It's actually a short story, and in his short story collection Across The Wall.