It transpires that the play within a play that features in ‘Route 99’ is being doing in the style of Kabuki, just to simplify things further. In order to achieve a sense of realism in this task, today we had a visit from a Kabuki Sensei, who took the meta-cast through their paces, whilst I was tasked with filming the whole ordeal, so that the actors and director could look back at it at a later date. At first I was absolutely petrified that I was using the camera incorrectly, and that I had somehow failed to press the record button; however, as time went by I gradually became more confident, so that by the end I was attempting long range pull-focus shots and unexpected close ups. It wasn’t until much later that it occurred to me that people were probably far more interested in a film that simply kept everything in the frame, rather than one that jumped about like a cricket with ADHD.
One of the major benefits of working at a nationally renowned arts centre is that I get to watch a number of plays and concerts for free, as even if the show is a sell-out I am normally allowed to attend the dress rehearsal as a ‘member of staff’. This is what happened tonight with the Japanese premier of Jérôme Bel’s ‘The Show Must Go on’, an experimental dance that mixed local people (non-actors) with famous popular music. It was a fairly enjoyable piece, although there were definitely times when I questioned its artistic integrity. However, as I had gotten a free ticket and was watching a matinee performance (thereby meaning it was during my ‘working hours’) I had invested neither my time nor my money, and so was more than happy to spend 90 minutes listening to a fine collection of music interspersed by the odd bit of interpretive dance. My only regret was that someone else had been left in charge of the filming.