Beautiful Thing May 11th, ’13

london west end

a sweet play about coming of age and coming to grips with sexuality, with parents and with life itself sad and happy, sweet and rough, the play draws you in and thanks to the intimate theatre makes you part of it all. The cast – Suranne Jones as overworked mother, newcomers as Jamie and Ste and to my huge surprise Oliver Farnworth (of Holding the Man) as young lover Tony – was excellent. And that Oliver seemed to recognise us at the stagedoor and signed our programs – it was the icing on the cake.

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Peter and Alice May 11th, ’13

london west end

Peter and Alice – a play about the real life people who were the inspiration of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland and how they were coping with their lives as characters in beloved books. It takes away their real life, says Peter. It enhances life, thinks Alice. and she offers to show him her wonderland.

The Audience May 10th, ’13

london west end

It’s Helen Mirren.
Should be enough, shouldn’t it? 😉
– an exceptional portrait of 12 Prime Ministers from Her Highness’ point of view. Helen Mirren is amazing – with a raised eyebrow she can frighten men into obedience – and women, as one of her PMs was Lady Thatcher. Now of course I don’t know how the real queen behaves, but in the play there’s a lot of self deprication and a very astute view of the world.

The Tempest May 10th, ’13

london west end

As always The Globe Theatre and its play proved to be an event, a dive into a time long past, complete with uncomfortable seats and stuffed auditorium, but also complete with brilliant actors and a beautiful interpretation of the Tempest – they actually CARRY a huge ship through the groundlings to symbolise the storm! Also remarkably good: Ariel, in a flimsy feathery costume – Colin Morgan from Merlin-fame – was a limber, lithe and very fluttery spirit whose facial expressions were to die for!

Othello May 9th, ’13

london west end

As much as Othello is in truth centered around Iago, it was a great joy to watch Adrian Lester in the title part, dwindling down the narrow path between jealous rage and madness. His Othello is certainly a landmark.

Rory Kinnear’s Iago was a clinical, psychopathic intellectual who observes in a detached way what becomes of his various strategies  – to him revenge is definitely a dish best served cold and in the end he coldly watches how murder and suicide take place.

The play here is set in a rather nameless present, in an anonymous war camp and Desdemona portrayed as a bit of a social butterfly, an it-girl that just happened to catch the general’s attention who – to his own surprise – falls in love with her after only a short period of knowing her. In a weird way this concept fits the play like a glove and makes it even more believable – the girl, desperately in love with Othello, is so isolated in an all male or rather all military world that she no longer has the words to talk to her husband. Othello on the other hand is so damaged from various fights in numerous wars that he no longer has the ability to listen. I never got the feeling it’s a scene of domestic violence – I had the distinct feeling that it stemmed from the damages any war does to everybody,

It’s a brilliant show with an outstanding cast and a joy to watch. The “concrete” blocks that served as set made the feeling of claustrophobia and frustration even more intense. The rage Othello felt when he was ramming his fist through the drywall in the toilet barracks was as much scary as it was understandable and his feeling of being bodily ill only too understandable.

++++

stagedoor: we waited quite a bit as the main cast had some sort of interview going on, but Adrian Lester actually recognised Gabe and me from our last visit which flattered us (well me) immensely – he is also incredibly charming and friendly. Yes, we were both VERY happy that we had waited in the rain to see him … 😉