Dr Tom Payne's Blog – July 2010 Archive (13)

Day 146 - End of Week 2 on the Persians - A dark room with no daylight somewhere in Chapter Arts Centre Cardiff

Another 20 minutes and I am off to catch the train. Highlights of this week include...


1) A pen getting stuck in a hole in the corner of a chair.


2) Long-life energizer batteries (Thanks Ellie)


3) Live tv broadcast by S4C from the arts centre cafe.


4) The line dancing that was the subject of the live tv broadcast in the arts centre cafe.


5) Big cardboard…
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Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 23, 2010 at 14:47 — No Comments

Day 141.1 - The Persians Day 8 - Chapter Arts Centre

The fine details of the text are worked through painstakingly. Linking the language of the play to detailed choreography. I watch the material develop and try to imagine it within the location. An impossible task as I have never been to the place. I did try, a drive by, from The Greystone's Motel near Trecastle, over the public road that bisects the military land, to Tirabad. The village was sat high up on a hill to the right, several miles from the road. It looked inviting, one of my… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 19, 2010 at 10:30 — No Comments

Day 141 - NTW06 Commuting - Arriva Trains Wales

I join the throng of early morning commuters as they make their way between Shrewsbury and Cardiff. Somewhere between 6 and 9 in the morning are the best hours of the day. The light is different, sharp, grey, blue. The day is unsullied by the lethargy of the late riser. Newspapers sit straight upon the tables, anticipating creases. I sip coffee from a stainless steel flask, a cumbersome addition to my luggage, it is necessary however... paying £1.50 for a cup of instant coffee with UHT… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 19, 2010 at 6:30 — No Comments

Day 137 - The Persians Day 4 - Chapter

During the previous three days I had settled into a pattern of documenting, and then things changed. What had worked for the first part of the week suddenly left me floundering around trying to find a way to record and make sense of the process I was witnessing. Retreat, regroup, change strategy.


i am documenting the genetic processes at work in the creation of The Persians, the forwards and backwards moves in the rehearsal process that lead up to the live…
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Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 15, 2010 at 18:25 — No Comments

Day 136 - The Persians Day 3 - Chapter Arts Centre Cafe

77 pages of writing, 18 hours of audio, 2 hours of video, a script and a map. Mike Pearson commented that I am probably making hard work for myself when the time comes to listen back to/read/watch all of this material.


I am planning to write the first week up when I travel back to Aberystwyth on the train on Friday, and then next week I will try to arrange research interviews with the performers and crew. Hopefully I can pick some useful questions out of the -…
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Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 14, 2010 at 16:41 — No Comments

Day 135 - The Persians Day 2 - Chapter Arts Centre

Lines mark out the space. The lines are a map. A map of a location. A map hangs on the wall. Denoting the location of a village, the village housing the location on the floor. And that is as close as I have been so far. I tried to drive there, but you can't. Well you could but you would probably get fined £500 by the military... honestly, you should read the signs... don't stop, do not pass go etc. etc. And so all I have at this stage are the maps. Not just the cartographic kind, for… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 13, 2010 at 17:30 — No Comments

Day 134 - The Persians Day 1 - Chapter Arts Centre

Chapter Arts Centre was full to overflowing with theatre types this morning. Not all had anything to do with NTW, but quite a few did. It was a little overwhelming when I first entered the rehearsal space and saw all of the faces. Mike Pearson led us through the plans for the production, a speech which he must now be very well rehearsed in, having had a number of months of interrogation directed at him on the subject.


I am here to document the process... I am armed…
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Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 12, 2010 at 19:00 — No Comments

Day 133 - Tynllidiart Arms - Capel Bangor

Excellent service... shame about the vegetarian lasagne...


If you are vegetarian, which I am not, it can be very difficult to find a place that serves a vegetarian Sunday lunch. In and around Aberystwyth that is. Which for the vegetarians out there I imagine is a little bit annoying and indicates a lack of empathy on the part of the establishment that you are eating in. As far as I can tell, vegetarians have to choose variously between vegetarian lasagne, mushroom…
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Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 11, 2010 at 15:30 — No Comments

Day 132 - More Camping - Furnace

I have had quite enough of camping following my trip to Barmouth, so I am sure that you can imagine that Poppy's request to dig the tent out again so quickly is falling on somewhat deliberately deaf ears. It is my friends birthday and he is having a party in Furnace. Which, while not as far as Barmouth, currently feels like it is a very long, long way away. However, she did get an outstanding school report yesterday and she did go to karate for the second time, this morning, even though… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 10, 2010 at 17:00 — No Comments

Day 131 - Back to Aberystwyth by Train - Five minutes from Barmouth

When I arrived in Barmouth a number of people asked whether I would be walking back to Aberystwyth. 'Of course not' I thought, and said. It's not that I couldn't see the logic in this proposition, it was more that the thought of retracing my steps filled me with dread. That same journey that had been filled with so much adventure because of the motivation provided by the destination and the Barmouth show were gone. Places of concrete experience had been created, and that was of course… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 9, 2010 at 22:30 — No Comments

Day 124 - On the Road with Pearson and Yang - The Hugh Owen Library, Aberystwyth

A middle aged man with steel rimmed glasses stands facing away from me in the far corner, clattering the photocopier lid repeatedly, his repetitive action encouraging the hulking grey machine to cast an ominous green light across his blue Marks and Spencer's shirt at regular intervals. The young girl behind me is playing her music through headphones at the special volume normally reserved for members of Spinal Tap and ignorant train passengers. I am half expecting a…

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Added by Dr Tom Payne on July 2, 2010 at 12:30 — No Comments

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