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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Hanging Up

Let me tell you the story of Hang.  Like all good stories it has a beginning, a middle and an end.  And a zebra.
Once upon a time a distracted child listened to Radio Four.  This has been known to have terrible long term consequences for future sanity.  The child listened to Alan Bennett reading The Wind in the Willows and this was good.  Then the child grew up and decided that the story of The Wind in the Willows cannot have been set in a nostalgic past, but in a Dystopian future where animals and humans have evolved a co-existence society.  He then decided one day he would write a play explaining how this would happen.  He did this for two reasons...
One: it seemed like a good idea at the time
And Two: it was an excuse for a number of very baaaad animal jokes.  (Cue SFX: horses hooves.)

So, when the child grew up to be Artist in Residence at the Quay Theatre, he put this idea forward as project three of ten and proceeded to tell no one what the play was actually about, pretending it was a serious piece of dramatic comedy about perceived norms (which it was, just secondary to the primary purpose of telling very bad jokes.)  He didn't tell anyone it was narrated by a Mole or that the title came from the famous line "Hang spring cleaning!".  This he considered deeply amusing and gained much pleasure from not telling anyone the true nature of the tale.  He needed to get out more...

And so it came to pass that this play was booked to perform at the Quay Theatre on Monday 31st March in the GKR upstairs, a little room for a little play.  Except, just as the What's On for the Quay Theatre came out his brother told him about his (the brothers) impending marriage was to be the day before the show.  Cue much panic.  So the author decided he would set the show up as a radio play and live stream the result.  This meant he could rehearse the play on the day itself, having commuted from the wedding the day before that morning.  This he duly did (in his exhaustion leaving his luggage on the train to collect the next day from lost property!) and he and his amazing cast rehearsed all day... until the wasps invaded the GKR.  Now, knowing that buzzing tends to ruin a true recording of sound, the cast decamped to the main Quay auditorium - which was doubly helpful as it meant escaping the wasps and releasing extra seats for the already sold out show!

The show was an enormous success with the live audience - who all paid handsomely for the privilege of watching - and with the online audience who were numerous and left helpful comments on the live stream chat page like "I like how silly this is but it really stands out as something effecting the times we live in..." and "This is really well acted. I like the style and the humour is right up my street and I live on funny street..." and more worryingly: "that licking balls joke was lols".  
The cast all went home tired and the audience didn't try to kill the author for the lengthy shaggy dog story he told.  Now to edit the audio recording to produce a CD / download version of the show... but that's another story. 

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