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I Have Never...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Second Weekend - Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th

Saturday, I'd not initially planned to have any rehearsal on. However, because various people had missed the playing of the game last Saturday night, the general consensus was that another bash was in order. Anne, having missed much of the rehearsal process, had very kindly offered her abode as a possible venue. This was gratefully accepted (although my flat withstood the onslaught last week, I felt a second week may be pushing my luck.

Some people had gone to see the show at The Mill (On The Edge by Mind The Gap), but as I saw it on Friday, I spent most of the day thinking about possible soundtracking of the show, and watched Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. It made a lot more sense this second time around.

Arriving at The Mill at 8.30, I caught the dregs of the show over the tannoy, before then catching my production team coming out of the space. We coralled the remaining 10 from the Mainline (our friendly neighbourhood union bar) and made the 15 minute trek to Anne's by car. On arrival, some people made a detour to the local offie, before piling into the house.

It was a tight squeeze in the front room, but we all made it. There were 18 of us in total (Cast and Crew bolstered by Gilli who'd come along last week, Anne's sister Janice who had come to visit, and an American friend of Chris called Erin - sorry I'm terrible with names, so I hope this is right).

Duncan decided to set the night off with a bang by producing some Tequila. I say some - two bottles to be exact. An elite group proceeded to indulge in the old salt - tequila - lime fandango, which meant they rapidly became a lot more drunk than anybody else. This reflected later on in the game...

Foolishly, I'd not eaten any tea yet, so it was decided to order in some pizzas. This was duly done, and led to a delay in the game progressing. Eventually, though we got down to business. I changed the rules a bit from last week, ensuring that everyone suggested 'I Have Never's' in order around the circle. If more than one person drank as a result, the 'Asker' had to select only one person to tell a story. Also, the dictaphone was considerably more prominent, as the recording from last week had proved to be rather muffled.

Maybe this prominence inhibited the game. Maybe some people being considerably more drunk than others affected things. Maybe it was my empty stomach. Whatever, I didn't find the results as satisfying tonight. We only recorded the one tape of material, as opposed to the two from the week before. People still enjoyed themselves, sure, but the quality wasn't there. Apart from Duncan, very drunkenly telling us that he'd Never Swam with Sharks. This may make it into the show...

Roll on Sunday. Again for one reason or another, our numbers were well down. Me & Carl were to drive, joined by Chris, Duncan, Sidrah, Emily, Michelle & Anne. Based on a story that Chris had told me the week before, I had brought along a bag of flour. He had explained that his most romantic gesture had been writing 'I Love You' outside an ex's house in two types of flour (Plain & Self-Raising). Taking this as an interesting movement cue, I got Jonboy to write I Have Never on the pathway in front of The Mill, then when Chris arrived, I asked him to use the rest and write the same on the grassy knoll that overlooks The Mill. This worked for me, too, because I had really wanted to go to The White Horse near Thirsk.

My cast didn't take the hint. When offered the now traditional inside or outside query, they once again plumped for outside. Choices this week were:-

Brimham Rocks,
The White Horse near Thirsk,
& Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The latter received almost universal approval, so that became our chosen destination.

I had Duncan, Emily & Michelle in my car on the way there. Whether the general malaise from yesterday had continued, or whether I was dreading that horrible day that is Valentine's Day on Monday, I was not inspired to ask questions, but recorded the discussions on the way never the less. No, thinking about it, I'm being mean. Emily told a very moving story about her dad returning after a trial separation from her mum, and knowing that he was back because his shoes were in the hall.

45 minutes later, we were at YSP. Surprise, surprise just in time for lunch. This was a more hurried affair than last week, as it was a self serve canteen in the visitor centre, rather than a cosy an opulent pub. I reckon we turned the meal around in half an hour.

We then wandered about the centre, taking pictures (http://gust.no-ip.com/ihn/ysp/- I really need to lose some weight) and seeing the couple of small exhibitions inside. Anne had to leave early, because she had to join her sister's kids who wanted to go toboganning at Castleford. We said our farewells, then braved the outside and the Mud.

I had not expected the Mud. I had expected nice orderly pathways, perhaps gravelled, which would lead you on a scenic route around the sculptures. Oh, no. No such luck. Mud. Grassy mud, but still Mud. If I'd known, I certainly would not have worn my best orange shoes. Thems the breaks.

Off we trek down the hill. I'm amazed that no-one fell on their arse, it was so slippy. First, we took in a few Henry Moores. I'd got the guidebooks, and recorded various people reading the descriptions... clear as Mud. The keepers seemed quite lax in the rules, in that, where there were signs saying keep off the exhibits, no-one was around to enforce this. Not that we would ever take advantage of such a situation.

We encountered various Canadian Geese (and their droppings). Headed along the Lakeside. One particularly large sculpture served as a particularly successful hiding place, and we recorded/videoed people messing about around it. We also came across a couple of large trees, and Chris skipped around one, while interchanging locked arms with Michelle and Emily. A very satisfying optical illusion was obtained in this way. Maybe that will get into the show... I don't know, yet.

At our furthest point, we reached a couple of bridges. I suggested a game of Pooh Sticks (come on, I don't need to explain that, do I?) which was rapturously received. I think Emily won twice and Michelle once. We then saw a fantastic Anthony Gormley statue on top of an old tall tree stump, and played with videoing people running towards and away from Carl and his camera. It vaguely reminded me of a Spike Jonze video. It would be interesting to see the footage played backwards.

Our return route was rather different. First, we traversed a wide open playing field. It served as a very satisfactory wind tunnel, and to keep ourselves distracted we played with Duncan's 'whistling bomb' (see last weekend). We stumbled upon a bizarre other wordly area next. I can only describe it like a Pixie Garden, with odd mini buildings. This reminded me a bit of The Prisoner and how I remember Port Merion to be. We skipped through the Bretton Hall campus, spending a moment to ponder on the usage of the buildings, took in some totem pole like exhibits, hid behind some holey men and finally lent on a hedge in the formal garden (which appeared to be being refurbished).

At last it was home time. Once again, people were left exhausted. I had Sidrah and Chris in the back of the car, and I left them to chat amongst themselves and record their conversation, with only a few Questions (well 21 to be exact) to guide the talk. I seem to have misplaced this list of queries, otherwise I would share it, but I know it ranged from Favourite Actor/Actress to Most Memorable Dream/Biggest Regret/Success.

I also had a psychic moment in the car. I was thinking, 'I'm bored with these REAL stories, why don't I get C & S to tell me a story that already exists from a film, and pretend that they are one of the main protagonists?' As I thought this, Chris had started a story, and he preceded to recount Jurassic Park from the perspective of Sam Neill. A weird coincidence, or a focussed cast? I'll let you decide. I asked Sidrah to do the same, and she pretended to be Melanie Griffith from Working Girl...

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