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The Dark Earth And The Light Sky

Almeida

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#1 Lynette

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:12 AM

My third new play in a couple of weeks ( 55 Days, Red Velvet the other two ) and probably the best of the three. All taking characters from the past and all dealing with relevant ( ok I know a word I usually scorn ) ideas. But this one deals with the big question of the meaning of art and the only slightly lesser one of the meaning of life!
Three crackin' central performances - Pip Carter as Edward Thomas, Hattie Morahan as Helen Thomas and Shaun Dooley as Robert Frost. An empty soil covered stage ( Almeida stage managers really work hard) and good sound effects, bird song mainly.....
You might want to do a bit of homework on the poetry of Edward Thomas and Robert Frost but you can always follow up afterwards. The essentials that Nick Dear takes from the lives of these two towering poets just about clinch it. But he endows each one with a character that posterity has chosen to overlook. He goes backwards and forwards in time playing with dramatic irony and the characters address the audience in an intimate way as if we are part of the scene. I liked this as we were at times intruding on deep personal relationships.

Do go- you won't see better acting and you might think the Almeida has got back on track.

#2 Latecomer

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:35 AM

After sand-gate at the Donmar I am a little nervous about the stage being covered in soil. Give me a solid base for the actors any day! I realise that it is only me that gets anxious but hey we all have our limits! :rolleyes:

#3 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:44 PM

Oh good, pleased to hear it. I booked for this a while back (seeing it on 5th Jan), but had reservations since Nick Dear did not do a very good job with the NT Frankenstein.



#4 Honoured Guest

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

I see that Lynette's soil reply to Latecomer has been withdrawn. Has Lynette changed her mind or was it posted by a spammer pretending to be Lynette or did it not meet community standards?

#5 Lynette

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:04 PM

In the programme it says he did the Villains' Opera which is one of our worst ever but in this case he deals with material written by good writers before him. He arranges things. Ok more than that
you see  what I mean. He selects and rearranges so to speak. He did the prize winning tv Persausion.

Also the soil is all glued except for the patch with the potatoes.



#6 fringefan

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:46 AM

Does the language mimic poetry though, please, Lynette?  Plays about poets/poetry, fine; plays described as "lyrical", "poetic", etc, indicate to me that I should avoid them like the plague.  Especially the type with declaiming....

#7 Poly

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:16 AM

And to be completely pragmatic, what's the running time?

#8 Lynette

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:40 AM

No, no poetic statements that are not actually the poetry and only a teeny bit of actual poetry. Quite a bit on the theory of poetry from Frost to show that he is a theorist too and a bit undramatic, a bit wordy.  That's why I suggest doing a bit of homework on both Thomas and Frost. Nice to know what they are going on about! It could be about an artist or any creative person who doesn't conform to the attitudes of his or her time.

It isn't very long. It finished closer to 9.30 than beyond and the there is an interval, dramatically justified though the play is a bit episodic, could have ended at several points like the writer was rearranging his pieces until he decides to end.

Don't know what happened to my first reply re the soil. I noticed it had 'gorn'. Conspiracy, eh?

#9 Latecomer

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:09 PM

View PostLynette, on 12 November 2012 - 11:40 AM, said:



Don't know what happened to my first reply re the soil. I noticed it had 'gorn'. Conspiracy, eh?

Was amused by this tweet from sound engineer at Almeida!

"starting tech week for #DarkEarth at The Almeida. Looking at 15 tonnes of dark earth with nowhere to hide a speaker. Bloody designers..."

#10 Lynette

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:15 PM

But it had a potato!





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