James Ellis: Leonard Bernstein, Garfield & Influenza, madeinroath

October 12, 2018 by
madeinroath festival has reached its ten-year anniversary and its seem to get bigger every year. Here at Weeping Tudor Productions, we’ve been doing the odd piece of work here and there for the past two years. The community lead festival is a huge help for artists keen to get an opportunity to stage/exhibit work. I’m excited and also terrified this year, as we as Weeping Tudor Productions are doing more work we have ever done for the festival, all compressed into less than a week. Here’s what we’ve got on all together:
madeinroath Open Exhibition, g39, Sunday 14th October (Opening) 6pm – 9pm & Wednesday 17th – Saturday 20th October, 11am – 5pm. Free. 
The wonderful thing about this exhibition is that anyone can enter and there is no charge! Having popped my little piece in the other day, I was informed that I was the 60th entry and that 5 more were to be dropped off later. With all the work hanging on either a lone wall or two, this is always a highlight of the festival. My piece “James Thinks He’s Leonard Bernstein!” is frantic marker strikes on board, a swift lampooning of oneself as a brilliant conductor, enveloped in the music making that comes with being a conductor. It’s silly and I got over excited with slashes with a pen knife across the canvass. It will prove to be a sight to see next to all the amazing paintings and photography hanging beside it. Want to see it? Check it our at g39 gallery this Sunday or selected dates next week. The piece is for sale and all proceeds (after commission) will go towards future performance work.
Bernstein Bash! Preview Concert, Laura Palmer Theme from Twin Peaks & Vexations by Erik Satie, St Edward’s Church – Tuesday 16th October, 7pm-7:30pm, 8pm & 8:15pm. Free, donations to OCD UK welcome. 
We have a jammed packed night at St Edward’s on the Tuesday of madeinroath. Our preview concert for our Bernstein Bash! should leave people wanting more. To celebrate the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein, we honour the man through songs, words and music. Lesser known recital songs shall mingle with famous numbers from West Side Story, Candide and Wonderful Town. The joy of his music is the striking variety he has on offer, whether its jazz, high opera, rag, blues and all the rest. Our main Bash! is on 1st December at St Edward’s and we also hope to premier some new work which we have to be hush-hush about for now. More on that soon. 
Those of you who know me will know of much of a Twin Peaks fan I am. Last year at mir, we went David Lynch mad and did a workshop inspired by his films/tv work and a Twin Peaks night to compliment the return of the show to our screens. I’ve been learning the Laura Palmer Theme from the show for months and am delighted to play it on the sublime acoustics of St Edward’s on their sensational Steinway. Fans and those curious to hear are more than welcome. After all, “Laura is the one…”
Ending the night is the Vexations by Erik Satie, a notorious piece in many ways. While the 2 minute work is suggested to be played 840 times (usually takes around 20 hours) most if not all performances take place over one durations period. We’ve done things differently, as we began the work in October 2016 and only have a few hours left. It’s been a fundraiser for OCD UK along the entire journey, who have helped with personal matters with advice, support and advocacy (check them out if you need the help). There is a chance I might read out some Stories of Obsession (local, anon new writing) during the music as well. We’re delighted to have the sensational piano duo Phillip May and Lynne Phillips playing 20 reps each on the night. All donations made on Tuesday 16th October go to OCD UK. 
{head home} Memory Reimagining’s of Geographical Locations & HOT TAKE – Online Thread Monologue on Diversity Within the Arts, cardiffMADE – Thursday 18th October, 7pm-7:30pm & 8pm-9:15pm Post show talk after HOT TAKE, free, donations welcome [in bold] 
Taking a two-day break, we then arrive back this time at cardiffMADE for two very different new pieces of theatre. {head home} Memory Reimagining’s of Geographical Locations is a piece that still needs to be ironed out at the moment. What I can tell you is that it will be me on a mic, telling vivid details of a place and all the audience will have their eyes closed. I love the idea of the theatre of your own mind and how it is unique to you and only you. Come let your minds wonder…
The evening will continue with HOT TAKE – Online Thread Monologue on Diversity Within the Arts, a piece which will spark debate and possible upset. An encounter online a few months ago has prompted me to share thoughts and feelings from a wide variety of people who had a lot of views on the recent debates on diversity in the arts within Wales. A post show talk will also encourage conversation.  
A Little Bird Called Enza – A Child Friendly Skipping Memorial, Roath Recreation Grounds, Saturday 20th October 2018, 1:30pm – 2:30pm, free, donations welcome [in bold]    
100 years ago, over 75 million people across the world died from the flu. This staggering number might be hard to explain to children, though back then they did find ways to express the misery. Like all good nursery rhymes, they have a dark undertone and A little bird called Enza is no exception, the name being a play on words for flu. We encourage children of all ages to join us and possible a guest musician on the day. Please provide your own skipping rope. 
National Stupid Day – A Performance Lecture on Controversy & Lasagne Cat – Tributes to Jim Davis Screening, Aj’s Coffee House, Saturday 20th October, 7pm – 7:20pm & 7:30pm to 9pm, free, donations welcome (Main Image)
It’s been 40 years since Garfield was first in print. Whilst most could hardly care, we examine a shocking Garfield strip which caused offensive a few years back. We tried out this performance lecture at Scab Scratch Night run by Jeremy Linnell, to get a feel for the piece. We have a Clare idea of how this will work, but anything could happen. Those with an open mind and an open heart should consider what makes something offensive. 
Following on from this we shall screen highlights from Lasagne Cat, the internet sensation from Fatal Farm. Examining the Garfield lore, they disclose the lack of artistry in the comic and how its creator Jim Davis is made out to be an outstanding genius. This is by far some of the best stuff on YouTube by far. You’ve never seen anything quite like this. Adults only, contains explicit content.  
As you can see it shall be a very busy and varied week for us. 
We hope you can join us.
madeinroath runs from 14th to the 21st October. See website/brochure for full listing of events.  
Weeping Tudor Productions present Bernstein Bash! At St Edward’s Church, Cardiff on Saturday 1st December 2018. Join us for songs from West Side Story, Candide and other shows. Expect recital songs and also stimulating piano piece. Join us for the rumble! Book here:

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