TV: House Episode 8.2 Sky

20111029-210248.jpg

The second House-related blog post I write and I discover it’s about the second episode of season eight. This post wasn’t planned. I suspect it’s appearance is indicative of this season being even betterer than the last seven.

House is out of prison on parole. He’s flanked by an adorable supporting character who’s only ended up seconded to him because of a misdemeanour – she punched her attending physician.

The drug-addled doctor is having to form new relationships. And for the most part, it’s working. Apart from those who know what he’s like and won’t be swayed. See above.

Video: Raptured Episode 1.1

Raptured writer (and colleague) Heather Taylor will be livid. I’ve used the fruits of her recent labours and exploited them. Instead of just tweeting a link to the first episode of the series she’s written – Raptured – I’ve written a blog post about it. Naughty. I am shameless.

I can justify this. Here’s how.

I know Heather very little. We’ve sat opposite each other in meetings. Clashed over information architecture. Spent hours discussing brand names for individual navigational elements.

At the same time I – and a handful of others I now work with – have been aware of her ‘filming’. Entire weekends taken up working hard to produce something none of us really had any idea what the end product would be like but still were instinctively locked in to the delivery date. Today.

It’s nearly half past midnight in Vegas where I’m on holiday. Half past eight in the UK where I imagine Heather will – true to form – be stationed at her desk doing her day job.

Personally, if I was her boss I’d be giving her the day off. Just because having watched the results of her (and her team’s) hard work I figure I wouldn’t be able to look her in the eye without bursting into uncontrollable rage.

Obvious talent and unrelenting drive is so annoying to see face to face. It’s worse when you see it on a day to day basis.

Oh no hang on. I’m revealing far more about me than I need to.

Watch Raptured Episode 1. Brilliantly shot. Engagingly performed. And a reliably enticing cliffhanger to boot. And a convincing explanation for how Google+ came into being.

Raptured – Episode 1 from Red on Black Films on Vimeo.

TV: House Episode 8.1 Sky

Hugh Laurie in House

Great to see Hugh Laurie back with the eighth season of House. Transplanting the drug-addelled Doctor House to a prison was a masterstroke. Exactly the same character with exactly the same tensions and foibles in a setting which suits the character perfectly. And the simplest of story arcs – will the man get out of prison – is textbook stuff.

An enthralling season-opener. Well done everyone.

Free Thinking Festival 2010: Vultures Roy Williams

Vultures is a play written by BAFTA award winning playwright Roy Williams.

It was recorded at the 2010 Free Thinking Festival on Saturday 6 November and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 7 November at 8.30pm.

Listen to an interview with the playwright or read the reasonably interesting text below.

The Radio 3 Drama recorded live at the Free Thinking Festival every is year is always a must-see for me. After all the discussion during the day, the opportunity to sit down and see a spot of fiction is a relieves the senses. It’s live theatre, recorded ‘as live’ (meaning it’s recorded all in one take) in front of an audience.

This is the third Free Thinking drama I’ve been along to. Tony Marchant’s play two two years ago was upsetting. Last year’s entitled ‘Beware the Kids’ was disturbing. This year’s – written especially for Free Thinking by Roy Williams – was immersive and thought provoking.

Williams’ play – ‘Vultures’ – joins a growing list of memorable dramas, in part because of it’s simple premise. Author Yvette is participating in a Q&A at a bookshop at the launch of her recently published book. But there’s a fly in the ointment. To what extent is the book autobiographical? A strong opinion emerges from the audience. Initially finding it difficult to speak out, Sean – someone from Yvette’s past – bursts out.

The presence of two of the actors in the audience during last night’s recording did come as a surprise. The moment Sean is introduced was – quite unexpectedly – an incredibly tense moment from where I was sat on the back row. I didn’t know he was there, wasn’t expecting him to be there and was – quite frankly – petrified of him.

This despite director Kate Rowlands advising us all that they were “dotted around” before the recording started. Mind you, us lot in the audience were perhaps concentrating on our role in proceedings. To the side of the stage throughout the play a production assistant held up pieces of cardboard with instructions on them. Yes, the audience you hear in the recording are part of the drama too. And yes, this means that I have – in a sense – been on the radio. At last.

But it was the audience participation – none of us knew before we got there – which was one of the risky elements. Whether or not that contribution necessarily works is open to interpretation and – thankfully – won’t impact on the interesting themes playwright Roy Williams introduces in the play.

I spoke to Roy shortly after the recording. He seemed utterly cool about the whole thing. Mind you, it was over by then.

:: Listen to ‘Vultures’ recorded at the 2010 Free Thinking Festival on BBC Radio 3 at 8.30pm on Sunday 7 November.