"I've got a show I wrote coming on Channel 4 at 11.45pm on Thursday 19th May. Skin Deep is a sitcom set in a tattoo and body piercing studio in Leeds. Watch it. Make your friends watch it. Make your colleagues watch it... (also you could write to Channel 4 and tell them you demand to see a series)..."
One thing that will be a definite in the new humble abode: Broadband. I spend half my life waiting for pages to load in (ebay is torturous).
Order from the Engine Comics Website.
Things will be stalled for a short while, as Garen is currently between houses, with most of his stuff in storage. As soon as the new house comes through, a good working schedule can be returned to and The Rainbow Orchid will continue... in colour.
It didn't take long for disappointment to set in. The first thing to hit me was the 'stage-school' acting, like it was done by the kids from Fame. I feel slightly guilty saying this as the cast were obviously talented with great singing voices, but they're the kind of voices very much in vogue in today's pop-outfits - that sort of warbly-vibrato with the occasional growl to kick-start a note. The choreography was done by numbers and was about as original as anything you can see from the latest manufactured pop clones on Top of the Pops. Queen's songs themselves were a mixed bag. Mostly, I felt the songs were somewhat steam-rollered through with any of that delicious Queen sensibility completely flattened. A couple of the songs worked well. Under Pressure (perhaps because it was already a duet) and, surprisingly, a little-loved single off the Queen Rocks compilation, the sugary (sung by Brian May) No One But You (Only the Good Die Young). The band were good (nice lead guitar) though sometimes the bass did sound a bit like someone farting through a tuba.
The plot concerned the underground of 'true rock' fighting against the plasticised mass-market forces of bland everyman-pop, yet even the rock bits came across as Saturday morning pop-show-lite. I also felt the musical would actually have benefited from a wider repertoire of rock'n'roll music, which would have been more in line with the story. It wasn't particularly dictated by the Queen catalogue.
There were enjoyable aspects - I liked some of the humour, though it was usually of the build-up/let-down variety, and the music was certainly good because they are strong songs with a great variety of style. The whole GlobalSoft thing was better than I had anticipated. At one point I did feel as though I should have been living in the dark days before the Restoration as I suddenly felt how vulgar musical theatre was, and then immediately thought myself a snob (and a Puritan!). I came out of the theatre with mixed-emotions... Queen's music perhaps slightly cheapened (Freddie would have loved it, he always saw his songs as 'throw-away', and loved the theatrical, of course), but my foot was tapping throughout and I enjoyed a few chuckles.
I bought a beautiful book on Art Deco Graphics from Borders in Tottenham Court Road, and was disappointed (again) with Foyles. Had a lovely time with friends, and I do like the new 'digital' trains now on our line.
The job is a poster for the musical Return to the Forbidden Planet. Rough sketches below... which one will they go for?