After Five!

How are you feeling today? I’m in Corsham, Wiltshire at the moment as I’m performing in a show that’s been kind of touring the last few weeks. As some of you might have noticed I wasn’t there for Take Five, October’s Playground edition. I was performing in Bournemouth at the time.

It’s the first time I missed a Playground and I have to tell you, I was very jealous. Also I thought it would probably be a horrible idea if I started blogging about an evening I wasn’t even there for. What would be a much better idea is if I let Russell, who was there and who enjoys writing, to compose a little thing instead. And that’s what happened.

So, l present to the world a brand new post about Take Five. World, welcome Russell!
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In good Playground form, Take Five was a new experience for us.  Managing to accidentally structure itself around a theme, becoming much more performance-oriented than last month, and with our first ever group contribution, it was a bright end to a damp and cold day!

Opening with a quick game of ‘One Word Story’, everybody banded together to invent a couple of stories, one word at a time.  To say they were interesting would be an understatement: never have I been so enthralled by the tales of a penguin (and I’ve seen Happy Feet)…

Cracking into things, we opened with Malcolm performing an Uncooked improvisation: with several very technical looking music stations arrayed around the shop, including keyboards, foot pedals, an electric violin and a headset microphone, he regaled us all with some weird, wonderful and sonorous music – looping and building and repeating over itself, until the sound of a whole group was being produced by one man:  a wild and wondering variation around the theme of ‘Happy Birthday’ (Were you there?  Did you recognise the theme?  Show off in the comments!)

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Moving on, our very own Playmaster Tim took centre stage to give us his own Uncooked improvisation – this time from his laptop and control station.  In a much more still performance, we were sucked into a Sonic world of rolling, undulating and gradually merging and separating sounds – from the electronic and alien to the haunting yet familiar, we listened to a story being told through sound rather than speech.

Following a short break, we had a couple of Instant Noodles advertising various performances around Oxford, and also Dot offering a chance to get involved in his local radio show (if you are interested/curious, you can get in touch with Dot through our Facebook page).

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Finally, we moved to the balcony overlooking the Gallery space to watch an Uncooked performance by the group Mue.  Accompanied by the haunting improvised music of the cello, we watched the silhouette of a dancer behind a screen, the torch lighting her from behind moving with her – her shadow growing, shrinking, changing as she danced slowly, quickly, roughly, sensually – once again, a story being told without words… it was a touching and beautiful performance, and a fantastic first group for Playground!

Once again, a Playground which defined itself as its own being, whilst still fitting into the idea of Playground perfectly – we don’t know how you guys keep surprising us, but we’re glad you do! Until we next speak, keep your eyes peeled for news about next month… there’s something different afoot…
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I apologise if the images are really badly formatted or look cropped this time, I’m publishing this on the go just using a mobile Word press app. l promise to amend any aesthetic misconducts as soon as I’m back in Oxford.

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