And oh lordy lord the chairs… The second half was infinitely better than the first and that’s because even though the disparity in styles hadn’t gelled entirely there was much less chair tossing to interfere with the Shakespeare
This x 1000. It felt a bit like Rourke went "I've got Gatiss, Findlay and more importantly, Hiddleston. What else do I need to do? Not much, really". Not to say I didn't enjoy it, but I did so because of those performances. In the hands of a different cast, this would have been torture.
I've not dayseated this, but I've walked past the Donmar enough times during the run (even at 7am, en route to another dayseat queue!) to say that 7am is definitely too late. If I were you, I would go to the box office later in the day and try and nab a return. It may involve sitting in a queue for a while (warm, though, since it's in the adjacent shopping centre) but it's your best bet - you may even end up with a seat, rather than standing spot - and if you aren't lucky, there are lots of theatres nearby (some with 8pm start times) which you can run over to so that your trip is not entirely wasted. Good luck
Rickson was sat in front of me at the last night of Protest Song, starring "that man from the National".
Your story, Latecomer, reminds me of when I was at Arturo Ui and sat next to me was Dame Eileen Atkins. We had the most wonderful conversation during the interval, discussing Brecht, new writing and theatre criticism. I felt very lucky!
So, enjoyed visiting this again today. Nice seat, front row of the circle.
As usual the excitement of being there got the better of me and I told the people next to me that it was my second time seeing the production, as I had loved it so much the first time. I told them it was fantastic and they were in for a real treat. I also generously advised them that it was quite hard to follow the dialogue for the first 5 minutes but not to worry, it was just like tuning in to Shakespeare and one soon tuned in and got relaxed into the flow.....the one next to me then sat making notes throughout the play.....yes, it was the director, Ian Rickson. After I had made some comment at the end (about how good it was that the tragedy was preceded by humour- it made it more shocking) he introduced himself (oh, I thought, that's why he was scribbling throughout) and I did that incoherent thing where I made absolutely no sense.....I may have said "oh and you are that man from the National" to his companion Rhys Ifans...he chuckled a bit. I ran away....
Still, can now claim to have shaken the hand of Ian Rickson even if he now thinks I am mad as a hatter....
And all the things I could have said...about Jerusalem, The River, Old Times etc etc
This is strange, lonely, and very very dark. Literally and metaphorically.
This doesn't feel like three plays by Samuel Beckett, but one play. One, one hour, one woman play.
In "Not I," the lights go out in the Royal Court main space and it's pitch black. The crack beneath my feet, which earlier emitted a sliver of light from a room below now emits no light. A floating mouth appears, teeth glistening white, as if lit from inside the mouth. The mouth jabbers at a furious pace, a female mouth, Irish accent, an irridescent firefly mouth, flying forwards and backwards and sideways. The mouth speaks so fast and furiously I can't follow a train of thought, but the speech is circular, returning to guilt and trauma, fury and religion. And then the firefly vanishes and I hear only a howling wind, perhaps in a tunnel.
In "Footfalls," a dimly lit woman shrouded in white paces from centre stage to right and back again, speaking to her unseen mother. The themes, the guilt, the traumas and ghosts, sound like they are the same concerns of the disembodied mouth. The ghostly woman in white lip-syncs the disembodied mother's voice, eventually taking over from the mother entirely. The mother's voice is Dwan's voice, the ghost is talking to herself. A bell continually tolls to restart the ghostly pacing, but at the end, when the bell tolls, the woman is gone.
In "Rockaby," the woman is now in dressed in black. She mostly listens to her own disembodied voice as she rocks. Her concerns are similar to the concerns of the electric mouth and the woman in white before, except she's slowing down until. . .
This is a compelling and very strange night of theatre. Almostly completely dark, it's like your own lonely soul seeking to tie up some loose end at the bitter end of life and beyond. This play feels like dying.
Lisa Dwan is remarkable, when you see her and when you don't. You won't get much of a plot from this, and you make of the monologues whatever you will, but this felt very unique and different, lonely and dark. Knowing that Beckett did some of this with Billie Whitelaw at the Royal Court only made this feel even more haunting. 5 stars.
I was at Les Mis the other night when a rather tweedy looking man, who seemed to be accompanying his parents and obviously not enjoying himself, actually got out his phone and made a call right in front of me during the performance!
You're so right, Latecomer; the 'circumstances' in which you view the play are a huge contributor to how much you enjoy it.
One of the reasons I loved The WinslowBoy so much was because I was sat in the middle of a school party (imagine my thoughts when they sat either side of me....) but they were so transfixed and moved by the play - kids who'd never been exposed to Terence Rattigan before - that it was just wonderful to watch.
And the food beforehand is a big factor too! The Bush's mezze platter was perfect on that boiling summer's evening before Josephine and I.
But sometimes no matter how good the company and meal, it can't improve a dud.... The Cripple of Innishmaan...
Lots of highlights in 2013. Realised that sometimes a theatre trip is elevated by the people you go with or sometimes just comes a point in life where you really needed to "escape" real life for a while!
In no particular order....
A splendid day out at the beginning of January when I escaped after Christmas and had the whole day to myself....Old Money, meeting Maureen Lipman afterwards and then the brilliant madness of In the Republic of Happiness...and all the while fielding phone calls with daughter who finally secured the room she wanted to rent at the end of the day!
Circle Mirror Transformation....so HOT, great setting and felt like getting to know real people. Plus good company!
Everything at The Bush theatre...Disgraced, Cush Jumbo (she fooled me into thinking she was really late), and finally The Herd - great company and made me sob quietly at the end.
Good stuff at the Almeida...Before the Party an unexpected treat and then Chimerica with its twists and turns and excellent staging!
Mojo....Ben and Daniel Mays and first time seeing the play and such FUN!
Death Tax with Anna Calder Maxwell....splendid!
The Globe touring trio of Henry V1 plays at Oxford Playhouse in one day as I didn't decide to go until the night before, they were richly entertaining and forum friend came at the last minute for one of them and the two gaps inbetween! Unexpected treat!
John Hefferman in Edward II....loved it and thought it was so clear and witty.
Season in the Congo and Scottsboro Boys as cheeky Wednesday matinees now my job has been rearranged and I no longer work on a Wed...both the sort of thing I don't usually see. Both great.
Julius Caesar at the Donmar...twice....perfect company both times....front row(!) and such a clever production. Liked the way they made people disappear, as if by magic, and Harriet Walters spoke the verse so well! Note to self...need red marigolds sometime to wash up in.
Old Times....so nearly missed it as fire on the train line so mad dash to another station and got there with 10mins to spare....and it was great and Rufus was splendid. Plus it felt like the first day of Spring as it was finally sunny and warm after the long winter.
Peter and Alice - took an old friend and got a box as that has always been her ambition. Loved Ben and the play...one of those days where everything goes right!
As You Like It at RSC....Pippa and Alex and a joyful production! Plus great chips before hand and good company! A Mad World my Masters with the perfect person who laughed at everything and carried me along with the mood!
Race at Hampstead, as loved seeing Clarke Peters up close. Longing there too as I so needed a break after a tough time and the play was very apt....just suited my circumstances at the time. Plus it was a lovely day out with husband.
Di and Viv and Rose seen with my forum buddies, very fine writing and acting and felt like splendid way to see it!
A satsifying day out watching The American Plan and then The Pride.....with a splendid pizza in between! The Pride 3 times in fact and being a little bit in love with all the cast!
A lovely pre-Christmas couple of visits with special forum friends...El Train with the lovely Ruth Wilson and had front row seats and took daughter too....and Jumpers for Goalposts that reminded me that some of the best drama comes from ordinary people leading ordinary lives and trying to muddle through....plus what great soup the Bush does!
And my top highlight has to be The Night Alive. Splendid set, front row seats(!), great cast, top class dialogue and the creepiest villain I have seen in a long time. Plus it was great to see it after The Weir and like it even more than that....
I've probably forgotten something....but a great year for me. I've enjoyed the smaller venues and being able to sneak in things midweek sometimes...and am looking forward to 2014!
How do you make a musical out of American Psycho? THIS way.
I thought it was brilliant. They got the concept just right. The set, the clothes, the choreography, Rupert Goold's direction - his natural flamboyance was made for this material - everything works to perfection.
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's book is masterful, not a weak or awkward moment in it. And Duncan Sheik's score is everything it has to be. Recognizably the work of the composer of Spring Awakening yet with just the right techno-rock 80's blend, it absolutely captures the mood and the sound of the piece and, as a result, the outside music from the movie (Huey Lewis, et al) feels seamlessly interpolated. Bravo to Mr. Sheik. I'm buying the cast recording as soon as it appears.
If I have a slight reservation it's about Matt Smith's Patrick Bateman. His singing I could overlook but, to me, he lacks the presence and charisma that made Christian Bale so compelling in the movie. Unfair, perhaps. But I kept wondering what it would have been like if, say, Ben Aldridge, who played Bateman's antagonist, Paul Owen, had been given the role.
No matter. When it was over I wanted to see it again.