It’s a long story..

Marbles spent a weekend in Brussels, and boy did we ever! Three workshops (me Saturday and Sunday, Dave on Saturday) and four shows (two intermediate student shows – which Dave also played in, and two Marbles shows). The workshops were full, and the audiences for the shows were big and appreciative. It was exhausting and inspiring, in a word, it was exactly what we needed to rejuvenate our creative partnership.

As we discussed post-show on Saturday night, we’d been letting our two man experiment in open-ended audience-focused improv drift; we had just not been looking after it. Marbles has sort of always been just hanging there (in fact that was kinda the point – zero artifice). And so it was easy enough to just leave it, like a sleeping dog which you love but you’re pretty sure is never going to run away. But you’ll never get the most out of a relationship by ignoring it.

Dave watches Brussels from the tram, and he likes what he sees.

 Fortunately this weekend reminded us of what we love about this, why we do it, and what is even possible, (and also, that we like each other – for two guys who get on so well on stage, well, you’d be surprised if you knew how little time offstage we’ve ever spent together).

But we went off to Belgium and half-floated around, and were half-pinned to teaching workshops and doing shows. It helped that Dave had a group of wonderful newbies, and I was able to reconnect with a bunch of friends in Brussels, and work with the intermediate English-language improv community there. (Their next show is Cafe Theatre 18-12 April). So the workshops were fun, and everyone came out energized. So there’s that.

And the Marbles shows themselves were pretty good too. Our Saturday outing, about a Scrabble coach whose student left him, and a guy searching for meaning in his life that he wasn’t getting from marriage or hubcaps, was good, but not quite in balance – in terms of initiation and engineering. But after some long and drowsy hotel room chats, addressing some long-standing issues, we hit up Sunday refreshed.

And it was awesome, a really complete embodiment of what our show can be when it’s at its best. From chats of psychological experimentation in attractiveness to the story of two slackers in Japan, and a heart-wrenching scene between a student and the coolest social studies teacher in the school, the show touched themes of loneliness and attraction. And spiders.

So now we’ve returned to London refreshed, with some long-standing kinks worked out, and the desire to take this show further. How far? It doesn’t matter really, because we enjoy it.

Also, we’ve realized that Marbles has had a big issue, since day one, with meeting up and rehearsing. So we’ve decided to instead just find some time to hang out. You know, the stuff that friends do.