Craig Chalmers

Spring Lights

Tea for two

Hello! Not too much happening at the moment but slowly cogs are whirring and things are starting up again, but until then let us celebrate the announcement of Memory Points coming to the South Bank Centre this August with… a poem. (What else!) I wrote this one when the show visited Winchester; I was hesitant to post it online before this but recently it gained Cath’s seal of approval so here it is! (I hope you like it).

 

Tea for Two:

 

Choice phrases

And better beginnings

Whisper at me

In the toil of head and bed.

Gone before I can reach

A pen

Or a friend.

 

Simple acts of forgetting

Not often enough to worry me.

Yet.

I’ve seen where it goes,

These two weeks,

I have memories

Pointing, lending an ear

To what’s gone before.

 

Flashbulb or distorted

The long-term stays with them,

But five minutes ago is a void.

Will they remember

The call to the running tide?

Or the lingering squeak of

Danny Boy’s violin string.

Maybe the smells of the floral office

Will stay with them,

Or neat and smiling shapes

In twelve lockers.

 

But if they can’t tell you

What happened in the last

Five minutes,

I will tell others

Five decades from now

That 15 faded brains

Sang with us,

Cheered encore

And danced ballroom or waltz,

Centre stage

Lives in a picture frame,

 

With tea for two,

A boy for you,

A girl for me,

Can’t we see how happy they have been?

 

That’s all for now, expect updates on New Tempest Club and my one-man musings soon.

Thanks,

Craig

Good Tidings?

Hello and welcome to 2014!

A new year is upon us again and looking ahead there may be a lot to be excited about in the theatre world! But first a small apology from myself; I haven’t been blogging regularly enough but the Christmas period was very busy indeed! Alas, when I did try I encountered some problems, that is, the images I’ve been uploading are apparently too large (pixels!) and now as I blog further and insert more images the pictures from previous blogs are disappearing! This put me in quite a mood. The fix is to re-size the images and re-insert them and get rid of the old ones from the system so as to make some space. (Or something like that). In short, I’m a little confused but will fix it. However, so as not to lose any more pictures this blog will be completely free of them, until it’s all sorted. I also had a Christmas-themed poem for you, but it may be a little out of context now. Perhaps I’ll pop it in at the end of the post.

Now, onwards… In November and December of last year work re-commenced apace on my potential one-man show. Myself and Catherine Church had one solid session a week, (me as performer & Cath as director). Whilst this might not sound like a lot it’s been an excellent start to what could be a very interesting project. I was worried beforehand, thinking that one man-shows could only ever be about the self, therefore they are all somehow arrogant and egotistical. Of course, this is not so, everything depends upon how you approach your subject matter, what you want to say and how you execute it. So far it’s been fun; it’s always a pleasure to get back into a rehearsal room, it can be too easy to forget how rewarding making theatre is when you’re away from it for so long (I never wanted to make cheese sandwiches and skinny lattes for a living – but it pays the rent!) Just being allowed to play, create and devise has been refreshing and hopefully given another few months will prove rewarding too. We have about 20 minutes of material so far, so watch this space.

Elsewhere, the next project from New Tempest Club is looking likely to be Twelfth Night (though Measure for Measure continues to intrigue us). NTC is growing too, with some 4 or 5 new members looking to be involved in the latest Shakespeare offering. The end of last year saw three lively readings, namely Twelfth Night, Macbeth and Measure for Measure. The new year will continue in much the same fashion, with readings in interesting spaces as we begin to create our chosen project in tandem. But before that, this Thursday brings an opportunity for extended discussion and analysis with an all-day session booked from 10am – 5pm. I strongly suspect that we will have made our final decision after this.

Alas (alack, forsooth!) that’s about all I have for you for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings and soon enough I’ll have fixed the problem with the images –  this post needs a bit more colour! I’ll leave you, as promised with that vaguely festive, not all that good, flowery poem I mentioned at the head of the post. It would have made far more sense posted just before Christmas, sitting snugly in context but never mind, it is yours to judge now instead.

Thanks for reading and happy new year,

Craig Chalmers

 

Faith:

Tis the season again,

When whether you believe or no,

You will take.

You will buy a stake.

 

You’ll have at the colours,

And the liquids,

And the solids,

And wrap ever larger the largess.

 

The message is good,

But the scripture is hard,

Lost in lights

As you send another card,

Twenty and five is the greatest excuse

For friends, excess and lard.

 

But on that morning at least,

The sun will beat its breast,

And for a few turns of sand in glass,

You can forget,

You can be happy…

 

Tis the season again,

Whether you believe or no.

Memory Points Rides South

MP Prog

Hello, it’s been rather a while since my last post and many banal and a few very interesting things have happened since then, but I shan’t bore you with the details other than to say, I moved house! Then Memory Points Poole happened and ever since I’ve been trying to pay the bills and get by. Success so far, just about.

In this blog I offer not a look ahead to the Poole Lighthouse, but a look back at what was a brand new location for the Memory Points tour to explore. Just being busy has changed this entry from speculation to a retrospective.

DSCF5809

The biggest difference at the Poole Lighthouse in comparison to the previous two venues was its sheer size. In Eastleigh and Winchester we were in theatres with just one dedicated performance space and all the corridors, nooks and crannies that go with it, but the Lighthouse is a building with a main theatre, concert hall, studio theatre, gallery, cinema, rehearsal spaces, conference rooms and countless other hidden places I may never have found. Mercifully the tour didn’t take in all of these areas but even in using what we did made for the longest and most confusing tour route yet. At times The Poole Lighthouse Labyrinth seemed more appropriate.

However we soon knew the route inside out and it made for possibly the best Memory Points tour yet, it was certainly my favourite. Poole itself is a seaside (well, quayside) town and from the very beginning of the tour you could see and hear real seagulls alongside those heard in the headphones.  As we  listened – “I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky”, real gulls echoed these sentiments as they swooped and dived through the clouds. Quite the perfect start if ever there was one.

DSCF5752

But I won’t recount the tour step by step, hopefully you remember it for yourself! Ultimately, The Poole Lighthouse served as a wonderful platform for the show but can it be bettered? I wonder what Brighton and London (fingers crossed!) have in store for us. What’s more the show proved itself as a thoughtful and evocative piece once again. One of the best parts, for me, has been at the very end when the public have a chance to tell us what they thought about the experience and share with us stories of their own memories, some write this down, others love to chat. I can say with confidence that many people were touched by the show and I’ve been touched too. I feel increasingly lucky to be a part of Memory Points, so thank you to all those involved in creating it and to every single person who has come to see it so far. You all make it special. I leave you with a few choice images of some of my favourite parts of the tour this time around.

DSCF5796

Above: One of the Lighthouse’s sometimes eerily similar corridors.

Below: Retrace your steps

DSCF5828

 

DSCF5793

Above: Doodling

Below: A view from the quayside

DSCF5723

 

DSCF5815

Above: Pete’s beaters

Below: Paradise Gardening, Tea For Two & Frags

DSCF5808

Below: Endearing messages

DSCF5788

(Sorry)

I’ll be back with talk of New Tempest Club and my one-man project soon.

Until then, cheers.

Craig