Monday, 25 April 2011

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #003

Finally! Another ten trips have passed! I very much hope to increase the amount of posts I make in future (o my poor neglected blog!), and figure this is as good an entry to restart with as any.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Hamlet (Shakespeare's Globe)
2. Frankenstein (National; Olivier)
3. The Bible: Genesis to Exodus (Shakespeare's Globe)
4. Moonlight (Donmar Warehouse)
5. The Children's Hour (Comedy)
6. Wastwater (Royal Court)
7. Honest (Queen's Head Pub)
8. Betty Blue Eyes (Novello)
9. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Gielgud)
10. Cause Célèbre (Old Vic)

Who was the best performer in number one (Hamlet)?
It seems a little unfair to choose one when there were eight equally wonderful and hard-working cast members. But I might just go with Tom Lawrence - distinctive, entertaining, and excellent in his various roles.

Why did you go to see number two (Frankenstein)?
I enjoyed it a great deal the first time round with Jonny Lee Miller as Frankenstein and Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature, so I figured I'd try and get a ticket to see it the other way round. Thanks to a friend, lo! I was successful, and so I returned. I wanted to see how the actors compared and contrasted in their two roles. They did indeed contrast and I did indeed enjoy comparing them.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (The Bible: Genesis to Exodus) that you liked?
I don't know about "that you liked", but oh boy can I remember a line from it! Exodus was a truly interesting experience; first, Moses made a great many God-backed demands to be allowed to leave Egypt with the Children of Israel. Then the Children of Israel whined a lot about the hardships they were facing (if I were Moses, I'd've sent them back to Egypt, which is probably why he is a Bible Legend and I am not). Then they started laying down laws and regulations. And then they started talking about building a Tabernacle and all the assorted paraphernalia. I may not have absorbed every element of the two books I heard that day (it was six hours, after all), but I will never forget the accepted holy colours: "and gold and blue and purple and scarlet and fine twined linens"!

What would you give number four (Moonlight) out of ten?
Hmmm, tricky. I don't think I get Pinter, and for an 80 minute show it didn't half drag. But I thought the actors were great, and I loved the sound and lighting design. I think I'll go for 6, myself.

Was there someone hot in number five (The Children's Hour)?
Not for me, though I assume the various cast members will have their respective fans.

What was number six (Wastwater) about?
I wish I knew. I found it wholly pretentious and unnecessarily impenetrable. If only it had met the audience halfway and presented an interesting or at least vaguely comprehensible experience, I might have felt far more sympathetic towards it and thus might have been able to answer this question.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Honest)?
There was only one actor! However, I rather suspect he'd have been my favourite had there been a cast of thousands. Trystan Gravelle, aka the Welshest Man in Theatre.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Betty Blue Eyes)?
I adored the whole show. I really really did. Today, I think I shall go for the number 'Pig No Pig'. I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and LAUGHED. Sarah Lancashire and Ann Emery are absolute legends.

Would you see number nine (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) again?
No thank you. I'm pleased to have seen it once, but I don't feel any sort of pressing need to experience it all over again.

What was the worst thing about number ten (Cause Célèbre)?
Hmmm. That I didn't get the emotional connection I've come to expect of Terence Rattigan plays. It was a wholly cerebral experience for me, and while it was an excellent piece of theatre, I wish I'd felt more moved by the end.

Which was best?
I'm going with Betty Blue Eyes. I finally have hope for the future of the West End musical! You simply must see it if you haven't already!

Which was worst?
Easily Wastwater. I have nothing polite to say about it, I'm afraid.

Did any make you cry?
Frankenstein tends to make me sob. I was a teenager once, so I can identify with the Creature's fear of being hated. I think tears sprung to my eyes during Betty Blue Eyes, but that happens during every halfway decent musical, so may not count for the purposes of this question.

Did any make you laugh?
Oh heavens yes! The endless begatting and dying in Genesis got silly after a while, and Honest was great, and Betty Blue Eyes had me laughing far more than I like to laugh in the theatre. I also laughed a lot at The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, but not in ways that I think I was supposed to laugh. My laughter actually brought me to tears at point, so maybe I should've mentioned this in the previous question too...

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
One day, I might like to take a crack at Gertrude in Hamlet, but as my brain apparently refuses to accept any Gertrude that is not Penny Downie, that might not be my wisest plan. That's it really though.

Which one did you have best seats for?
I don't always like general admission seating, but sometimes it can work quite well for me; I grabbed myself a fantastic seat at the Globe for the Bible reading (I usually refuse to sit at the Globe, but I'll make an exception for a six hour show!), and I liked the seat I chose for Honest a lot as well.

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