The Commedia dell’Arte – and why I love them

Immortali People


Well, here they are!  My cast, the cast of Immortali.  They mean so much to me this won’t be the last time I post about them.  But, before, I do, let me apologise for the translations, should any of you be using them.  A linguist friend informs me that the French, Spanish & German are trash on account of being done by a machine.  There. that’s out of the way.

I fell in love with my characters (yes, my – because they belong to me as well as everyone else) at the tender, impressionable age of 16 when I watched Les Enfants du Paradis at a school film club.  (Anyone aiming to become a mime artist – watch the beginning and weep).  Then I discovered that the characters originated in Italy and that the French had taken Pierrot to their hearts and refined him into the sad eyed clown we know today.  But I’m not here to give a history of the Commedia dell’Arte.  I’m concerned only with my own selfish love of the roles which drove me into writing the novel, Immortali.

My characters are not entirely true to the originals and some purists will be outraged at what I’ve done to them in my novel.  But I don’t give a toss.  To me the Commedia are real, live people; just as vital today as they were at their birth in the mid 1500’s and to make them acceptable to a modern day audience (readership) I had to update.  But anyone perceptive will recognise that these characters have come down through the centuries to dominate modern drama.

I’ll come back to the Immortali very soon. 

Not giving up

To do or not to do?  My lack of technoknowhow has brought me to the point of chucking it all in; this website/blogging lark.  So why have I decided to crawl on up the wall like a mindless snail?

Because whether or not I give up trying to communicate with the world about what I do and what I think is important in life matters to no one other than myself; and to give up my only chance of doing this would hurt only me.

But at what cost?  Semi-sleepless nights, infantile rages in which I threaten to smash my laptop against the wall and grumpy outbursts (usually directed at nobody more sensitive than TV celebs I hate).  But it takes it’s toll – all this angst about which button to press and in which order.  And I really believe I could have written a whole new book in the time it’s taken to get this far in my education.

Usually, when it comes to things I don’t enjoy, I simply don’t do them.  But, with techno, there’s no choice; not today.  Any creative pursuit you engage in just has to be wrapped up in the internet.  The alternative is you shove it under the bed and it gets forgotten about until you die; then your relatives find it, think, ‘What a shame she never did anything with this,’ and chuck it on the bonfire.

So, to make sure that doesn’t happen and continue inflicting my opinions and achievements/lack of on a largely disinterested audience, I must persevere.  That’s why I’m not giving up – not until the next time that f****** techno foot sticks out and sends me headlong.  

Something beautiful

DSCN0027  DSCN0015  Something Beautiful

And why not?   There’s plenty of ugliness in the world without me adding to it.  And it’s an excuse to show you examples of my planting.

A couple of years ago I shared a stall with a friend at an outdoor market and I sold mostly quirky containers planted up to make the most of them.  I think it’s such a shame when you see stunning plants stuck in a boring brown plastic pot.  They deserve something better.  And, while none of the above arrangements is particularly quirky, they do give an idea of what I tried to do.

The only trouble was, although generally admired, my planters sold less well than I’d hoped (in spite of being cheap – average £10/£15).  Why?  Because people thought they were for special occasions.  ‘Oh, I’d love to buy that for my Mum’s birthday, but it’s not until next month.’  Mothers’ Day was always good, of course.  But it was sad to find that women didn’t feel justified in spending money on treating themselves.  It was then I coined the phrase, ‘If women bought flowers for men, I’d be rich!’  Men, of course, only buy flowers for women when they have to (out of duty or guilt).

So, my planting didn’t make me my fortune.  Perhaps I’ll do better with my books; they are most definitely not just for special occasions.