Saturday, 26 June 2010

Omit - 'Piss Taking.'

Spent most of the day with the Richmond Theatre young writers in the theatre galleries at the V&A working alongside Gill Brownson and Little Lights, the museum's resident company, exploring ways to create short scenes that shed light on the objects and artefacts in the collection.

Katie and George focused on a letter from the Lord Chamberlain's office dictating cuts and amendments to Joe Orton's Loot and quickly created a wonderful imagined scene set at the Court of St James at which a committee of decrepit censors are encouraged by the Lord Chamberlain to consider ever more outrageous alternatives to Sc3 Line 34: 'They just want to shag their birds...' after climaxing with the thrill of righteous indignation they agree to cut it only to be joyfully presented with Sc 3 Line 48: 'Bares his arse in public.'

Other groups focused on a Victorian star trap and Henry Irving's make up.

We went on to to consider different acting styles over the last hundred years and tried out the handbag scene from The Importance of Being Earnest as both a melodrama and kitchen sink piece of social realism. It was a very entertaining session.

I hung around afterwards to finally catch up with the Walpole and Strawberry Hill exhibition, which is in its final week. It's rather odd seeing so much of Horace's collection gathered in one place - particularly as the place isn't Strawberry Hill - but it does help me realise what an insatiable appetite for collection he had. There is little rhyme or reason - Cardinal Wolsey's hat, James I's gloves, miniatures and modern art, trinkets and furniture. Nothing quite labelled authentically, but all fascinating. The house itself re opens in September, which we're all looking forward to, but it seems a shame that by that time all of its accompanying ephemera will have long since been boxed up and shipped back to its lifeless, air conditioned, archive at Yale University.

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