Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Life Is A Candid Cabaret, Old Chum

According to Google Image Search, this is a cabaret performer.

I love the idea of cabaret. For me it calls to mind images of underground bars in 1940s Berlin, all vulgar glamour and dirty opulence. Having never set foot inside the venue at Oran Mor before, I was rather excited at how much the low stone ceilings, dim lights and intimately small setting looked so similar to my dream. I'd heard nothing but good things about the MA Musical Theatre students' annual Candid Cabaret, and having seen a few minutes of their shows in the cafe bar, was rather quite excited to see the full repertoire.

After falling asleep halfway through Russel Crowe mangling the English/Oirish accent as Robin Hood, I needed something exciting. After lugging all the gear into Gerrie's van and lugging myself into a taxi (I'd spent the night before in the Eurohostel; it's not great for a quality night's sleep). There didn't seem to be much to be done, since all the performances were on the same stage we pretty much just had to set up the cameras and only really worry about changing tapes in between each act. Simples! As this was my first night filming, I sure as hell wasn't going to get stuck on audience cam, and made sure I got myself a cushy number with the wide-shot camera. My mum, auntie, cousins, nan and boyfriend were all coming to see the show and I wanted to at least look like I knew what I was doing....

The show kicked off on time, after a slight panic over having to go outside and give a ticket to the Ross who turned up at 7:29....honestly, he should know that I have a tendency to cause huge panic over small things! The first act came on and, although it took me a while to kind of get used to what was going on, I thoroughly enjoyed and found it really funny and well put-together. Unfortunately, some random girl (she may have been associated with us in some way, I don't know) came over 10 minutes in claiming there was no feed from my camera, before running off knocking into it and causing me to unknowingly shoot the rafters for 10 minutes, whilst chasing some imaginary girl and trying to scramble backstage to find Gerrie. Thankfully Flick was on hand to assist, so I managed to get her to find him and could return to my camera...which I found myself being oddly protective of; had it not been such a quiet, intimate venue I'd have been wailing "watch the camera!" like a demon banshee, rather than hissing it Lord Voldemort-style at anyone who DARED to try and squeeze past.

Once I got myself sorted with a pair of earphones and all feed problems were solved, I could get on with enjoying the show. Being on the wide-shot camera meant I wasn't constantly having to move around or zoom in and out, so could enjoy the show without too much distraction. Good thing too, at some points I was trying to hold in laughter so much that the camera would shake a little bit. I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the performances; even from first-year students. The comedy was funny, the songs were catchy and you could tell every performer had put alot of work and love into their acts. I worried a bit about what my wee nan would make of the mostly risque subject matter, but even she was hooting away at songs like "You're A Skanky Whore". Having not know what to expect, there wasn't really much I could tell the family about before coming but they absolutely loved it. The Ross even went so far as to describe it as "like Glee, but actually good".

Sadly, it was all over too quickly and the place cleared out quickly enough for us to make a fast de-rig. Luckily this time, it was because I had to make it from the West End back to Cumbernauld, and not because I didn't like the show. Phew! Everything seemed to go without a hitch and all of the audience, cast and crew had a ball. I'll definitely be reserving myself a wee ticket for next year, as I think filming the event is a first-year only job.

Oh, and special mention to my dear momma, who when one performer said "let's hear it for the lighting and sound guys!", shouted back "AND THE CAMERA CREW TOO!". You gotta love 'em.

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