Saturday, September 07, 2013

[title of post]

Five years ago I visited New York City with my parents. An opening line that perhaps suggests a horror travelogue; but my parents are lovely people, I get on well with them, and we had a fabulous time. So sorry reductionists, there is no conflict and therefore no dramatic interest in this tale. THERE IS ONLY GETTING SQUIRTED RIGHT IN THE FACE WITH PURE AWESOME SAUCE.

Since I've lived in London, I have become a fan of musical theatre, so I while stateside I insisted we must try to see a Broadway show. Unlike Britain's swinging capital, where I can sniff out a West End ticket deal like a gay bloodhound, I had no idea what to do, so we went to the TKTS booth in Times Square. Nothing we'd heard of was available, agreeable or affordable. Somebody* handed us a flyer for something called [title of show] - yes, one includes the square brackets. I don't quite remember what it was that convinced me we should try it. It may be have simply been that we had no other options. In any case, upper or lower, we handed over the credit card. At the appointed time we rocked up to the Lyceum Theatre and sat in the very back row of the stalls.

I'd like to say I fell in love instantly. I didn't. Firstly, there wasn't the huge spectacle I'd hoped for to impress the olds - nothing exploded, flew out over the audience or flew out over the audience and exploded. Secondly, I was quite fearful the delightful and amusing but clearly homosexual chaps on stage may be a bit too much for my conservative parental units. I'm too young to remember the song and dance shows they did with the church in their youth, but I'm pretty sure they didn't feature masturbation.

I needn't have worried too much - Dad swooned at the first harmonies. At the beginning of the second song, a wonderfully gentle smashing of the fourth wall arrived and he laughed like Daryl Kerrigan seeing the Best of Hey Hey It's Saturday. We were on to a winner. Later, in a typically meta-moment, Hunter echoes my fears by worrying that his Mum may be shocked at the mention of masturbation in the show. Jeff's response is not helpful.

The rest of the show unfolded joyously. So, um, what is this? I'll never make a reviewer. Synopses are supposed to come first. Here goes. [title of show] is a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical. It's a very cleverly constructed, and for a novice there was a wonderful slow realisation that, hey, these two guys I'm watching are actually the two guys who wrote this meta-madness. I'm kinda delighted I got to experience it this way. Take away the artifice and you've got some nerds living their dreams. Their sheer delight at doing so was apparent and infectious. The songs are wonderful and funny. Even when they threaten to descend into mawkish American sentiment a wry line usually pulls it back just in time. By the time they really do unleash the cheesy yankee Follow Your Dreams messages you're with them and it's not too spew-inducing - it's actually...well...just really nice. We went away happy and felt we'd witnessed something special.


So I bought my Playbill, came home, scoured YouTube for songs, got the cast album...and then it all faded into history. Occasionally, I bored people with the story of this great little show I saw in New York. I kept up a little bit on the internet, but clearly not enough as the entire cast managed to reunite, create another show, and raise money on Kickstarter for a cast album without me noticing. There were a few rumours and announcements that the original cast would come to London to do the show on the West End...but then nothing.

Then BAM BAM not one but two productions emerge in blighty at the same time. Patch of Blue Theatre announced a production at the Fringe. The Landor Theatre announced a production in some hitherto undiscovered part of Clapham. I had the opportunity to see both. #FIRSTWORLDVICTORIES

But it would it be the same without the original cast? Part of the meta-fun with the original show is that you're watching THE ACTUAL FOLKS WOT MADE IT. Would it still work without that delight?

Once again my fears were unfounded. Both productions were wonderfully done and fantastic fun. The Landor Theatre production in particular really showcased the narrative and my long suffering partner finally understood what on earth was happening between those catchy nonsense songs on the album. Though we must confess that we both still don't know who Mary Stout is, or why she got hit with a hotdog cart, or why this matters. But I kinda like that.

This show joins the Menier Chocolate Factory's revival of A Little Night Music as my equal favourite show of my decade in London**. It's just bloody lovely. Yes, I've become a total tragic about it, but you should still listen to me because I'm brilliant.

It's on for a week more. Go see it or I will kill again.

*Somebody, I love you, even more than Freddie Mercury would.
**Haven't seen Book of Mormon yet because I am a cheapskate. I know I will love it, stop telling me.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Considering Spotify? Consider this (admittedly old) infographic first.

It's old, but I note the fabulous Erin McKeown's pledgemusic campaign offered her entire quarterly check from Spotify for the princely sum of $11. If she ever gets one.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wombat news: baby wombat emerges at Melbourne Zoo

Video here. Particularly enjoy the no-nonsense mother shoving the baby out of the way when eating. Food comes first.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wombat News: White Wombat

Age coverage of wombling white wonder here. I'm personally waiting for them to release a caramel or Black Forest wombat.

Monday, October 10, 2011

keen young web whippersnapper required

My employer runs a Foundation for a super-right-on ultra-worthy cause. They're currently looking for someone to help grow their support, particularly using the web. Interested? Read on:

Web and Social Media Manager

Are you looking for an exciting opportunity to develop and grow your web and social media skills whilst also helping to grow the supporter list of a small charity working to help children affected by HIV and AIDS in Kenya. Nyumbani UK works to provide healthcare, social care and an education for orphaned children in Kenya many of whom have been living in destitution.

We have recently decided to expand our UK operations to enable us to grow our fundraising capacity and we are looking for a Website and Social Media Manager to help develop our site, increase our social media presence and ultimately increase the number of supporters we have.

This is a fantastic opportunity for someone with a passion for the web, social media and online marketing as you will take over the running of our websites on a day to day basis and will live and breathe improving our online presence.

You will be responsible for driving web and social media activity for the charity and engaging and capturing new audiences, you will get involved in a whole range of activities. These could include

  • devising and monitoring PPC campaigns within a set budget
  • creating and increasing our social media activity on platforms such as facebook, twitter and linkedin
  • reviewing the design of our site to improve functionality and usability or to support your online campaigns (you will be expected to brief a developer to carry out any changes)
  • managing our google ad campaigns
  • developing affiliate marketing campaigns
  • link building campaigns
  • creating exciting and up to date content for the site
As part of this role you will monitor and report on your progress and help to manage the growing supporter base. You will also have the opportunity to get involved in other aspects of running the charity where you have capacity.

The ideal candidate will possess the following:
  • Web savvy with fantastic knowledge and understanding of all social media platforms
  • Knowledge of the concepts of web marketing
  • Good understanding of potential target markets
  • The ability to understand the detail of a website
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills - you must be comfortable contacting and calling people and should be good at establishing relationships
  • A born organiser who is able to multi task effectively
  • Self-motivated and effective at working on your own initiative
  • Most importantly you will be bursting with ideas which you are keen to be given the opportunity to develop and implement
If this sounds like the challenge that you are looking for, then please email your CV and a cover letter telling us in 250 words what you would bring to this role that makes you our ideal candidate – Also please have a look at our website

Tuesday, June 07, 2011