NEW SHOW – ‘The Possibilities’

Well, new-ish. It’s a Howard Barker classic; a selection of short plays depicting unsettling situations, presented by our wonderful team as an examination of the forensically-written text. Co-direction by myself and Taz Long again (if you saw Crave in late 2018, we also worked together on that, so if you thought that was at least okay, then you will probably think the same, or even something more positive, about this, too).

Performed at The Grove, Middlesex University this Thursday and Friday. Free tickets available still via the link here.

See you there!

Toby Moran Mylett

 

Poster: Ken Nakajima

poss

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My prolonged lack of a recycling bin has plunged me into another semi-serious existential crisis. Predictably.

There’s little in my life that doesn’t involve a bit of mess, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Earlier this week one of my rightly disgruntled house-mates politely pleaded with me to contact our local borough council to ascertain why we were yet to receive the recycling bin that we had ordered (and paid for) soon after moving in earlier this autumn. Upon phoning, and after a string of overly-enthused recorded messages that even a Sainsbury’s Self-Checkout would be put to shame by, I eventually got to talk to a real life human being, and I was told that the department in question had quite simply ‘run out of bins’. They assured me that we would however receive our order within the next month and profusely apologised. I aimed to reassure the staff member explaining the conundrum but I fear someone else asked her just the same question about 2.7 seconds before I hung up. It must have been a tough day.

Upon ending the phone call I found myself pondering an amusing yet highly perplexing modern day dilemma; on the one hand I found it completely hilarious that the sole office of official bin resourcing in our local area could run out of the very thing that gives them their fucking name, but at the same time I felt bad about even considering having any feelings of irritation towards them, because perhaps it meant that an increasing number of people in the local area were beginning to recycle their household waste, which surely isn’t by any means a bad thing. Indeed, there must have been some sort of increase in demand for such a shortage to occur? I’d at least like to think that this entire department of our certain North Londinium council isn’t run with quite the same low level of competency as the highways on Craggy Island, anyway.

Maybe however the problem is more-so that there is simply too much waste – everywhere – and as humans we only are increasing the constant production of this bollocking stuff, even if it is recyclable. I’ve lost count of the amount of times my girlfriend and I have sat over a cup of tea and ranted about the ever declining state of this little blue planet which none of us humans are truly even slightly worthy of, no matter how much we convince ourselves so. Maybe this situation I encountered is no laughing matter. Predictably, however, me being me, I ended up pissing myself regardless.

Living in the city I feel like mess is everywhere. It’s very easy to fixate on things like fly tipping, slurry pits and squashed pheasants when you live in a rural area, but in a city it isn’t just literal waste that causes the mess – you also have constant, noisy traffic to contend with, alongside tightly packed buildings, migraine-inducing advertising on every corner, building sites on any precious area of unoccupied non-greenbelt land and, of course, fucktons of actual rubbish too. I adore London, don’t get me wrong, but just like any other city, this side to it is surely unignorable. It fuzzes the brain and confuses the everything else. Even my own personal living spaces become just as bad once I’ve moved back in to my University area. My room. My wardrobe. The bloody drying rack by the sink. And even my timetable – that which seemingly has no regularity and sees me already knackered by ten-thirty on a Monday morning – seems, whilst no doubt productive, incredibly messy.

It appears clear to me that, from re-reading my last opinion post on this blog, I am someone who craves order. I write lists endlessly. I can’t function without a wall calendar. I only can post on this blog once a month and no more. I don’t always like the rule of three. I am someone who desperately wants to be organised – whether I always fulfill this wish is of course another matter entirely – but maybe this is perhaps the prevailing reason as to why the concept of mess so frequently troubles me.

I’m currently on a train home to Devon to pick up my crappy little car to take it back to my new place in London. Within 3 days no doubt its back seats will house a complete mini landfill, but I will be happier for having my vehicle nonetheless. I’ll try to forget its exhaust pipe’s impact on the planet a little and just remember how many wonderful places it can take me in the meantime – places I can organise the schedules for far far in advance to my heart’s content. In the meantime I aim to focus my attention on vast green fields and the general absence of capitalistic slogans every three-out-of-five locations that my gaze clumsily lands on. It may help, and if not, it will certainly distract.

-Toby Moran Mylett

Does anyone else live in the future too much? Or is it just me that’s longing for constant clarification of what will happen in the next 5 minutes?

I’m getting Swedish September pangs. And London doesn’t have enough cow shit.

It’s early September, and I’m reclined in an appallingly scruffy outfit in my-soon-to-be-vacated bedroom in Devon. I’ve spent two days thinking and preparing for moving back to University. I got a haircut. My eyebrows feel cold. I’m thinking about University again. Apparently I’m now about to start my second year. This is particularly interesting because my memory of moving there for the first time still seems incredibly vivid and yet at the same time I don’t feel like going back to this other way of life is at all new in any way; I feel completely used to it. The main unknown is the nature of my experience as the workload increases from here on out, and, I suppose, the future past this University stage.

In the past few days I’ve returned from a trip to Sweden – a land of elk, Scandinavian pine, weak alcohol and absolutely no fucking litter, and in many ways, I feel cleansed; despite being a country bumpkin born and bred, going to such a wonderfully underpopulated and pristine-feeling place felt incredibly healing for me. I sat by lakes and watched ospreys, I talked for hours on end to my wonderful girlfriend about life, the universe, and everything inbe-flipping-tween, I met wonderful people and I listened to silence, and consequently, I had a great time. But if transferring back to mucky, boozy, polluted and elk-less England wasn’t enough of a dreary shock to the system (broken e-passport gates and what appeared to be a breeding ground for Ryanair boeings on the concrete washes of Stanstead Airport was hardly a glamorous welcome back), returning from this to the, as the Conchords would put it, ‘inner city pressure’ of the capital seems like something I should be concerned about.

And I am. I suppose. Not through specific worry, but more through my distinct lack of any such feeling – I feel like something, some difficult aspect I haven’t quite at this point considered, is going to hit me head on like an industrial cement mixer careering down Brent Knoll (thank you for that slight chuckle, people from North Somerset). City life is undoubtedly completely different to the each of everything in the countryside – I don’t have to spell that out for you, just go watch Hot Fuzz and Crocodile Dundee, you’ll get it – but having done the change a few times now during the first year of my university experience, I almost feel smugly like I know it all. But can you really ever know it all as a Londoner? You probably think you do until the fateful day that you get caught out pushing it tight for that work meeting by catching the last DLR, or you find yourself in your overdraft after forgetting the price of a square mile pint, again.

The fact is I find myself looking for a feeling that I feel like I should have, but is in fact totally absent – I feel like I should feel apprehensive, wary, excited but cautious of what’s to come – but I don’t. What does this mean? Am I already becoming middle-aged? Is it too late to reverse it? It’s odd. Perhaps it comes from a distinct sense of educational institutions being far from synonymous with any feeling of maturity, leading me to subconsciously tell myself I cannot have any, or perhaps it’s a craving for wanting more from moving back to the city, and to not lose the novelty it so blessed me with during my first year there. Do we often hype these things up too much as humans? Do we look to the future too much? Or foretell too much foretelling? I think some of us do. Okay, I think I do.

It’s a strange complex that, I guess, revolves around simply not living enough in the present and focusing far too much on the yet to come – a mentality that has cursed my stream of thinking for as long as I can remember thinking about what I will later remember. It’s a lesson I’m still struggling to teach myself, and probably the speed of city live is far from conducive to learning it, but it’s certainly something I want to get better at. I want to think less and be more.

So maybe that’s my new academic year’s resolution? Providing I don’t apply it to essay writing, that is, as much as I would love essays to simply instantaneously ‘be’ without any ‘thinking’ on my part. Maybe the distinct calm I felt from my trip to Swedish lands was caused by me forgetting about the future and just being in the now? Perhaps my aim should therefore be to retain the calm that I feel from that holiday, but also allow myself to not expect any further changes, and just experience it all? Living through experience is something I could do with doing a lot more. It seems like it all would be more fun that way.

Oh well. Wanky blog-poster over and out. Until next time (providing I can afford WiFi).

-Toby Moran Mylett

A Blog? Really? How Original.

I agree. But hold up, let me explain my thinking.

As a lot of you may know if you have seen/followed any of my other lines of work (though of course I don’t at all think I’m well known enough for anyone to fanclub on me that much) the majority of my output as a writer/performer/creative type is through either performances or my proudly inconsistent YouTube channel, both of which are great fun but don’t deliver a regular stream of content, as I so wish to, and neither of which involve me frequently submitting written material without any audio-visual accompaniment. I have no intention of changing how I work practically, and I suppose I’m almost quietly smug at how painfully long I take to produce anything on a solo-level, so starting a site for regular articles which I can create in far less time seems like a good solution to me. (That doesn’t mean I’m not gonna care about the shit that goes on here though. I’ll treat it with the same perfectionist scrutiny that I treat everything else I do with, from crafting a mental backstory for a character to opening a cup-a-soup. It’s just gonna be more regular than the other things. Which I think is rather cool.)

I’m quite excited about it. It’ll be a somewhat alternating mixture of opinion pieces and media reviews, because, as many of you probably know by know, that’s pretty much my bread and butter. But hopefully through doing it in this new more regular form it’ll become something quite independent to the YouTube channel or any pretentious tweets of mine.

I dunno. Stay tuned I guess. First proper post coming soon.

-Toby Moran Mylett