Thursday, 19 February 2009


Been a while since I posted. This blog has largely served its purpose, which frankly never involved any serious expectation of being read (which isn't to say that it being read isn't nice!). I have another idea for a blog which would, I think, have the potential to be properly popular, but I really don't have the time to develop it at present. Given the weight of things that I'm taking on, this isn't likely to happen soon.

Anyway, I heard today that a company is interested in reviving Guilds, the musical comedy I co-wrote for the Edinburgh Fringe '07. I have rather mixed feelings about this.

Reasons to go ahead:
- The show took a lot of hard work, and deserves to be seen/experienced by more people.
- We're very proud of it.
- It might cause, in a networky way, something else to happen by someone seeing it.
- Probable expectation of some nominal royalties.
- We are not famous or in-demand enough to afford pretentions like insisting that our work is performed in such a way as preserves the original intentions.
- Seeing a fresh take on the show might be very rewarding.
- Seeing it performed again might be very exciting. It was last time.
- Being among a company of people who like the show even half as much as the original cast would be tremendously rewarding.
- The central idea of the show is genuinely original and fresh, and has a lot more mileage left in it.
- Quite a nice ego-trip. Let's be honest here.
- A chance to address some of the less-than-perfect features of the show with the benefit of hindsight. New professional shows get loads of preview performances so the writers/directors can get it right before it opens. We had one chance. (Well two, actually, with the break in the middle of the Fringe run, and not all of the changes I/we made were improvements).

Reasons not to go ahead:
- It will never be as special as the first time, where the cast comprised many of my closest friends.
- The atmosphere around the original production was like nothing I've ever experienced, and any revival will never come close.
- Some of the jokes have aged and will need rewriting.
- One of the central themes was absolutely bang on the zeitgeist in summer '07. It is now way out of date, and the wrapping-up of the show will hugely suffer from it. It is too deeply woven into the plot to be replaced without a significant rewrite, and I doubt that an adequate replacement could be found.
- They won't do it "properly", no matter how good the company is (and I honestly have no idea whether or not they are). Seeing it done wrong will really annoy me. Even the original production, in which I had little direct influence, was not entirely "right" in my eyes, and that was with the composer MD'ing (with whom I shared a very close concept of the show) and a receptive director.
- What goes in the Fringe stays in the Fringe. Some shows only work there, and I think this is one of them. Would need to be a double-header at the very least.
- Seeing a new production may tarnish the memories of the original show, which are among my very happiest.

Basically, it comes down to this: is seeing a second production of the show worth the fact that it cannot possibly be as special as the first one?

I really don't know the answer to this.

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