Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Matthew Friday's last post

On 5 October Matthew Friday's first play, Che Guevara's Motorbike or How I Found My Father, which he is also directing, opened at The Rosemary Branch in London. Many of you will have read the background on the Writers' Guild website and followed his trials and tribulations here each week. This is his final diary entry.

Week 7

The hardest week of my life has passed and what I hope will be one of the easiest is just about to start.

The first week of our run at the Rosemary Branch was an incredible experience, filled with more highs and lows than a sea in a gale force storm. I don't have the space to detail it all here. As I've said before, come along and you can find out from me and the actors. But here's a brief summary.

Well, on the whole the audience has enjoyed the show. Some of them really enjoyed it and they told us so. Some love the fast, frenetic pace, others find it tiring. Some totally accept - for comedic purposes - the situation and the twists in the plots, others find it implausible. Most people thought the play was funny. Some laughed more than others. My friend Ralph Noland roared with laughter.

We've had much more than our fair share of criticism. I'm secretly furious that no one is giving me any credit for this, my debut play. Yes, I admit that being a debut playwright and theatre director at the same time is probably taking on too much. (I have also co-produced it and I do the lights and sound every night.) But still, that's the reality in the Fringe. There's no money to pay anyone.

I have had my first taste of critics at the sharp and spiteful end. The New Camden Journal reviewer, Richard Hodkinson is right to have criticisms of the play. It's a debut play and like all debut plays ever written, it has numerous problems. However, I want to point something out. Among the many things Richard Hodkinson disliked was the plot. He said he couldn't follow it.

Ralph Nolan did. In fact he thoroughly enjoyed the whole play.

Ralph Noland is completely blind.

I have many more examples of people who enjoyed the play, among them elderly people with hearing problems and teenagers who would normally be bored by the theatre.

So, it was a tough week. I am hoping that audiences are not put off by the review. We need a lot more or we'll go into debt. We're not letting oddly harsh reviews put us off. We've got two glorious weeks ahead of us.

Fingers crossed. Or whatever you do in Theatreland.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.