Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #004

Presented without comment, but with a hope to recommence blogging before long (note to all: never be in three shows all at once).

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Journey's End (Wycombe Swan)
2. The School for Scandal (Barbican)
3. Ghost Stories (Duke of York's)
4. I Am The Wind (Young Vic)
5. Ecstasy (Duchess)
6. Betty Blue Eyes (Novello)
7. Iolanthe (Wilton's Music Hall)
8. Henry VI Part 1 (Rose Bankside)
9. The Holy Rosenbergs (National; Cottesloe)
10. Rocket to the Moon (National; Lyttelton)

Who was the best performer in number one (Journey's End)?
Oh. That's a harsh question to start with. They were all superb. I mean, I know it's such a strong play that you would have to cast monkeys to make it actively bad, but they were absolutely a cut above. If you were push me to answer, I might veer towards Dominic Mafham for being everything an Osborne needs to be and more, but it really is unfair to single one out above the others when they're all so excellent.

Why did you go to see number two (The School for Scandal)?
Everyone else was. I decided to tag along. Then when I realised what a great cast had assembled (I'm a sucker for John Shrapnel, and Leo Bill is always superb), I felt smug about the decision. Now that I've seen the play, I can't actually work out how I feel about it.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Ghost Stories) that you liked?
Alas, no! As that rarity - a theatre fan who loves Ghost Stories - there were a lot of lines I liked, but none I can remember. Curses! I will, however, take this opportunity to say that while I understand why people laughed when the character Simon started battering the inside of his windscreen with his road atlas, I myself did not laugh at that moment for I am confident I would respond exactly the same way were I in that situation. Note to self: avoid solo driving late at night.

What would you give number four (I Am The Wind) out of ten?
Hmmm. An 8. It divided people somewhat, but even those who hated the play seemed to admire the production itself, and I came firmly down on the "loved it" side myself.

Was there someone hot in number five (Ecstasy)?
No. Not for me.

What was number six (Betty Blue Eyes) about?
A mild-mannered chiropodist, his amibitious wife, and their porcine-based attempts to be recognised and appreciated in their Yorkshire community. Or it was a love story between grown men and a pig. Possibly both.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Iolanthe)?
Oh, that's mean too! They were all truly utterly wonderful! I cannot possibly choose!

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Henry VI Part 1)?
I got a ridiculous amount of enjoyment out of being able to follow the plot and the back story with no effort (sometimes my inability to treat the Histories as individual plays is a detriment; other times, like this, it pays off wonderfully!). No, I couldn't choose an aspect of the play though. I just enjoyed it all a great deal!

Would you see number nine (The Holy Rosenbergs) again?
No. I was surprised that I ended up enjoying it more than Rocket to the Moon, which I saw on the same day, but that doesn't mean I have a pressing urge to see it again.

What was the worst thing about number ten (Rocket to the Moon)?
As with last time I did this, the lack of emotional connection. Everything about it was incredibly well done, but I was able to shake it off very easily as I left the auditorium. Also, I was disappointed that the beautiful red dress Jessica Raine entered in only made the one appearance, does that count?

Which was best?
On absolute opposite ends of the scale from each other, Iolanthe and Journey's End.

Which was worst?
Ecstasy. I understand there are people out there who rated this one very highly. I do not understand why that is. Just because the cast were spot on and the production is the very best you can hope for does not mean that the play itself is interesting, enjoyable, or even good. Sorry, fans.

Did any make you cry?
Journey's End! Also moments in Betty Blue Eyes and Iolanthe (I am easily swayed to tears by music), and Henry VI Part 1. Oh, Talbots...

Did any make you laugh?
Ghost Stories did, especially when the people around me were jumping out of their seats. Betty Blue Eyes always raises a chuckle. I don't recall laughing at Iolanthe, so much, but I did sit for the entire duration with the hugest of grins on my face. If that counts.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
Although it was an all-male production of Iolanthe and I find it difficult to think of it otherwise, I do think Phyllis or Iolanthe would be fun to play. And what female who enjoys acting wouldn't want to play Margaret of Anjou?!

Which one did you have best seats for?
Oh! Um... I've actually had some peculiarly good seats lately, if you like sitting right at the front albeit somewhat off to the sides. I think I'll go with Iolanthe. Close to but not right at the front, and rather delightfully central.

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