burntcopper: (dw donna-doctor-yeah)
(I think this is complete)
Sleeping Beauty, Sadlers (Bourne)
Kiss me Kate, Old Vic (Hannah Waddingham)
Macbeth, Trafalgar Studios (James McAvoy & Claire Foy)
Lift, Soho Theatre (Julie Atherton)
If You Don't Let Us Dream, Royal Court
Romeo & Juliet, Globe
Tempest, Globe (Colin Morgan & Roger Allam)
Midsummer Night's Dream, Globe
Othello, National Theatre (Rory Kinnear & Adrian Lester)
Indian Tempest, Globe
A Season in the Congo, Young Vic (Chiwetel Ejiofor)
The Pride, Trafalgar Studios (Hayley Atwell & Harry Hadden-Paton)
Zoo Nation Unplugged, Sadlers Wells
Macbeth, Globe
Blue Stockings, Globe
Scottsboro Boys, Young Vic
Mojo, Harold Pinter (Colin Morgan, Ben Whishaw, Rupert Grint)
Of these, highlights were... James Mcavoy in Macbeth, Sleeping Beauty, Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, A Season in the Congo, Blue Stockings, Scottsboro Boys.  Several made me cry, some made the audience yell, some left you with a gaping hole in your chest, and some left the audience going 'ow. ow.  pulled something due to laughing too hard.'
Sexiest actor: John Light as Oberon
Hurt myself laughing: Midsummer Night's Dream
Best new play: Blue Stockings
Stole the show: Rory Kinnear, Othello
oh god oh no transformation: Daniel Kaluuya as Mobutu, Season in the Congo
Newbie: Jessie Buckley as Miranda, Tempest
New insight into old text: Halfway between Mcavoy and Foy having lost the baby and her nightmares being completely par for the course for post-apocalyptic setting, and Midsummer making explicit the defeat of the Amazons and forced marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta and her finding ways to undermine him.

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Tempest 2/6/13

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Midsummer Night's Dream 8/6/13

(with added first timers Cathy and Gideon. Who did squee dutifully. I do like making converts to the cause. Only downside being that Gideon now keeps calling me 'Puppet' due to the plethora of short jokes. And it was full, and there were other tall people, so quite a bit of shifting in groundlings to see stuff)

Costuming - most everyone in Renaissance, the fairies in browns and greens and leather and furs and body paint, either stripped to the waist or minimalist bodices, lots of stag and horns and
skull headdresses. v. much Wild Hunt-ish.

Oh my Bard. This play. This fucking play. THIS WAS BRILLIANT.

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Part of the Education season pre-actual season starting.  Won a buncha ticketses, so me, Ruthi, Orjan and Carmilla went along.  (turns out it was Orjan's first theatre in 13 years and first Shakespeare in 15) Expecting it to be cold but not as bloody cold as it actually was. looked like a nice day.  not necessarily sunny but no rain forecast, and as much as I love the globe, downpour is somewhat argh-some.  The steward made a jibe about it having snowed on them last saturday.  And laughed.
Music pre-start was brass ... and then we figured out what the tune they were playing was.  Bloody 'Call me Maybe'.  Which then segued into Jessie J's 'Price Tag'.  (which actually works absolutely fine scored for trumpets) Started with a fight (including bmxs in the manner of city riots, incl the main stage prop, a burnt-out car.) Fight almost entirely feet and fists with requisite flailing and attempted martial arts moves because, hello, teenagers.
Costuming : hoodies and modern gear for teens (Tybalt is in full estate gangsta style parka), suits and formal for adults, Paris as young City type, with fortunately no colour coding that you often get.  Unless you've very specifically set it up as gangs or military, this gets really tired.  One suspects Jade Anouka* (Juliet) was very glad that current fashion for girls is hotpants and very thick tights.  Nurse, in full chav mode was probs luckiest - velour tracksuit, padded gilet and uggs.  Utter genius touch was Friar Lawrence and co, who were in full beige and other tans as happy clappy missionary types, complete with horrific glasses and sweater vests.  And the ball - utterly hysterical - first Mercutio and Benvolio bounded onstage in full Only Fools and Horses mode as Batman & Robin, then we got Tybalt as Darth Vader (and flick-out lightsabre which he kept slashing about to make a point when he goes into his snit-fit), a Captain America, a Marge Simpson, a Scooby Doo, etc- all cheap store bought, and bestest, Capulet as Elvis.  Complete with flames up the sides of his flares. Romeo and Juliet were in bits of standard Globe costume to make them stand out with neon accents for stuff like tights, but seeing the wondrous tackyness of everyone else, wondering what the hell they were supposed to be.
Good performances, convincing teenagers (sometimes they're so worthy/succumbing to the text that they just don't convince as teenagers - Juliet's supposed to be *13*, and if you're doing it in modern dress, you better play her as a modern day 13 year old, not how she'd have been expected to behave in the 17th century) and Romeo was a complete twerp.  As is right and necessary.  Best was Friar Lawrence and the Nurse, who were by turns well-meaning and meek with great 'oh shit' and 'give me strength' expressions and completely vulgar for the Nurse.  Who believes in shopping expeditions.  Most of the Nurse's dialogue works so bloody well in this setting.  Actually, as does quite a bit for this play - slang and phrasing's made enough of a turn around in the last decade to not need translation as long as you act it right.  Tybalt doubled up as an extremely down and out drug dealer :cough: apothecary. Definite tinge of the ex-Lahndan wideboy in Capulet.
Standout moments:  IT FUCKING SNOWED.  TWICE.  (we declared that this counted as all the fresh air we required for the entire Easter weekend, *and* it was done in the name of culture, so counted double.  fucking freezing)  Didn't know going in that there wouldn't be an interval.  They cut some of the second half's scenes to reflect this, including the killing of Paris (as seems to be really common these days, any idea why? doesn't add anything? makes Romeo less sympathetic?) and most of the tomb scenes - Friar Lawrence finds out from his 
fellow happy-clappier that the letter didn't get delivered, Juliet gets put in the tomb, Romeo commits suicide, Juliet commits suicide.  No interruptions by Friar. Wasn't bad, just made the suicides a bit rushed. Mercutio nearly skidded off the stage at one point when riding the bmx.  Usual coming through the crowd entrances from the cast, including where Romeo grabbed a blanket off one groundling, then borrowed Orjan's strawberry beanie for a disguise.  He did eventually give it back.  All of Romeo's internal questions were directed at the crowd, and after the first time where he made a gesture for an answer, the crowd were very cheerfully yelling back yes or no.  Yours truly 
got asked a question by Juliet and I did answer 'fuck no.'  May've got attention by our lot being the loudest gigglers at the funny moments. (pattern? what pattern?) The adults in the crowd are never going to forgive Romeo for walking in singing along to One Direction's 'You don't know you're Beautiful' and then getting the crowd to sing the last line.  We know One Direction lyrics.  Shut up.  It was forced.
Post-play, retreat to Founders Arms for desperate warm-up of hot drinks...
*If you ever want someone to play Tara off've True Blood'scousin?  grab Jade.  Even has her wtf expressions.
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Kiss Me Kate @ Old Vic , 18/01. it was awesome, if not a little fucked up in relationships. interesting to see where the songs went, and everyone trying to steal the show from everyone else, which was actually completely in character. Only real problem was the actress playing Bianca was... not quite there with the rest. I dunno, just didn't fit. rather good stage design and costuming too - all black and white clever things with banners for the play.

Bro's wedding: family, food, *other* family, small children behaving themselves, the sheer speed Chelsea Old Town Hall puts through weddings, pretty dresses, and unbelievably hungover the next morning. Seriously. the waitresses were making sympathetic noises.

If You Don't Let Us Dream, We Won't Let You Sleep @ Royal Court 09/03 - play about debt. where society is going, companies trying to monetarise it whilst the entire audience sat there and winced because it's all too true. I'd call it a question raising play - it didn't try to provide the answers (it specifically stated it wasn't trying to, idiot critics who weren't listening) but it did show us all the questions we should be asking. Possibly yelling.

Stage door: I was first out, but as the crowds amassed, i turned and asked 'okay, who *isn't* here for Damien Moloney?' Lots of shuffling of feet and coughing. Anyway. Crowd all terribly patient and polite, Damien utterly lovely and answering questions and posing for pics for everyone. and yes he'd like to do a musical.

In other news: weather, can it be spring sometime soon? not suddenly taking a dip and snowing again?
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Starring James McAvoy as Macbeth & Claire Foy as Lady Macbeth

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:waves hi:

Feb. 11th, 2013 01:26 pm
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there are theatre updates I need to post. Kiss Me Kate & Rock of Ages.

but anyway ah the fun of when mates get their dates wrong and you have to grovel to the ticket office...

(I have my Tempest and my Dream tickets for the Globe. Macbeth and Henry VIs will be booked closer to the time. Tempest has Roger Allam and Colin Morgan for those interested.)

six nations - didn't watch last weekend as was busy seeing Lincoln (recommended, brilliant performances, giggled muchly at casting directors clearly phoning up David Strathairn and Tommy Lee Jones and going 'look, we're not going to bother auditioning these roles, just turn up, will you?', though as many reports said, they could've easily cut it ten minutes short - there's a natural cutting shot) and on my soon-to-be-sister-in-law's hen night the day before. which was fun, if a little odd since I didn't know anyone. And got told by a bunch of people 'you're obviously Matt's sister, you've got the same eyes'. (news to me and my parents) Wedding is this weekend. this will be... a bit odd, I suppose.

But anyway: Six nations, second weekend. Scotland vs Italy lots of fun. Wales vs France was seriously DULL. (agreed by my brother the rugby nut) Seriously, it only cheered up whenever Leigh Halfpenny turned up due to the eyecandy factor. Also the camerawork is crap in the Stade du France. why he was focussing on their feet during the scrums was beyond us. England vs Ireland - did not stop pissing it down (like most of UK this weekend) very entertaining, but all the points were from penalty kicks. (we're suspecting the lack of attempts at tries was due to the fact that the pitch was so waterlogged you couldn't run more than 10 yards at a time) There was an awful lot of grappling, though. Eyecandy and mud most pleasing.

:cough: someone on twitter accused the female viewers of just watching because it was trendy. Someone else: 'please check the #thighs tag. you underestimate how shallow we are.'
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Oh, shush, yes, I saw this twice. once for... testing purposes. quality control. :sideye: it was a new Matthew Bourne. Quality control is *important*. And the others needed a guide the second time around.

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Theatre: Shrek, Hamlet (Michael Sheen), Neverwhere, Hay Fever, Singin' in the Rain (twice), Cabaret, Comedy of Errors, Soho Cinders, The Recruiting Officer, Bingo, Early Adventures, Play Without Words, Swan Lake in 3D (finally with Richard Winsor),Our Boys, 55 Days & a dance revue of James Cousins' work.

Performances: Fascinating Aida, John Finnemore radio performances.

Film: Avengers, Dredd, The Artist, Cockneys vs Zombies, The Muppets, Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists, The Hobbit

Fic: nano - post-war Pevensies where Susan joins Torchwood & Edmund gets on with spying. The Shadows Feel Like Home
and Very Slightly Tainted Angels, X-Men First Class Berlin Christopher Isherwood AU
burntcopper: (dw donna-doctor-yeah)
I Bronze'd at the RA as it was the last couple of days - some utterly stunning, magical work let down by unbelievably crappy labelling - seriously, who puts tiny 6" labels at waist height when you've got giant wall space behind it all? The moment anyone stood in front of a sculpture, bye-bye goes the label. You could see people getting visibly frustrated at having to hunt for the label that would a) tell them what it was and b) give some rather nice context notes.

MUSEUM PEOPLE: IMAGINE YOUR GALLERY IS FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH PEOPLE. LABEL ACCORDINGLY. (there's these computer imaging programs if your imagination is seriously that crappy) NOT EVERYONE WANTS THE AUDIO.

Some utterly amazing pieces - the giant satyr, the Etruscan shadow/solstice piece that shows *exactly* where Giacometti got his influences, the 3m high John the Baptist and friends, the Chinese wine vat for parties in the shape of a ... I think it was a pig, don't quote me, the Remington piece of five cowboy riders where it looked like they were flying, (with added Remington's notes with him crowing on the technical marvel he'd been able to pull off - six feet on the floor, ten in the air. BEAT THAT.), the northern european sun disc worship pieces, the turn of the century life-size Dutch peasant who was so wonderfully, quietly dignified, an amazing bronze-marble-enamel victorian Jewess, the boar whose nose was shiny because people touch it for luck, the *gorgeous* Benin heads, the Japanese incense and oil burner (3m tall, 2m wide), the Barbara Hepworth that everyone stopped in front of and sighed 'lovely', and that's just off the top of my head. Some where you were going 'bor-ing'. Too many Hercules and centaur bloke who was carrying off his fiancée. A very static Michael and devil.

Very amusing bits - I love how people grade stuff in these exhibitions by 'so, which pieces would you nick, given the chance?' (lots of people contemplating that they could probably get the Etruscan piece down their trousers and one of the Benin heads in their bag without too many problems) Me spreading the 'a lot of classical female sculptures? the models are boys that they then stuck tits on' and the woman next to me turning round and pointing at another piece and going 'case in point, look at those hips' to her friend and all of us smirking and saying as one 'the Medusa in the first room? Definitely the Medusa.'

As ever, beyond postcards and a nice book, the RA fails on souvenir stuff. the very expensive jewellery and silk scarves are lovely, but seriously, go to Trafalgar Square, RA merchandise people, and look at what the National Gallery produces for its exhibitions. You're missing out on so much wonga in your inability to produce notebooks, brollies, magnets, cute badges, mugs, toys, and simple jewellery.

Whilst I was in there, they announced that James McAvoy was going to be playing Macbeth in February at the Trafalgar Studios, and my feed was filled with people going 'got my tickets' when I got out of the gallery. Cue me hustling it to Trafalgar Square for tickets. They hadn't released any more cheap ones past press night, so thanked my lucky stars that I found some theatre tokens in my wallet and got one for Valentine's Day. Now just waiting to see what take they're going to do on it, considering Macbeth is my utter weakness and loving the setting of Michelin-starred chef they did for the BBC Shakespeare Re-told plays they did a few years back. (McAvoy as Macbeth, Keeley Hawes as Lady Macbeth, Richard Armitage as Macduff) Seriously, the concept of the witches being binmen is one of the best choices for them ever.

Southbank market was done, presents were bought, possibly worst Gluhwein *ever* - seriously, hot ribena would've been more alcoholic and less sugary - and I managed to get mustard from the bratwurst up my nose. Don't ask. The leather bracelet bloke saw me coming. dammit. Overall quite nice. No coffee. :narrows eyes: The only problem I really have is the fact that a few years ago they handed it over to the package german market people, which means all the good food stalls went (they used to have pieminster and awesome burger places). Fortunately tastebuds rescued by the chocolate festival being on round the back of the Royal Festival Hall. Work people currently thoughtfully working their way through salt caramel chocolate covered biccies from Artisan du Chocolat.
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last night, finally caught up on nanowrimo wordcount. so that's 13k in and still not started anything that looks like plot aside from 2 and a half main characters being recruited/introduced... I seriously have no idea whether I'm writing the dialogue in character for Susan at the mo. Lot less internal dialogue than the last nano, so hopefully will be less repetitious when I go back to it several months down the line. Also weird thing of writing in bits across 3 separate sections. Fear my final nano will end up with all the never-went-back-to placeholder notes I keep adding still intact. And having that really weird bit of figuring out how to paste in notes of dialogue and snippets and where they fit now I've written the actual scene I'd been thinking of vaguely when planning.

Turns out my nano is being fuelled by hardcore, happy hardcore, garage and other such things. also the giant archive of expired copyright 1920s jazz Wil Wheaton found and blasted across the net...

Ooo, interesting link for the writing lot - a guide to character archetypes. have seen one Dr who break down it already, Rose as the Lover, Rory as the Caregiver, Donna the rebel, the Master the Ruler, River the Hero, Martha the Explorer, Jack the Jester, the Doctor the Magician, Amy the Creator, and Mickey the Orphan.

random theatre reviews from the past couple of months, part xiii:

55 Days at Hampstead: being an account of the 55 days at the end of Civil War from the Rump Parliament (or to put it a bit clearer, when the army invaded Parliament) to Charles I's execution. Or as I tweeted: 'off to see a head of state be deposed, tried for treason and executed by legal process.' as the point of the play is, plenty of heads of state have been deposed by force and executed before, but this was the first one where it was done *legally*. aka why our Civil War is something we don't make too much of a fuss about and attempt to shove under the carpet a lot, because it's really, really not glamorous or bombastic in the way, say, the French Revolution was. ours ended not with a mob but a courtroom. Oh, and did we mention the whole thing was very carefully notarised and minuted because of the pains they took to make sure it was legal?

it's fascinating, tense, grey and they take the pains to emphasise that everyone is just so tired and sore after seven years of war. Everyone's squabbling. it's messy. There's personal and political and religious concerns tearing previous allies apart. The idealists torn down and stomping off in a huff due to compromises having to be made now that they've got to live with the new order, and the frantic scramblign because they're aware that they're having to create somethign entirely new out of thin air. It's the grey, tired men like Cromwell (Douglas Henshall), certain that god is on his side as representative of the people, versus Charles Stuart (Mark Gatiss) with his certainty that he was appointed by god to rule, and as he points out in the play (and in the notes of the trial) 'a trial of my peers? where are my peers? I do not see them here.'. Brilliant, setting anytime post war with lots of filing cabinets in grey suits, Charles being the only one in Stuart dress to make the contrast of him being from a previous time and mindset. Play, script and performances also make a very good point about how much cult of personality can affect and drive matters. (e.g., the way everyone looks to Cromwell to base their reaction on his and they talk about the fact that people just naturally follow Cromwell because he's *Cromwell*.) Very good performances all round. Couple of notes in that there is very much a change of pace between first and second act, sicne they have to cram so much into the 1st act, 2nd covering the trial period. Probably enjoyed more if you knew something of the history, as it ratchets up the tension if you know that the moment where Charles is goign to get caught for soliciting invasion by foriegn powers is coming, you just don't know when... oh, and general amusement ad when Mark Gatiss would occasionally lose the soft scots accent and Douglas Henshall would lapse into his natural scots.
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I went to see Arthur Darvill, Lawrence Fox, Neville from Harry Potter and a bunch of other people in Our Boys a drama set in a military hospital ward for soldiers recovering from injury. Varied between the hysterical and nail bitingly-'augh'. Really good performances. Also, Amy, Rory and the Doctor *so* played 'Beerhunter' on the TARDIS.

Cabaret with Will Young: OMG. GO SEE. Will as the Emcee - it's... he plays it as a permanently smiling, doll-like thing who is *completely dead behind the eyes*. Fucking creepy as hell. also, the boy can dance. You know how Joel Grey essentially set the mould for the Emcee? This is the first time I've seen it played differently enough that you can differentiate. Michelle Ryan as Sally - she can sing, she can dance... it's just she's not a very convincing Sally. Too healthy Chelsea girl, no sense whatsoever that she's supposed to be a complete mess. Matt Rawle is being Matt Rawle(*) as the american writer. Sian Phillips is wondrous and lovely and nearly steals the show as Fraulein Schneider in her old-age romance with the Jewish grocer. The audience was audibly going 'awwww' during their scenes, and whimpering when the nazis intrude. You could also see them glaring at Sally's relationship drama. Do not care. Taking time away from the old people romance. *so* much better than Honor Blackman was in 2006. Interesting directorial note - the entirety of 'Don't tell Mamma' is done as a backdrop to a conversation backstage - you're backstage and they're behind the bead curtain performing to the 'audience' at the back wall. Javier de Frutos' choreography was stunning (mein herr especially) and Tomorrow Belongs to Me? Emcee doing a puppet show. GAH.

daily outfit )

Nano, due to a shit writing weekend, I'm about 2k behind on but fingers crossed.

Obama won. THANKYOU, America.

(*)For those not familiar with Matt Rawle, imagine gruff, unshaven, larynx has been cheesegrated voice, bit of a rogue. Seriously good actor, great voice, it's just that he gets typecast. A lot. As a worldly cynic who really does want to believe. Previous roles: Che in Evita, Zorro in Zorro.
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me being incredibly late with updates, aside from the weather: rainy. with occasional sun but lots of wind at all times.

Henry V, Globe, 27th June Read more... )

Richard III, Globe, 14th June Read more... )

Hollow Crown: I FLAIL. I GIBBER SOME MORE. And then they fucking inflicted Tom Hiddleston in leather, and later, oiled, sweaty and in just a towel on us. Dear lord, that's just not *fair* to inflict on the public. Look for me on saturday during Henry V, I will not be sane.

And...um... it looks like I have a job. Production Editor at Taylor & Francis (if you know publishers, they own Routledge) in the journals. 2nd interview was really late due to boss going on holiday, but got called up the next day with an offer. Cue me now being a wee bit nervous until that contract is in my hands.

annnnd now I'm off to see Play without Words. where judging by the posters, Richard Winsor is going to get seduced over a kitchen table by a sixties dollybird in a cricket sweater. My life, the *hardship*. buckets for drool will be laid on.
burntcopper: (dw donna-doctor-yeah)
Rightio, this is 3 of Bourne's early pieces, pre-Swan Lake *and* Nutcracker - Spitfire, Town and Country and The Infernal Galop. to quote the terrible pun in one review I saw, The Bourne Origin.
clicky )
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Just... kept forgetting to post. there has been:

Theatre: Neverwhere @ Progress (Reading's amateur group, once again awesome. Neil, you put too many scene changes in there for theatre. Certain actors stealing show. AS USUAL.)
Shrek (moments of awesome, moments of group numbers. during which you wish to gas the theatre and everyone twitches as they're so... American.)
Singin in the Rain: Like the film. but with better dancing. And soaking the first three rows. Audience: SQUEE.
Comedy of Errors: ....WAGs work so well as the more naggy/stressed female role for Shakespeare.
Hay Fever: 'this family likes acting out. Everyone else is freaked' eee. cast!
Fascinating Aida: dying. of. laughter. Dillie making bitchy noises about should have put the Cheap Flights thing up on youtube years ago.
Bingo: your using the laws of x as a parable for the time you wrote it is showing rather painfully. MOAR BEN JONSON.
Recruiting Officer: I need more restoration comedy in my life. :fangirls Mark Gatiss as most magnificent fop *ever*

Film: The Artist 'omg EEE so cute', Shame 'it's brilliant but now I have a hollow place in my soul.', The Muppets 'MNAMNA.', Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists 'giggling at trigger words weeks later'

serious perving over 6 nations rugby. It's easier to refer to them as 'red team' 'white team' 'white team player leaps on floor with ball, pretty white kicker gets ball between posts.'

TV: Being Human. Aka 'new cast is.... OMG.' :pats Tom on head: 'Hal, more press-ups!' Tom/Hal! Annie. Gah. :pats Cutler on head: Mark Gatiss, please stop scaring us. D'awwww, Cutler. Whosa cute little psycho? Alex, you have just earned yourself so many awesome points.'

First ep of Once Upon a Time just aired in UK. So far it appears to be Fables but infinitely more interesting, 5000x less rapey and LACKING THE INFLUENCE OF BILL WILLINGHAM. HUZZAH.

And they finally gave me my notice, after telling us for ages 'end of march'. finishing on Apr 20th. After I'd had to make many many pointed comments about it due to screwing us around.
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Young Vic 18th Feb, Michael Sheen as Hamlet, Vinette Robinson as Ophelia, other people I will, er, add when I can find a cast list....

All round, v good performances. bit brain breaking as it's set in a mental asylum, and it's made very clear that Hamlet is one of the most nuts from the start. Which sadly makes me grit my teeth even more - I want to give the character a good kicking all through Acts 1 and 2 at the best of times (act 3, when he's stopped acting like such a little self-entitled shit, just about bearable). This? Stick him in a woodchipper, especially during the play when he just goes too far.

Nice notes: Polonius being paranoid as hell in a genial way and constantly recording everything and reassuring people he's recording everything. Ophelia playing a lap harp to communicate when she's really gone off her rocker. Gertrude and Claudius being in much smarter clothing and seeming much more together than everyone else to create the illusion of court. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern being... basically visiting social workers or Salvation Army people, from what I could tell of their dress. The ghost is Hamlet having a fit. Which actually makes a hell of a lot more sense for the character's motivations. Oh, and Fortinbras pulls off his helmet to reveal... Hamlet. Hellooooo extra level of headfuck.

Pre-play, they take you through the back, which has been made up to look like an institution - walls, bits of luggage, labels, schedules, rooms designated 'treatment', gymnasium, tiny blood smears, bored guards... They've done the back wall so it's glass doors and you can see into the entrance/reception and incomers like R&G get searched as they come in. Any conversations about Fortinbras approaching are the guards commenting on news on the tv in the reception. Same for Hamlet listening in on Claudius' discussions with R&G through the radio when they're in the reception area. Combine with warning sirens, emergency lighting, and announcements over the tannoy. Oh, and the stage, they lift up a giant portion to reveal a sandpit underneath in Act 3 for the gravedigger scene. then they fall into it during the fencing - which doesn't really make sense until they push all the dead bodies into it, cover it with a tarpaulin... which enables a quick change so they can come in tac gear as Fortinbras' men.
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Saw Shrek.

It's... hmm. one of those ones that varies enormously. Some parts, utterly hysterical, audience nearly dying laughing (any time Lord Farquard is onstage) good (Princess Fiona's stuff - gets a lot of the better songs) and horribly, horribly mediocre with a side order of polite clapping. (anything about friendship, the chorus as fairytale characters singing about how everyone's special in their own way)

The design is *amazing*. Great costume work, the dragon is a combo of chinese lantern style wire-paper work with added puppeteering, the set design is fab - some lovely work with cut-out flat colour but using layering to give depth. (other moments: Pied Piper wanders along trying to get rats, they raise the curtain six inches - and a bunch of people are in rat slippers doing a soft-shoe shuffle. Raise the curtain fully, dancers in full white tie and tails with ears and noses doing a full Busby Berkley.) Oh, and the occasional other-musicals sight gag.

Story: mostly identical to the film, aside from greatly expanding Lord Farquard's (Nigel Harman) part to a piece of genius, camp, and Producers-level piss take during his songs. Up to and including some *fab*ulous vamping on the level of Kenny Everett. And oh my god, you don't realise just how much extra funny you can get out of the fact that the role of a dwarf is played by someone *obviously* on his knees, complete with mad scrambling to get into position. And minions. He has wonderful minions. And a horse. And an executioner.

Donkey is... you know how it's a joke about how irritating he is in the film? Some good moments (especially reaction shots) but unfortunately due to not having a screen between you and the character, a lot of the comedy-irritating is ...just irritating. However, small blessings: Richard Blackwood was off. Delroy Atkinson instead. Who, y'know, can sing, has charisma, etc... (interesting thing about mr. Atkinson: everyone I spoke to was going 'no, seriously, the name and face are familiar, what the hell have I seen him in?' Checking the programme, the only thing I could see was Enchanted Pig at the Young Vic. Got into an 'ooo, what shows have you seen/what do you think' goss with one of the ushers and she had the same problem...)

Shrek: great performance from Nigel Lindsay, just not unfortunately given much good material unless he's against Fiona. in theatre the role pretty much acts as a straight man everyone else plays off.

Fiona: HEE. the role: Funny, bossy, spoilt, having a lot of fun, gets several good songs. Kimberley Walsh is utterly charming, in good voice, and can dance a bit. And special mention to the little girl playing her in flashback. So. Cute. Also very fucking talented, that kid.

So, in conclusion: It's okay, but take a book for about 1/3 of it. And don't pay full price.

And in other news: you know how I managed to get an electric shock off a banana a few weeks back? Did it again yesterday. Then at 4pm managed to get a shock off myself.

Is this a clue from the universe that I need to just start wearing white all the time and submit myself to a govt experimentation program?
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Surprisingly, very few films - Eagle, Captain America, Thor, X-men:First Class, Jane Eyre and Tinker Tailor are the only ones I remember going to see, aside from a couple of National Theatre live viewings.

Went to several BBC radio recordings - mostly John Finnemore focussed. (him behind Cabin Pressure)

Theatre - A *lot*. Globe for Much Ado, All's Well and Dr Faustus, Betty Blue Eyes, Haunted Child, Ladykillers, Soho Cinders, a few concerts here and there for new writing, Matthew Bourne's Cinderella twice, Some Like It Hip Hop, Flare Path, Macbeth, all-male Iolanthe, Vernon God Little, and ordinary days. er. i think that's all of it...

Fic written:

What if The Authority was picked up by HBO for a tv series: We Want to Save the World But We Need a Drink First
My Matthew Bourne Obsession Is Showing : An Eagle of the Ninth Billy Elliot/Step Up AU, Culture is Never Wasted
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Um. So, there was cornwall, where it rained a lot, I stuffed myself (seriously, how long does this stuff take to come off your waistline? It goes on easily enough...) and got a lot of present shopping done. And couldn't cross the street at one point due to the santa fun run.

Shopping for me was relatively restrained: one skirt, a jumper, 7 dvds, couple of pairs of tights, earrings, fudge.

When I got back, all I heard and saw were the hands stuck out as my friends and family demanded fudge. Which included the pre-xmas cocktails with Jen, Jane and Meg. 'I have presents I looked for and deliberated over and all you want is the fudge?' 'FUDGE. NAO. GIMME.'

Also see pubmeet. Anyone with chocolate was attacked. (Gideon brought post Argentinian wagon wheels, with the marshmallow replaced by dulce de leche. Cue sugar coma.) Lots of ... yeah, pubmeet people devolve into seals when you dangle fudge in front of them. There was the listing of films set at christmas but not about christmas (anything Shane Black wrote - Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Long Kiss Goodnight - we're waiting for the christmas tree in the background of Iron Man 3) squee about fan stuff, x-men fanfic.

Saw Haunted Child at the Royal Court with Ben Daniels and Sophie Okenedo (Queen Liz Ten to Dr Who fans). Great performances but deeply freaky. About a bloke who has a mental breakdown and gets picked up by a cult and his wife trying to deal when he comes home. Me plus the bloke sitting next to me agreed it's not one you'd want to see twice even if it is impressive.

Ladykillers as adapted for the stage by Graham Linehan is hysterical. Everyone's brilliant, the stage is amazing and you won't believe how they do the heist.

Feeding the Five Thousand - mum cut down on the food so there wasn't the acres of leftovers we couldn't use, the sprogs nicked my disney dvds as usual, and Alex was very hungover.

Yesterday: got twitchy, contemplated hauling out the ancient aerobics dvd as it would be cold and muddy outside. Menu music starts up. Ten minutes later, I had mud up to my eyebrows and was going 'mmm, fresh air.'
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Soho Cinders.

aka Stiles and Drewe *finally* sodding finish a show they premiered the first batch of songs and story for it at their anniversary bash a few years ago*, and stage it in concert-ish form with unbelievable names for charity. Cue most of the West End Wendys and half the gay community turning up. (oh, including one Mr. Stephen Fry who was clearly running late, who turned up at the theatre running at full tilt at 7, dodging through the crowd outside the theatre and into the bar to meet up with his boyfriend and some mates.)

As you may have guessed, it's a modern take on Cinderella. Set in Soho. Cinders = Robbie (Jos Slovick), a student who does side work as an escort who's seeing the Mayoral Candidate, James Prince (Michael Xavier). Who is engaged and is running his campaign on, er, honesty and no sleaze. Add: The candidate's fiancée, Marilyn (Hannah Waddingham), William George (David Bedella), Prince's campaign manager who is a bastard of the first order, Sasha his put-upon assistant (Richard David-Caine), Velcro (Amy Lennox), Robbie's best mate who runs a laundrette, Lord Bellingham (Clive Carter), one of Robbie's regular customers and a funder of the campaign, Clodagh (Suzie Chard) and Dana (Beverly Rudd), Robbie's vile stepsisters who run a titty bar, and Chelle (Sharon Clarke), a rickshaw cyclist. And a chorus of clubgoers, Soho tradesmen, the press and beautiful people.

And to top it off, Sandi Toksvig as the Narrator. Who as is the right of Ms. Toksvig, was fabulous, sarcastic, had a very large book and did look over the top of her spectacles at us. And we were grateful for the opportunity to be condescended to.

Anyway. It's about political spin, sleaze, falling in love with the people you shouldn't, and dreams for something just that little bit better. The shoe is Robbie's phone that he leaves behind at a fundraising party. With some of the best music Stiles and Drewe have ever written, and a so sharp it'll cut you book and songs containing some of the best belly laughs ever. (seriously, the Stepsisters' song 'I'm so Over Men' had to re-recorded at the end due to the audience laughing too hard). I'm serious about the songs. there's a song about internet dating, Gypsies of the Ether which is one of the most gorgeous love songs ever. And Velcro and Marilyn's song about not settling for second best, Let Him Go, was heart breaking. The only problem is that it's *so* site-specific that you don't know if it could sustain a decent run - most of the jokes and dialogue are a) London and b) theatre and gay culture. All the acting was brilliant - Robbie just sweet enough, Velcro scatty, Marilyn absolutely composed, James torn and somehow still noble, George completely skin crawling. A couple of the songs need tweaking a bit, and the loose ends were tied up by people running on stage at the very end with 'guess what' in the spirit of panto, but otherwise we nearly deafened 'em when it came to cheering at the bows.

*In which Robbie was played by Gareth Gates, miked to the hilt, and James Prince by Oliver Tompsett. One day we will get Daniel Boys to play Robbie. he's said he wants to.


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