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Seven Plays, Seven Deaths & A Queen

Inspired by Austin #StealLikeAnArtist Kleon, I’ve put together my January top artistic experiences and influences. Kleon’s is a top ten list. Tonight I’m giving you three. Tomorrow I’ll give you more.

1. Theatre

Seattle’s 14/48: The World’s Quickest Theatre Festival

I’ve been a participant of this festival for almost 20 years, primarily as an actor and director and most recently as a playwright. The 14/48 Festival generates astonishing performance. I sent an email to two of the producers saying, “I don’t know who I would be as an artist or where my art would belong in the world if it weren’t for my 20 years of participating in 14/48. 14/48 touches my mind, my heart, and my pants.”

My first blog post was about this righteous artistic endeavor. Read it here: Brian Eno and 14/48 Festival

2. Book

“The world’s shriveling beyond the windows, darkening at the edges and blackening at the centre.”

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This mind-boggling story is deceptively set in the same cozy English mansion of so many simple murder mysteries. SDEH reads like “Jacob’s Ladder” meets “Ground Hog Day” meets Agatha Christie meets “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” These “meetings” keep happening like an endless set of nesting dolls. Our hero wakes up in a different body every morning and has to solve the same mystery day after day, night after night until he gets it right. And there are enemies at this weekend retreat in the English countryside who want him to get it all wrong. Addictive and spine-tingly.

3. Movie

Lady Sarah: You are enjoying all of this, aren’t you?

Queen Anne: Well, it is fun to be queen sometimes.

The Favourite - directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara.

This film has the look and witty macabreness of Peter Greenaway’s 1982 film “The Draughtsman’s Contract." As a female actor, what I find so satisfying about the “The Favourite” is that all the sluttiness, ribaldry, and deviousness go to the female characters. It is a tragic romp. Writer Deborah Davis, better known for historical novels, took on the first draft of a screenplay.

“When Davis set out some 20 years ago to write an original script, then titled Balance of Power, she approached it as a “keen historian,” with an interest in the “absolutely vital shift” in Britain “from a despotic monarchy to a constitutional monarchy,” and the Rage of Party that resulted. “I was very interested in discovering a piece of history where women were in power and weren’t particularly nice sympathetic characters. They were complex and had very deep, intimate, and complex emotions towards one another, and I think that’s a lovely thing to explore and see on screen,” Davis says, “to see women running the show.”


Grobar, Matt ( 2019 Jan 13) Deadline Hollywood

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