Sunday, 16 October 2011

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #010

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List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Othello (Sheffield Crucible)
2. Anna Christie (Donmar Warehouse)
3. It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later (National; Lyttelton)
4. My City (Almeida)
5. The Playboy of the Western World (Old Vic)
6. Doctor Faustus (Shakespeare's Globe)
7. Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare's Globe)
8. The Globe Mysteries (Shakespeare's Globe)
9. South Pacific (Barbican)
10. The Veil (National; Lyttelton)

Who was the best performer in number one (Othello)?
I'm going to be boringly predictable and go with Dominic West. He's just so ridiculously good at playing characters who are utterly reprehensible yet not without a certain charm (see: Jimmy McNulty, Ben Butley, hell, even Fred West), and his rampant narcissism (his words) makes Iago's soliloquies extra satisfying. Lily James and Alexandra Gilbreath were utterly superb as well.

Why did you go to see number two (Anna Christie)?
I find it hard to resist a Donmar production. I could churn out all the old "I need to see more classic American drama", "Ruth Wilson is a fabulous talent", "I believe Jude Law is shirtless AND bearded in this one" reasons, but it's always the Donmar.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later) that you liked?
No. Sorry! There were a great many lines I liked, and particularly one about teenagers, but I'm SO BAD at remembering lines unless it's a play I already know well!

What would you give number four (My City) out of ten?
A respectable 7.

Was there someone hot in number five (The Playboy of the Western World)?
Oh, only Ruth Negga. Or THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD, to give her her full title. I suppose I wouldn't say no to Robert Sheehan or the attractive ukulele player either.

What was number six (Doctor Faustus) about?
An overgrown manchild and his diabolical bromance.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Much Ado About Nothing)?
Hmmm. Team Cumberbus, guys! Philip Cumbus is quite possibly the only man in the world who has figured out how to play Claudio in such a way that he makes sense and can gain audience sympathy!

What was your favourite bit in number eight (The Globe Mysteries)?
The Harrowing of Hell bit. OH how we laughed!

Would you see number nine (South Pacific) again?
No. I'd consider a different production, but once was enough for this production. And, to be honest, I'd be more than happy to listen to the music without seeing the show for at least the foreseeable future.

What was the worst thing about number ten (The Veil)?
Although I enjoyed it a lot, I do think the drunken melodrama of the second act was something of a misstep.

Which was best?
Well, Much Ado About Nothing was as magnificent as ever. Othello was rather splendid. Anna Christie was pretty aces too.

Which was worst?
Quite probably South Pacific. If neither of your lead performers are capable of acting the roles, then you've got something of a problem. Although at least one of them was superb enough at singing that the lack of acting ability could be somewhat forgiven.

Did any make you cry?
Almost certainly! I always cry at Othello if they've got a good enough Desdemona, I couldn't NOT cry at this production of Much Ado About Nothing, It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later had me welling up more than once, The Globe Mysteries did not pass by without sniffling, and yes, I cried in South Pacific, because a well-sung 'This Nearly Was Mine' will do that to me.

Did any make you laugh?
Of course! Othello, It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later, My City, The Playboy of the Western World, Doctor Faustus, Much Ado About Nothing, The Globe Mysteries, and The Veil. "MR BERKELEY, YOU WILL TAKE YOUR HOT MILK NOW!"

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
If you'd read any of these before, you really don't need me to mention Much Ado About Nothing again. I'd also happily have a go at any female role in Othello, though it's unlikely anyone would cast me as Desdemona, and I wouldn't mind having a go at Nellie in South Pacific, even though my feminist side kinda hates the fact that the female roles in that show are a racist, a pimp, a near-mute sex object, and a bunch of also-rans in swimming costumes.

Which one did you have best seats for?
Othello, definitely! I had a pretty good standing spot for The Globe Mysteries too.

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