Swansea Assembly, Monkey Bar, April 22nd.

A tad belated but had to post to say what an amazing week I had last week on this project. The truly wicked Mathilde Lopez, incredibly funny Brent Morgan, mildly annoying Allison John, my new father Garry John, the immortal Steve "ladies man" Allen and the infectious Ellie Carter along with Ian, John, Lloyd and the rest of the team, was just amazing to be a part of and hardly felt like working at all.

All very fun but also thrilled to be in the same room as like minded, passionate people. If you haven't had an opinion on the assembly, do it already.

We started with a small meet and greet the week before where Mathilde introduced me to Brent and Steve over Coffee and Jive dancing with a group of people who you do not refer to as OAP's but "third aged" I was politely informed. To set the record straight, the jivers were incredible people who swarmed Brent and I and were amazing fun. Forget spin lessons, aerobics, 90 minute football games...try leading a female jiver for 10 minutes. Needless to say after 4 days of this, Brent and I now have bodies like Gods. Monday came and straight into it, a little get together to throw ideas of Swansea around, talk about its merrits and problems and then jumped to work.

Allison and I got involved in "Swansea Love Song" penned by Steve. Immediately blown away by Ali's voice, really is stunning. We turned the song into a duet and started discussing the difficulties Steve had with writing the lyrics and used the same conversation in the performance, turning it into an argument between us. This, in general, gave Ali and I the chance to ad lib at length until Steve, Mathilde or the general the public stopped us. So much fun working with Allison, I basically just played a shit and had to cope with inspired witty comebacks from her and not laugh. All this linked with Brent and Gary's piece where Gary told stories of his time on the docks. So many funny annecdotes. the guy could do his own one man show.

We used a poem I wrote about a typical Swansea guy on a night out trying to meet a woman. Set to a club beat, Allison and Steve playing the song again and Brent wore this epic horse's head mask. Little dance with him and interaction with one or two people sat around watching in the audience...was great fun. Started by saying the piece as I thought it should be spoken when I wrote it so was great to get someone else's perspective and do it a different way. Cheers Mathilde x

There were another two pieces, one a meeting between two town planners with Steve and Brent. Steve having this very dry wit and laid back persona and Brent just being absolutely mental. The other piece being an amazing movement piece with Alison and Brent (again in horse's head) some really gorgeous work. Big thanks to everyone for coming and again a huge thanks for everyone involved in the creative process.

As for Brents comments in his blog regarding the last night, I have no idea what he's on about. I was the picture of professionalism and certainly wasn't trying to sleep on a bench outside.

By the end of the project I'd finally got used to not reacting when someone asked for "Brent" thinking they wanted me, I'd stopped calling "Ali", "Ellie" and "Ellie", "Ali". Looking forward to seeing and being a part of more things in the future.

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Comment by Mathilde Lopez on September 28, 2010 at 15:04
I can't believe I am just discovering that blog, now that Brendan is a rhinoceros and Brent stopped being a horse. We had a great time and the jivers were fire! I must go to Monkey soon
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Comment by Brent Morgan on September 27, 2010 at 20:25
I am so glad I am now your friend and I hope to make it to you current show. I will be in touch. I also popped into Monkey the other day and Dora brought back terrible memories of Jagerbombs. It was a wicked week.

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Don’t miss this! ‘No petrol for 12 miles’: Ed Thomas’s thought-provoking & deeply moving installation on the mountainside at Penwyllt (Upper Swansea Valley) exploring cultural loss & memory. Brilliant stuff.

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