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Old Times Kristin Scott Thomas


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#111 xanderl

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:30 PM

I imagine a little cluster of costermongers placing bets on the outcome
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#112 Honoured Guest

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

Does the coin toss directly decide that night's casting? Or do the two actors compete in the coin toss and then the winning actor chooses the casting for that night?

#113 Nicholas

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:41 AM

Caught both in one day, and blimey it's an experience I'll remember (aptly) for a long time.  A near unqualified rave tomorrow after a good night's sleep, but for now just a quick but huge thank you to Pharoah and Latecomer for the seat recommendations - I bought pillar seats, and they're pretty much unimpeded stalls tickets for £10.  Given that I had to buy 4 tickets (went with a friend twice in one day - it adds up) it really helped, and next time I go (likely alone) I'll book one of those again.  Thanks!

#114 Ruperto

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:51 AM

I saw this last night and really enjoyed it too (KST was Anna, Lia Williams was Kate). In terms of 'cryptic-ness,' great dialogue, performances etc, it very much delivered what I'd hoped for and been expecting - I was happy just to lose myself in its strangeness.

I'm sure plenty of others are aware of this, but I only decided to go a few days ago, and there wasn't much left to choose from on the ATG website. However, no one seemed to want the £10 restricted view seats in the dress circle, so I nabbed one of those - C6 (there's also C15, which looked identical). What a great seat, and a total bargain! The 'pillar' in front/to the right of you is only about 5 inches wide, and as long as you lean your head a couple of inches to the left, your view is pretty much unimpeded. The dress circle is really close to the stage at the Harold Pinter Theatre, and because you're in row C, you don't even have the problem of the safety rail in your line of vision. I would definitely recommend C6 at £10 (presumably it's not always this cheap?) - people don't seem to have twigged just what a good seat it is...

#115 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:09 PM

Yes, the dress circle row C pillars too are v good, and the only pillar option now that N7 and N15 stalls have been ramped up in price.

Also, there's an odd gap in the stalls, right where many of the premium seats used to be. It's an aisle I suppose, but it's odd that it doesn't stretch all the way down to row A. It runs between, roughly, row P and row E. I note the seats (certainly in the stalls) have been replaced.



#116 Parsley

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 06:46 PM

I thought this was good value for £10 stalls pillar seats....but I would be annoyed if I had paid much more than that!

#117 theatreliker

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:17 PM

The 100 seats for £10 (each) - does that include day seats or aren't they doing day seats for this?
2014 theatre: Blithe Spirit (Gielgud)  Booked: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy)  Waterbabies (Curve)  View from the Bridge (Young Vic)  Birdland (Royal Court).

#118 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:59 PM

Front row stalls, £10



#119 Nicholas

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:15 AM

Well, having let this settle, I can only say the idea of the switch was extraordinary.  I think that Rickson's direction would have made a more conventional production thrilling, but the switch adds something.  I remember reading that Simon Russell Beale called theatre something like three-dimensional criticism, and that's what I got here - lines suddenly resonated, details stood out...  Firstly I saw KST as Kate, where she felt cold and unknowable, whilst Williams pushed the sexual tension right to the fore, and Sewell was almost mad with his unknowable wife.  The other way, Williams felt initially warmer as Kate, but then her silences felt more pitiful, less dutiful, so that made Sewell perhaps less charming... and KST as Anna was flirty but somehow equally unknowable.  The first way, the pauses were quite creepy, the second they were funny.  I could go on.  They were two different though related productions.

I loved this.  Seeing it twice didn't illuminate it entirely - I love Pinter's opaqueness and he's never been as opaque as here - but it helped.  I'm not going to attempt to explain what the truth is or where they are, because I don't think that's what this production wanted to answer with this.  I felt the switch highlighted the human aspect.  As characters, they shone.  Credit especially to Rufus Sewell who gave two very different performances yet not so different that it was noticeable - tiny changes in intonation were earth-shattering.  And of course to KST and Williams for being quite a pair yet completely individual and different.  As a human drama this was just extraordinary, and highlighted by the two very different interpretations of two complex characters, whilst as a mystery it had a clear through line yet never attempted to answer something unanswerable.

In a nutshell it's wonderful theatre, wonderful acting, opaque and haunting and mysterious and wonderful.  Especially haunting.  Like Gatz, going into a theatre at 3 and not properly leaving until 10 was such an experience.  And interestingly, I prefered one way whilst my companion (who also loved it) prefered the other, and yet we were both able to talk each other around to our view.  That's why I think this was great - it was enlightening and never completely easy to understand, though always easy to admire and like, and far from gimmicky.

#120 Nicholas

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:18 AM

In a proper nutshell, I felt that Rickson never expected the audience to appreciate the mystery, and let Pinter, in that regard, speak for himself.  Instead Sewell, Scott Thomas and Williams were able to explore humans in Pinter's quite inhuman situation and flesh out this opaque brilliance.  That's a far better way of putting it.  Loved this.




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