A Moonhound story from a non-native.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 13, 2013 by moonhoundtheatre

On the facade of the Moonhound Theatre company, you see faces of apt expression and moving stories that move you. You come to a quaint venue, hopeful that this “storytelling” thing and this “physical theater” that was advertised are worth the travel, time and your attention. It is.

I am the brother of a member of the troupe, but my statements are impartial. I flew from the West Coast of the United States to join Moonhound on the final days of their tour and experience some of the European culture and tourist attractions. Many Europeans ask me what my favorite part is so far. Now that I’ve had a few days to think it over, here is my answer:

Love, Joy and Peace. Not of this part of the world or even of the people in general (though I do find them to be pleasant in almost every way), but of the Moonhounders. At the risk of sounding sappy, they have shown me an incredible picture of how a four-headed beast might successfully thrive in the jungle of performance art.

If you were at the Leeds show at the Wharf Chambers across from the Leeds Minster you might have experienced the energy and power of their stories. With audience members from France who came because an English friend of theirs found the group online and came with a passion for story-telling or others who have known members of the troupe for years, there was an electricity in the air as Moonhound flowed from story to story as one unit, like four brushes on one canvas or like four musicians playing the same guitar. If you were there you would have laughed, felt awkward and then laughed at yourself for feeling awkward.

If you were with them for the days before and following, you would have seen their love, joy and peace. Their love for each other and the art as they work at crafting truth into fiction and at cooking, cleaning and making travel arrangements. Their joy in each other, in life and in the fantastic process of creating an alternate reality. And their peace as they face every endeavor with the understanding that it will be exactly as it is supposed to be, that the pieces will speak to the audience in ways that they need to be spoken to and that the fun and playfulness of their profession will be a breath of fresh air to everyone involved.

-Mr. Roby, the fly on the wall of this four-headed beast’s stage.

Yorkshire Puddings

Posted in Uncategorized on June 10, 2013 by moonhoundtheatre

Up o’nt Moors. Almost.

So here we are, Yorkshire.    For the past 4 nights we have been staying in Sheffield with Catherine and Lee, which are mine (and Sam’s)  Mother and Brother.  It has been a lovely few days for many reasons.  Here are just a few.
York, ok so Fabiola mentioned, we went to York.  No one came to our gig, thats ok, it’s an experience.  But seeing the Minister there was really a highlight for me, everytime I see such old and incredibly detailed buildings I just become awestruck. and York Minster is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe…eeeeeeeeee.  Uh huh, a nice trip out.
The day after york, was my birthday.   I was told ‘Kay don’t organize anything yourself, we have a surprise for you’. Yahoooo!!!  We all pilled in to Lee and Catherine’s car and drove…..through the English country side, south.  To Alton Tours!  Which is a theme park, with loads of rides.  I had a great time there.  A really fantastic birthday.  The rides aren’t as fun as I remember, but being with my family and friends in the hot sunshine was great!
 
Speaking of sunshine, gosh have we been lucky with the weather!  Today is a little cloudy but in general the sun has been hanging out with us everyday!   Cheers sun!   After Alton Tours, David, Faby, Catherine and I attended an open mic at the Ale House, which is the venue we performed at 2 days later (I will speak more about the show soon).  We were all super tired from walking around in the sunshine and going on rides all day.  But it was still enjoyable to go, see the space, feel the atmosphere and perform a story.  It was an interesting crowd to perform to, I guess they mostly see music performances not weird storytelling :)  However, they were a warm crowd and the owner of the place Tony was really friendly too.  
 
The rest of our sheffield trip we spent hanging out with Lee and Catherine.  Catherine and Faby made a really great dinner for us, where David got to try Yorkshire puddings for the first time.  Afterwards we played Balderdash (a great game you should play it if you never have)  We just llaughed the night away.  
On the 8th we performed at The Ale House.   Since we only really know Catherine and Lee in Sheffield, we were a little bit afraid it would be another York (no one there). My Mum told me that my auntie and uncle would also be coming, so we knew that there would be at least 4 people in the crowd.   Our audience actually totalled at I think, 16 members.  Pretty small crowd and I was quite nervous about performing in front of them.  But they seemed to enjoy our stories and I felt they were a fairly warm crowd.   We also spent 2 days before hand preparing a special story for Mothership Catherine – which we performed on the night :D 
 
Yesterday we arrived into Leeds, walked to Frans house and had a BBQ in the evening…..in the middle of which David dashed off to pick up his brother Steven from the train station!!!! WOOO!  It’s great to finally meet him and have him on board the Moonhound express.  
I am looking forward to tomorrow performance at the Wharf Chambers – I hope that some of my friends will attend and I even moreeeee hope that they will enjoy the performances we make.  
 
Hmmm I am probably missing out loads of fun and important details of things we did……..anyways, thats all from me for today.
Take a look at the pictures!
Me and my 2 siblings
Continue reading

OLD YORK!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 6, 2013 by moonhoundtheatre
Hi everybody!  This is Fabiola reporting…
Now we are UP NORTH!!! After the great experience of being in Oxford. THANK YOU CLARE NEWLAND FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY! I actually have to mention that i was Clare´s aupair for almost a year 10 YEARS AGO! So imagine how nice it was for me to see her lovely kids all grown up!
So Oxford is my second hometown, as you probably know I lived there for 7 years, so it is full of memories which always makes me feel very melancholic and bohemian. And as my second hometown, for me it was very meaningful to show a very important part of me to my friends, hoping that one day we all make it to Mexico!
Well we finally make it to Sheffield, we are staying at Mum´s house I mean Catherine Taylor who is Kay and Sam´s mum but she is so adorable that David and I also call her mum!
The trip by Megabus from Oxford to Sheffield wasn´t as bad as we thought. Kay and I were watching love actually and time to time we were getting distracted by the beautiful green landscapes. (There is no place in the world like the beautiful English landscapes!) So there we were enjoying the view until i was drinking water and before swallowing it, Kay pressed my cheeks so i spit it all out! So you can imagine, the bus was completely wet and well Sam too! As he was sitting next to me! And Kay and i couldn´t stop laughing!
After 3 and half hours on the bus. Mum came to pick us up, she gave us a very warm motherly welcome. I was particulary worried about my cat allergy, as Mum has 2 cats and 1 dog. The cat´s name, well i have no clue as i prefer to be as far as possible from them, the dog called Jess, now, there is something very peculiar about her, she loves to seat in the shower with her little head up so she can try to catch the water dropping into her snout! Isn´t that funny?
This morning Mum took us to York for our show. We walk around the beautiful city, we even sneak at the Evensong at the abby, which combined with the gorgeous gothic architecture was absolutely breathtaking.
Finally well…. bad news! No one came to the show! But at least we got to see York and the amazing cathedral!
So I hope you are enjoying our adventures!
Tomorrow Kay’s birthday!!!!
To be continue………
Love to all.
Fabs xoxoxoox
Oxford at night

Oxford at night

Cat in the house!

Cat in the house!

 

The view from Taylor's house

The view from Taylor’s house

 

York wall

York wall

 

Mum and the moonhounds!

Mum and the moonhounds!

 

The Cathedral

The Cathedral

 

Eveningsong

Eveningsong

 

CIMG9420

The Story of the Story of “The Foot”

Posted in Show Updates, Theatre on June 3, 2013 by moonhoundtheatre

Hello dear people.

David, speaking.

You ever have one of those moments where you think you see someone you know, but it turns out it’s just a freaky statue head on a building? Yeah, me neither. I was just…wondering.

*

Oxford. Yeah, hello Oxford, we’re still here…and LOVING it!!! Today we have a tourist day where we were given the inside look of some of the Oxford University Colleges by a student (named Diego, from Madrid, studying Neuroscience), and boy oh boy was that fantastic! Diego led us into the Christ Church Great Hall (where the famous “Hall” scenes in Harry Potter were filmed (I personally was slightly disappointed the painted pictures of old men didn’t talk back to me when I asked them questions about their first loves). First, we thought Diego could get four of us in for free, then we check in with the old man security guard with a bowler hat (yes, it’s as spectacular as it sounds), but apparently in Oxford one has to follow the rules, so only one of us was let in at a time. (Sorry, Fabiola, but next time you’ll get to see it, I’m sure!)

Theme words for Oxford: lush, posh, green, studious, vegan-friendly, and very posh. This is why one needs to follow the rules, but of course can find a healthy alternative to said rule-breaking.

Well, we performed yesterday at Hinksey Park here in Oxford. Gorgeous! We had a generously warm audience of around 30-40 people, and received some excellent feedback after the show. The lovely Zsuzsa, from Budapest, put on the whole event. Apparently, there is a couch-surfing group in Oxford that meets every Sunday night for a film night. We were their healthy alternative (see, I told you there were other options here in Oxford to breaking the rules). Our performance spot was practically perfect in every way. We had great fun, great energy, and our audience received a delicious performance full of surprises. (I personally am not doing so good after breaking character and laughing for the second show in a row…Mother, I’m sorry. My stage partners are just…so…darn…FUNNY!!) No worries, David Roby fans, I’ll get them back. Oh, yes. I’ll get them back.

We learned from this show that performing in parks is definitely something Moonhound can do well (this is good news considering how difficult we have discovered our style is to perform on the street). Also, we might have another potential gig in Birmingham (also organized by the incredible Zsuzsa, from Budapest) with the Vintage Picnic and Bike Ride. Go 20’s!!

*

Right, I also meant to mention why I titled this post what I did. I can be random, and sometimes it will be without explanation, so please be ready for that in the future. But for now, I’ll tell you.

Another delicious thing that occurred after the Hinksey Park show was Kay and I got to tell the story of how our story “The Foot” was created. We love telling that story. I love that there are stories behind our stories. Do I smell a prequel in the making? *dramatic Hollywood drum music*

What I mean by saying this is it is nice to think about the beginnings of things. It can sometimes help someone to figure out the meaning behind the end of things. As Moonhound comes to a near finish, it’s nice to think about the beginnings of it all. Naturally, this can cause someone (say me, for example) to dwell lovingly on the entire Moonhound process this past year. Thank you, Kay and Sam and Fabiola, for joining me in this life-giving, soul-feeding, passion-making process called Storytelling.

*

Tomorrow, we leave Oxford and journey to our host (Sam and Kay’s mum) in Sheffield. She’s lovely, and I look forward to being in her warm home and in her warm arms. Our next show shall be in York (a gig that I personally booked for us), but I must admit I’m a bit nervous. We’re performing at the Lion and Lamb Inn…..I’m just nervous we won’t have an audience, or that our audience will be hard of hearing and disinterested. I understand, however, that these feelings simply come with the job, and I embrace them wholeheartedly knowing that the worst case scenario is that we give the wooden beams and at least one staff member of the Lamb and Lion Inn and fantastic performance! Wish us well! Tallyhoe!!! (Do they say that in England?)

*

On a side note, I’m also thoroughly enjoying the differences in language and dialect here. You know, we speak the same native tongue…but sometimes I just can’t understand what you’re saying, dude. Nothing personal. In fact, I love it. Apparently a man complimented us while we were rehearsing in the park earlier in the day yesterday…but I honestly thought he was offended and shocked. Language. Gotta love it.

*

Thanks for tuning in today, folks. Your reading inspires us to move on. We mean it!

With love and poshness,

David of Roby

and

The Moonhounds

*

Here are some pictures from our performance in Oxford taken by the talented and beautiful Chinita Lee (nicknamed by Fabiola, of course).

Hello, Hogwarts.

Hello, Hogwarts.

Yeah, he's real. Bowler hat.

Yeah, he’s real. Bowler hat.

What I would call the average street in Oxford.

What I would call the average street in Oxford.

And by the way, we found a Story Museum in Oxford. How cool is that!!! Inspiring kids daily. David gives this place two giant thumbs UP!!!

And by the way, we found a Story Museum in Oxford. How cool is that!!! Inspiring kids daily. David gives this place two giant thumbs UP!!!

Titanic pose. (during our final story, "The Broomsburies". Unfortunately, all the pictures taken of this performance were taken of this story, which unfortunately doesn't have Kay in it. So, what I'm trying to say is, there is not photographic proof Kay exists in Oxford with Moonhound. *insert evil laugh here*)

Titanic pose. (during our final story, “The Broomsburies”. Unfortunately, all the pictures taken of this performance were taken of this story, which unfortunately doesn’t have Kay in it. So, what I’m trying to say is, there is not photographic proof Kay exists in Oxford with Moonhound. *insert evil laugh here*)

I just like this one. So...much...drama.

I just like this one. So…much…drama.

Say hello to a small portion of our cozy crowd sitting on blankets. Hello.

Say hello to a small portion of our cozy crowd sitting on blankets. Hello.

The Meadow of Poo

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2013 by moonhoundtheatre

Here I am, sitting in a rocking chair in what must be the most fancy city I have ever been in.

Oxford is beautiful, with old buildings, lovely little streets, the longest snicket in the world, and Royal family lookalikes everywhere I look. The Hounds, however, were not in the fancy-pants mood. Our guide and former resident, Fabiola Gonzalez, took us for a trot out into The Meadow of Poo.

The Meadow of Poo is a beautiful meadow around 15 mintues walk from Oxford center. There is green grass and yellow flowers as far as the eye can see, galloping horses, fresh scents on the breeze, and cow poo.

Highlights from the trip of The Meadow of Poo include David galloping like a horse, swimming in the River Thames, and David throwing a rock into a cow poo for the first time (Kay and I did this a lot growing up in Yorkshire). 

I could go on and on about the beautiful sites and people we have met on our travels, but this will have to suffice as I wish to tell you a little about the theatre itself. Tomorrow we shall perform in the local park beside the river. I have been led to believe that it will be quite a curious gathering–an “invite only” type affair. It sounds like something I would find quite exciting if it came to my city, and therefore I’m pretty excited to be a part of it. Kay remarked to me earlier this evening that she hopes it will have the special feeling The Vintage Emporium, our first gig on the tour, had.

(I’m secretly hoping Grace will be there to watch us.)

I’m really glad we have a show tomorrow. The more shows, the merrier, as that’s what it’s all about. However, it has been an interesting and challenging process to learn how to juggle 1) traveling, 2) logistics, 3) personal relations, 4) personal space, 5) good eating habits, and 6) keeping good finances while on tour. Despite some hardships due to health and mood, I think the Hounds are doing very well.

I would like to end this post by encouraging anybody feeling like doing a tour themselves to get out there and do it!…and visit The Meadow of Poo on your way.

~

Sincerely,

Sam Saylor

Our host, Claire's, house.

Our host, Claire’s, house in Kennington.

Action shot: Hounds getting ready for a tourist day in Oxford.

Action shot: Hounds getting ready for a tourist day in Oxford.

The house, viewed from the back yard.

The house, viewed from the back yard.

Our new friend, Lola, the big beauty beast.

Our new friend, Lola, the big beauty beast.

The longest snicket in the world, right here in Oxford.

The longest snicket in the world, right here in Oxford.

The Meadow of Poo in all its yellow and green glory.

The Meadow of Poo in all its yellow and green glory.

Lunch by the River Thames. (Oh, and that's the famous Meadow of Poo in the background.)

Lunch by the River Thames. (Oh, and that’s the famous Meadow of Poo in the background.)

David's successful poo-rock throwing.

David’s successful poo-rock throwing.

Bristol Adventures

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 31, 2013 by moonhoundtheatre

Hey all!

 
This is Kay reporting live from Bristol.
 
Well, our hopes where to keep this blog updated everyday.  But for some reason, we seem to be struggling with that :)  
 
Bristol oh Bristol!
So here in this wonderful city we have had 2 shows.  One of which was in the the Wardrobe Theatre and the other was in The Birdcage cafe.
 
The Wardrobe.
This Theatre, is a small space above a pub called The White Bear.   It’s a really cosy theatre space, and hopefully I can get some pictures off Davids camera to show you!   We were all a little nervous before the show, well I suppose I can speak for myself and say, I was VERY nervous.  Not in our ability to play, I pretty much always have confidence in that, but rather in the amount of people we would be playing for.  After a long bank holiday weekend, I sort of gathered that a lot of people would prefer to nurse their hangovers at home.
So here is a picture for you to paint in your imagination:  Moonhound are in a small room, on one wall is a door out to some stairs, which audience members have to walk up to get into the theatre.  On another wall is the door which leads out into the theatre.  We are in there together, wondering, will there be more than 2 people in the crowd?   How will it be to make a show for 2 people?   Then we hear clambering on the stairs! There were people walking up the stairs, it was for sure more than 4 legs!  How many people, we placed bets.  4?  3?  5?.  Butterflies in my stomach.   We opened the door, and the room wasn’t empty!   
OK It wasn’t full either but at least it wasn’t empty!    Though maybe it was the smallest crowd I have ever experienced with storytelling.  David said he counted 9 people.Image
 
They were actually quite a friendly crowd.  They were a little quiet, but from the feed back we received after – they seemed to enjoy the show.   And….we did too!  We played a lot in our set.  Sam made David laugh on stage!!!!!  And I was cracking up with laughter off stage.    One of the many joys of our style of performance, is the improvisation element.  Getting to surprise each other on stage keeps things fresh, and something uncontrollably funny!   Image
 
The Birdcage
This is a big cafe in Bristol centre.  The hosts were super friendly, and accommodating. Again I will try and add pictures.  It was a little bit difficult in the beginning of the show because the coffee machines were screaming every few minutes, and the door to outside was creaking and banging, some people in the back of the cafe jabbering,   David started the set off with a solo piece and I think he did a great job battling with all the noises!   Eventually, the cafe slowed down and it was just us and the crowd – which is sort of what we are used to.   I think it is good practice though – to train ourselves to perform in uncontrolled environments.  
ImageImage
 
Which brings me on the street performance!
We went to Bath!!  A real beautiful city which hosts a lot of street performers.  However, that sort of made it hard to find a spot to perform in.  I think storytelling can be hard to find a location for as it needs to be somewhere people can hear what we are saying, but not some where so quiet no one will watch.  Eventually we found a little corner, where we did one story. It wasn’t the perfect spot though as there were buses driving past all the time and it was rather noisy. At one point around 60-70 13 year olds stood, watching us, and we thought YES! We have a crowd, lets pull them in….but then one kid said ‘Er can you do it in french?”  The entire group were french students, haha, oh well.  Two other people watched us, one of which said lots of great things and left giving us a 5 pound note and saying ‘it made my day’. That in itself is worth it – making some one’s day.  So that broke the street performing ice.  And then the clouds broke too.  And it started to rain.  Faby and I both decided we didn’t really feel like performing in the rain, which left Sam and David willing to perform, but no duo piece’s to show.  
We waited for the rain to end, but we did not see the clouds part until the next day.  
 ImageImageImage
Other than that, well.  We’ve had a GREAT time staying at Warrens house, he has been so lovely and generous. Sometimes I have a hard time thinking how I can possibly make a thank you as big as the generosity people given.  And this is one of those cases.  Warren put all 4 of us up for almost a week, fed us, drove us all around the rainy city and gave us good company.  Warren if you ever read this THANK YOU!!!
 
Today we are getting on a bus to Oxford.  I have never been to Oxford, so I am looking forward to seeing some sights!!!
 
With love, 
Kay
 ImageImageImageImage

Video Blog!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 27, 2013 by moonhoundtheatre

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