Category Archives: picture and post

Dunedin – Seattle in miniature

This is my third visit to Dunedin, and on this occasion, having spent several months in Seattle last year, I am struck by the similarity between the two cities. Not only that, but whenever I mention it to a Dunedin local, they agree with me, because they all seem to visit Seattle on a regular basis!

View from Opoho

I can’t say exactly why it is, but it’s something to do with the geography of the place, the hills around, the Sound (long and thin in Dunedin, wide in Seattle), the mixture of residential and industrial, the docks at the heart of the city.  There’s also something about the easy way of the people, a smile as you pass on the street, helpful bus drivers. Today, waiting for a bus, a lovely woman actually stopped and offered me a lift down the hill.

I’ve had a glorious time here, three weeks in all. The first week I taught The Shakespeare Class, here at the University of Otago. That’s it. One class. BLISS!  The rest of the time, I slept, ate Suzanne’s glorious food, drank some fabulous New Zealand wines, read several chapters of The Life of Pi and watched some really crap television, courtesy of Foxtel. I think this qualifies as a holiday.

The second week was spent taking part in the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) National Shakespeare Schools Production week. This involved staying the week at the Otago Boys High School Hostel, sharing a dormitary block with some of the participants, which meant sharing a bathroom with a bunch of 17 and 18 year old young men (some of whom didn’t quite get the concept of privacy, as in shutting the toilet door when using it!).

But what a wonderful week it was. My job was to direct 15 of them in a condensed version of The Winter’s Tale, take a workshop, sit in on all their other activities, and be available to mentor and coach them the rest of the time. So basically, 6 1/2 days totally focussed on Shakespeare. What. A. Blast!!!

As well as glorious young New Zealanders passionate about Shakespeare, there was the ‘mystery tour’ arranged by the totally amazing Dawn Sanders, CEO of SGCNZ (as well as being fund-raiser, secretary, treasurer, tour coordinator, butt-kicker and chief cook and bottle-washer).

Dawn Sanders with the 3 directors for 2010, Damien, Sylvia and Flloyd
looking North
over the horizon - the South Pole!

Finally, today on my last day, I was invited to do a voice-over for a colleague in the music department at the University of Otago.  When the project is ready, I’ll post it for you to hear and enjoy.

"Only you can save us, Dr Glam!"

Three Passions in One

Tomorrow, Sunday 29th August, I will finally have my very own market stall, and I’m pretty excited. It may be for just the one day, or it may work out as a regular feature, it will all depend on how it goes tomorrow, and whether I can get someone to stand in for me while I’m away in NZ for three weeks.

I’ll be selling my handmade jewellery at the Valley Laneway Markets and I will be in California Lane, between Ann and McLaughlin Streets, just a few hundred yards down the road from Brunswick Streets.  It would be great if you would drop by to say Hi!

All proceeds from sales will go towards production costs for my new show The Fall of June Bloom (or What You Will), which will be presented by Thunder’s Mouth Theatre at the Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio from 9th to 12th November. Now THAT is exciting.  I’m looking forward to getting this stage of the journey completed – the PhD performance as research stage – so that I can get to the next stage, which will be the World Tour!

You can keep up with developments, the auditioning and rehearsal process, and all the trials and tribulations, joys and celebrations of making theatre by following me on Twitter, @thundersmouth.

Handmade by Flloyd also has its own Twitter feed, @handmadebyflloy (there wasn’t room for the ‘d’), and of course, there’s me just rabbiting on at @flloydpk.

Oh, and I’ve changed the theme for this blog, to one that allows us to have a conversation!  My apologies to anyone who has posted a comment for not replying, I just couldn’t figure out how to do it.  This one might not be as pretty, but the picture at the top is one I took of Deception Bay a couple of years ago, from Bribie Island across the Passage.

who what when where why whatever

No, that’s not a question. It’s a statement. It’s what I say when I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, or why I am doing it.

So, let’s ponder, and see if something useful comes up.  I’m sitting in the little office of my latest house-sit, in Everton Hills on the outskirts of Brisbane. I have a lovely view of some of the “I could be a mountain if I really tried” hills that skirt around the suburbs, with only a few settlements (so far) escaping into and beyond their folds.

I am being kept company by a lovely old dog named Neesh. She sleeps a lot, but she also lies very still with her eyes open quite a lot, waiting for her owners to return. The first few days after they left she was quite happy to potter around her usual haunts, only coming up to me at meal times – that’s HER definition of meal times, which amounts to any time I approach the kitchen.  But we’ve been having some pretty terrific storms here over the past week, and she is absolutely terrified of the thunder.  I have known some scaredy dogs in my time, but this one actually shivers till her teeth chatter.  So we’ve not only been doing some serious bonding, but she now follows me closely everywhere, and sleeps at my feet whenever she can. Right now, she has crashed on the carpet behind my chair, looking very relaxed.

Now me, I don’t feel relaxed.  I know I never did put up a posting on the performance at VASTA, just talked it out, I guess. The whole project has moved on from then, I have now acquired my production team, Ira Seidenstein (Quantum Clown) directing, John Rodgers composing soundscape, Jason Glenwright as lighting designer and hopefully Bec Li as stage manager (subject to availability).  John Graham is coming out to Brisbane from Provo, Utah to play Jerome, and the wonderful Anna Yen is going to play Kate.

Instead of writing personal blog posts or developing the script (or writing my thesis, for that matter), I’ve been coordinating a mini-Fringe Festival which began as a daft idea in August, when I arrived back from the States, and happened in November.  You can check it all out on the blog www.bitsf.wordpress.com and the website www.bitsfestival.com.  I directed some of my voice and acting students in a 10 minute performance of Shakespeare’s Sonnets

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPH0RwRQreA

and was absolutely thrilled to be invited to be part of Ira Seidenstein’s Quantum Clown show “A Whole Bunch o’ Clowns”.

Now, of course, the sword of Damocles that is my thesis is revealed to be directly above my head, and I must must must get down to get out from under it.  Hence writing this post…

Oh, I forgot to mention, my other most excellent avoidance tactic, I made and displayed my Handmade By Flloyd jewellery at the Fringe Bar Designer Fashion Sale last Saturday. I sold two pairs of earrings (one pair made on the spot to the client’s specifications) and a necklet.  So there’s lots left still to be sold.  Do feel free to buy!  All proceeds to Thunder’s Mouth Theatre and the production of The Fall of June Bloom (this coming June, 2010, in the Cement Box, St Lucia).