News Archives : previous postings

April 27, 2004

Arms & Armour Video » posted by Webmaster

The New York Tolkien Society is currently running a short video segment on the Arms & Armour featured in the movie Ancanar.

Ralph Lister can be seen discussing the chain mail, helm and sword that he sported in the film.

Watch the Video

April 13, 2004

Review of The Trial by Franz Kafka » posted by Ralph

So ... rehearsals complete, and already 3 weeks of performance behind us. We are riding a wave of rave reviews for our production. Of course, I am delighted. In all honesty, however, I cannot say I am surprised. With experience of so many different shows in so many different theatres across the world, I was aware we were on to something special with this production. As we entered the final 2 weeks of rehearsal, I could see the awesome vision of our director Aclan Bates-Buyukturkoglu, and how the different artistic and technical elements would come together. Now the final ingredient - the audience - is behind us too.

Conversation after each performance in the courtyard of the theatre is always vigorous - audience members seem to be in a hurry to talk about what they’ve seen, about what the play is making them feel. I am very happy our work is achieving this result. The whole production team - director, producer, lighting, set design, stage crew, the actors - have worked extraordinarily hard. Repeated late nights, tirelessly over weekends. I am pleased now the public can see the result of an intense period of artistic endeavor.

I am including here one of the reviews we've received. It is a sample. Other reviews in other Los Angeles publications have said similar things with their own different emphases. CNN reviewed the production too, calling it "visually wonderful, like watching a movie ... directed with a unique and vibrant flare". Read on if you care to - there are also some kind words about my work.

Until the next time, be well - Ralph

Reviewed by Don Grigware
NoHo / LA (Mar 30-Apr 12, 2004)
‘Kafkaesque’ is defined as nightmarishly strange, mystifying and bizarre. Add these characteristics to a bland plot borderline existentialist and you create a surrealistic state not dissimilar to many of life’s terrors. A man arrested for no apparent reason goes on a hopeless quest to find the answers in a totalitarian society – a victim forever at odds with genuine free will. Franz Kafka’s The Trial currently onstage at Write-Act Repertory shows life as a trap. All the women are seen as sluts, and the men – vehement, sexual pigs – a black and distorted image of what man can be in any place at any time. I have always found plays of this type that have no story and no genuine humanity to be cold and pretentious. But we are dealing with Franz Kafka considered by many to be a genius for all time.

And fans of his heady style should bask in the splendor of Write-Act’s production, which is a mammoth undertaking in every way. The atmosphere created by guest Turkish director Aclan Bates-Buyukturkoglu, not unlike a great European cirque with stage fog and masked clowns lurking around every corner, is an eyeful that lingers luridly in the mind, similar to Stanley Kubrick’s last film Eyes Wide Shut.

Credit AD/Clown Wendy Gough for the beautiful masks, Kemal Gunuc for his eerie original music, Robert Howeth for a massively impressive set design that includes the audience as part of the courtroom, Becki Hoffmann for early 20th century working-class garb appropriately improvised and grungy and garish yet skillful choreography (it demands attention!) to Bates himself.

Outstanding is Ralph Lister as Titorelli the painter who has more persuasive power than an evangelist. His is my favorite scene in the play for the protagonist Josef K buys into the very b---s--- that he is burning to overturn. Equally outstanding is Matthew Godfrey who gets a chance to strut his physical dexterity as Mr. Block. The excellent ensemble includes Christopher Goodman, Will Bowers (wonderful mime), Emilie Davezac, Trader Selkirk, Elizabeth Hillman and Sabra Malkinson. Write-Act deserves commendation for their perpetual risk-taking.

Webmaster's note: This review is now a part of the Press & Events section.

March 21, 2004

IN PERFORMANCE » posted by Ralph

The Trial is now off to a vigorous start. Opening weekend had a sellout premiere - our champagne gala - where we all got to celebrate. Of interest, also included in the audience were reviewers from key Los Angeles and industry publications.

As you'd expect of its author - Franz Kafka - the play is truly a strange document: a power mix of astute, often comedic, observations about humanity, society and bureaucracy, presented as a surrealistic dream/nightmare. Truly kafka-esque in all its meaning. There are also highly sexual allusions within the writing too. The direction of guest director Aclan Bates-Buyukturkoglu of the Turkish National Theatre has been extraordinarily imaginative. He was a joy to work with. His vigor and attention to detail has served the work extremely well.

Write Act Repertory should feel it has a powerful story to present to the public. Personally, I could not be happier with it, or indeed with my own work playing the character Titorelli. It is the proud result of a serious rehearsal schedule - the last 2 weeks I felt I virtually took up residence at the theatre (rehearsing until midnight, weekends too) - and the outcome is worthy of this commitment to our art.

So, if you're not acting in a play yourself, please open your newspaper and go support a theatre near you. You'll probably find your soul a little lighter for it; mine certainly is.

The Trial runs at Write Act until May 2. Reservations: (323) 469-3993. Write Act's webpage for the show is here.

March 4, 2004

Ringbearers Day in NYC » posted by Webmaster

If you're going to be in the New York area on March 27th, be sure to stop by Ringbearers Day, hosted by the New York Tolkien Society.

They will be screening footage from Ancanar, prominently featuring Ralph Lister as the Elven captain Finlome. Read more about the event on their official site.

March 3, 2004

New stills, updated resume » posted by Webmaster

We have just uploaded two new stills, one from A Patriot for Me, and the other from Tomorrow. A new Publicity image has also been added, from Headhunter.

Also, Ralph's resume has been updated, and made available in a printable HTML version.

February 23, 2004

Site nearing completion » posted by Webmaster

A quick note to those currently surfing we are putting the finishing touches on all the pages; the site will be completed this week. Thanks for your patience.

February 23, 2004

In rehearsal for The Trial, by Franz Kafka » posted by Ralph

Tomorrow I commence rehearsals for the role of Titorelli in a stage adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Trial. I am very pleased to be working under the direction of the esteemed Turkish director Aclan Bates. The play opens at Write Act Repertory Theatre in Hollywood on Wed March 17, and is likely to be a production which the critics will either love or hate. This bodes well. I will be delighted if our audiences feel some heightened sense of emotion having viewed our work. After all, if what we achieve is a lack of response, surely we, as artists, will have failed and thereby failed our chosen art form? [I hope I may be opening a topic you may wish to contribute to, so do feel free to email back any comments or thoughts.]

This new play project comes off the back of completing photography last week on a short film, The Portal Of Light, with director Wes Shive, which we filmed exclusively at night and in the bitter cold of the Los Angeles Forest about a 45 minute drive from the city. Anyone contemplating a career in film (as actor, director, producer, DP - director of photography - or any other of the roles that are vital to the success of a film shoot) should take careful note. It isn't all that glamorous, let me tell you, when you can no longer feel your feet in your boots and you have to hang tight with your mouth shut while yet another technical hiccup somehow takes what seems to be way too long to get fixed.

More news later. Good things to all of you, and keep your feet warm

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