Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's been a while...

Street Walking : Lyon, December 2009. IPhone 3GS

It's been a while since I blogged so I thought I'd share this image from Lyon. Originally taken in Camera Bag, I've revisited the photograph many times. This version has been re-processed in the latest version of Picture Show.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Juliet Journals: Please Come Home


digital collage 12ins x 12ins

best viewed larger HERE

This morning, Mudlark Production's Charles Hunter tweeted: "the last few days of SuchTweetSorrow. Can we do Tragedy on Twitter?" For those who have been avidly following the Twitter retelling of Romeo and Juliet, it's a daft question: many of us are already emotionally wrung out and hung out to dry on the line with the washing. That's one of the joys of this production: the scary, bottomless depth of it. The director, writers, and cast's ability to convey and engender in their audience, such a vast range of emotions and levels of meaning, through sporadic Tweets of 140 characters or less. It's astonishing, but no less than we should expect of a Royal Shakespeare Company production.

The version Romeo and Juliet that we are witnessing is, amongst many other things, an angry, often frenetic exploration across the messy landscape of Loss. When we first meet them, the three Capulet children are each, in their own way, damaged by the traumatic death of Susan, their mother. Jess, the oldest, is over-responsible and has taken on the role of emotionally parenting her siblings. Following his mother's death, Tybalt suffered even more loss when he was sent away to boarding school and his unresolved anger knows no bounds. Juliet's sheltered, compliant life is about to be torn apart as hormones blow the lid off her grief. Beyond the Capulet family, Mercutio, in effect, an orphan, as his unloving parents have gone to live in the South of France, fills the emotional vacuum by becoming a surrogate member of the Montague family and he loves Romeo as a brother. Romeo falls in love with Juliet, leaving Mercutio feeling abandoned by his mate. In turn, Romeo looses his friend when Mercutio loyally defends the Montague name against out-of-control Tybalt who kills him and is then himself accidentally slain by Romeo. Laurence Friar's desire to reunite the warring Capulet and Montague families is almost certainly a misdirected attempt to deal with his own loss and regret: his father is dead; he has turned his back on a shady past but still carries a torch for Susan Capulet, whom he secretly adored. Whatever their motives and despite their best efforts, Laurence and Jess must ultimately witness and feel in some way responsible for the deaths of all the young people whose lives they have desperately sought to protect.

The intimacy of Twitter enables followers to engage with the play's characters on a very intense level and we've certainly had our minds toyed-with: our belief systems and loyalties storm-tossed from one Tweet to the next. And then, ready to prod us, whenever we get too comfortable with our sympathy for someone's dilemma, there's always Jago, the malevolent, disaffected adolescent lurker, lingering around like the bad smell of rubbish bins during a garbage strike, reminding us that this drama portrays the lives of spoiled, rich kids. Admirably, the actors don't beg us to love them either. Jules is charming but complex and not easy to like: we first meet her, ten years after the death of Susan Capulet, a teenager with unresolved abandonment issues, who has created a perfect, romantic version of the mother she lost when she was six years old. Let's face it, had her mum lived, Jules would, almost certainly, now be a rebellious daughter of divorced parents, going through the usual mother/daughter love/hate ritual. She has coped with her loss in the best way she can but she is not equipped to make good choices. Instinctively drawn to Romeo, the boy that her family will most disapprove of, her intense love is accompanied by equally intense fears that she will loose him. Whilst dealing with these conflicting emotions, Jules is told, not only that her brother is dead, but that the love of her life has killed him. Her response to the news is denial: the first stage of grief, followed by violent emotional regression: back to the age when she experienced her first traumatic loss. From now on in, none of the others are emotionally equipped to reach her. This is where I've chosen to re-join Jules: a place where all the teenage romance has been stripped away, leaving only a frightened little girl who just wants her brother to come home.

Juliet's previous journal page can be viewed HERE

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sexy Things


taken and processed on my iPhone 3GS
Hipstamatic shot processed in PhotoFX and LoMob Apps

These handsome beasts were sighted last weekend at Lydney Park in Gloucestershire.

I've posted a freebie texture from Lydney Park on my other, more random blog:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Saved From The Skip!

My contribution to the "Save Mercutio"campaign currently been waged by followers of Such Tweet Sorrow: the Twitter version of Romeo and Juliet, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Mudlark productions. Surely they cannot ignore the "evidence" presented here???!!!

The Observer: Sunday 2nd May 2010

Lost version of Romeo and Juliet
stuns academics and theatre world

Papers found in skip “no hoax” says expert

Saved from the skip: Shakespeare's "Lethal Joker" Mercutio. Photo: L.Lyon

A fabled lost revision of Romeo and Juliet, often referred to as the “Holy Grail” of Shakespearian scholarship, has been discovered during the insulation of a Birmingham pensioner’s loft, thus saving the fortunes of one of Shakespeare’s most popular but doomed characters. Mercutio, “The Lethal Joker” was a special favourite of Queen Elizabeth the First who, it is said, was so distraught, following the play’s first performance, that she penned a personal letter to the Bard, demanding script changes, on pain of death. In the orginal, Mercutio meets his death in a fight with rival Tybalt, punning to the last: “Ask for me tomorrow and you will find me a grave man”. In the revised text, he flees the scene, but not before making an aside to the audience: “Ask for me tomorrow and you will find me at Gravelly Hill”. He later returns, revealing himself to the Nurse, and declaring his passionate
love for her “ Buxome wenche, thye scoldes have stirred mye errant loynes”. His act of contrition wins Nurse’s heart and they consummate thier passion beside the bodies of the star-crossed lovers: an act that unites the warring Capulet and Montague families.

Following the news, directors, producers and writers from the Royal Shakespeare Company and Mudlark Productions are holding an emergency script revison meeting with actors from the Twitter version “Such Tweet Sorrow”. Ben Ashton, who plays Mercutio, commented: “I want a pay rise.”

Whilst academics and theatre directors assess the impact of the discovery, Jubilant residents of Gravelly Hill, a much maligned suburb of Birmingham, are celebrating an end to years of local speculation that Erdington was the orginal inspiration for Shakespeares’s “Verona”. Local resident Elsie Whitehouse commented “it stands to reason doesn’t it?
Why else is the Gravelly Hill Interchange known as ”Spaghetti Junction?"

Such Tweet Sorrow can be found HERE