Monday, 24 June 2013

21st CENTURY POE at Solo Fest - POSTER

Poster for 21st Century Poe at London's Solo Fest 13th & 14th July

21st CENTURY POE at London Solo Festival - Press Release

13th July, 8.30pm, 14th July 7.00pm  -- 6th International Solo Festival of One Man Shows – Lord Stanley Pub, 51 Camden Park Road, London NW1 9BH (Tickets £8 / £6 concession) 07989-746641
Marty Ross (BBC Radio horror; Doctor Who audio) drags Edgar Allan kicking & screaming into our era in a trilogy of storytelling performances!
"True! - nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?"
In virtually all the greatest chillers of Edgar Allan Poe, the same note is struck straightaway: an isolated, tormented narrator wants – needs! – to tell us of the strange and terrible experiences he has undergone. They are ideally suited, therefore, to contemporary theatre’s great comeback kid: live storytelling.
As a live theatrical storyteller with a flair for the gothic and macabre - an interest reflected in his parallel career as playwright for the likes of BBC radio’s “Marvelously chilling” (Guardian) Darker Side Of The Border, Ghost Zone & Catch My Breath, plus the forthcoming Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk for Radio 4, as well as Doctor Who and Dark Shadows audio drama - Marty Ross has seized upon the dramatic potential of Poe’s tales. But as a storytelling ‘modernist’ keen to shift this resurgent art form away from once-upon-a-time-in-a-land-far-away ‘folkiness’, he has no intention of presenting Poe’s stories as period pieces: rather he has radically updated and reshaped them to our era, both in plot & language.
Therefore, FALLING FOR THE USHERS (13th July, 20.30) shifts Poe’s incestuous siblings from their misty gothic manor to the world of Damien Hirst / Chapman Bros.– type contemporary art, while HEART SHAPED HOLE (6th, 9th Aug.) sets Poe’s Tell Tale Heart beating amid Glasgow tower block drug dealing. Perverse passions, substance abuse, macabre humour, extreme violence… shift Poe from his olde worlde settings to our times and one is close to the world of David Lynch, William Burroughs, even Irvine Welsh.
These two hour-long stories are being performed over two successive evenings, as part of the Solo Festival of One Man Shows at the Lord Stanley pub, in performances far removed from the comfy-chair raconteur-ing of  too many people’s clich├ęs of live storytelling. Ross’s performance style is in-your-face, expressionist, intensely physical… more Theatre of Cruelty than Jackanory. Experienced theatre folk who have managed to overlook live storytelling till now have been ‘astonished’ at the theatrical intensity of his performances. He did three shows at last year’s London Horror Festival and regularly performs in and around Nottingham, where he currently lives. In August, 21st. Century Poe (with the addition of a third story, LIGEIA – THIS IS (NOT) A LOVE SONG), will be performed at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

21st CENTURY POE at Solo Theatre Festival

Check out my show 21st CENTURY POE at London's Solo Theatre Festival this July 13th & 14th. On the 13th FALLING FOR THE USHERS shifts Poe's haunted, incestuous twins to the world of contemporary conceptual art, while on the 14th HEART SHAPED HOLE sets the Tell Tale Heart pounding amid the world of Glasgow tower-block drug dealing. Here's the link to the Solo site:

Lady Macbeth commisioned by BBC!

Yes, me old chums at Radio 4 have just commisioned my adaptation of Nikolai Leskov's classic of 19th century Russian proto-noir passion and murder, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, thanks to the hard work of Mariele Runacre Temple and Cherry Cookson at the Wireless Theatre Company, who'll be producing. Beeb wants the finished production by September! Which means that, with this and my stage show 21st Century Poe in the offing, my next couple of months are going to be very easygoing and relaxed... sort of.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Don't Tell (Tale) The Neighbours

Another full run of Heart Shaped Hole today. It's probably the most physically demanding of the three stories, yet somehow - at this stage - the easiest to perform. The main character is so manic and crazy and juiced up and in-your-face that I just sort of jump on the back of his energy and it carries me right along. As opposed to Ligeia which, thus far, I'm finding the most emotionally troubling: on the runs of that so far, I've had the slight feeling of playing silly buggers with my own sanity. But I really got into Heart today: funny, because it's such a sunny afternoon, there was a constant stream of middle English suburbanites past the window of the room where I was rehearsing: nobody obviously looked in, yet hard to belief they didn't hear me thumping out a heartbeat on my bodhran drum and screaming things like "I have no heart!" Maybe I'm developing a reputation as "that crazy Scottish guy down the street" even as we speak.

But it's in good shape. I seem to be ahead of schedule, rehearsal-wise.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Ligeia - thrashing and bashing

Run through of Ligeia today - plot and images are all there, but ragged around edges so need to clarify and focus some aspects.

Problems with Ligeia after first record. Darker motivations for coming to Britain than getting her photo in the NME or chatting with Noel Edmonds on Multi Coloured Swap Shop. The angel of Death had come for her that night with a British accent, his wings straight off the insignia of the Royal Air Force. Coming to Britain meant going all the way in her dark romance with Death: teasing it, flirting with it, yet keeping herself forever clear of its grasp. And this game was hard on her: hence the need for the drugs.

You killed me... - Her face like a mask, a hard beautiful mask, like Medea's. Greek tragedy. The ghosts need blood to bring them back to life. Prefigure? Swabbing her veins with cotton wool, she jokes about this??? Death... that British accent... I should have known... I came here to flirt with death. That death was you, Johnny.

Ghosts need spilled blood to come back for revenge.

She has songs to sing.