Monday, October 17, 2011

Changing looks and computing plays

A few days ago I decided to change the look of this blog to Google's new dynamic approach, which means that not only can the writer of the blog change how everything appears on the page at the drop of a hat, but so can the readers.

However, there are some frustrations with this new look. firstly, it's much harder to search on it.  For one thing on some of the dynamic pages you can't even find a search box.  Secondly, all the additional matter that you've so carefully added to the page over the years seems to go AWOL.  The Google ads are still there - on some versions of the page - but not consistently.  Links to other sites seem to vanish completely, and other interesting bits and pieces are all hidden away somewhere that I haven't been able to discover since I did the change.

So tonight, as the observant will note, I've changed the look again (or the 'template' to use the correct term).   In fact I've done it on all the blogs I have on Blogger.   Given them a facelift, but left them so that they're still easy to follow and won't go swishing all over the page as soon as you touch something.

I quite enjoyed that, but I didn't enjoy trying to find some information again on one of this blog and spending far too long doing so.  In fact, anything that's older than this year, it seems, just comes up as a complete chunk of stuff: all the posts from 2008 will arrive if you ask for some info on a post that was done that year.

Not so hot.

Incidentally, what I was trying to find were the dates of the plays I've acted in over the last decade.   It's been quite a productive time in that regard, with roles in nine plays, and music written for a tenth.   Here's the list.

1.      Mr Beaver in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, [second production by Narnia Productions], 2004 (Teachers’ College auditorium)
2.      Uncle Andrew in The Magician’s Nephew, Sept 2005 (Teachers’ College auditorium)
3.      Mr Dussel in The Diary of Anne Frank, 2006 (The Playhouse)
4.      The Father in And Then They Came for Me, May 2008 (Globe  Theatre)[also co-directed]
5.      Reepicheep in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Sept 2008, (Mayfair Theatre)
6.      Ormonroyd in When We Are Married, May 2009, (Playhouse Theatre)
7.      Jacob Marley and Mr Fizziwigg in The Christmas Carol Nov 2009 (Mayfair Theatre)
8.      Pianist for Love – or Nearest Offer Apr 2010 (Playhouse Theatre)
9.      Rev Harry Harrington in Shadowlands, May 2011, (Playhouse Theatre)
10.  Paravicini in The Mousetrap, October 2011 (Mayfair Theatre)

I've kept a journal since 1987 (the first entry discusses my daughter waking up in the night with a rat in the room - the only time such a thing has happened - and dropping it down the toilet to get rid of it) you'd think it would be easy to track down the dates of these productions.   But for some reason there are chunks of time when I didn't make entries in the journal, and often they seem to coincide with the productions of these plays.  Furthermore, I've often written about these plays on this blog - or so I thought.  But in fact I hadn't.  I only seem to have mentioned Anne Frank in passing - after it was finished - and the two earlier Narnia plays barely get a look in.  Odd.

The Star newspaper is supposed to have some references to a number of these plays, but when you click on the Google search results, invariably you find that you locked out of the archives.  So you try the Star page...worse still.  The search box that's supposed to be available according to the help page is missing and when you try to access 'all' newspapers, it happily gives you nothing more than 2011. 

The photo is from The Mousetrap: all cast members on stage in Act II (Natalie Ellis, who played Mrs Boyle, doesn't appear in the second act).  I'm sitting comfortably on the couch keeping the audience guessing as to my role in the situation.  The photo was taken by Andy Cook, who designed the set.

Update as at 30.3.13: I've now completed another role, or rather two roles: Rev Hinton, and the Doctor, in Harvest Field, the Ministry of Rosalie Macgeorge.  This play had its world premiere last night, and its one and only performance, as part of the Dunedin City Baptist Church's 150th Celebrations.  The script was by Greg Brook, who also directed.  The play was performed at Otago Boys' High School Auditorium.
And, while I haven't acted otherwise since my part in The Mousetrap, the first part of last year was greatly taken up with Grimhilda! which I'd written with Cherianne Parks, composed the music for, played the piano during rehearsals for (and occasionally stood in for the Music Director).

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