Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #029

1st to 18th December.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Straight (Bush)
2. Most Savage and Unnatural (Last Refuge)
3. Hymn and Cocktail Sticks (National; Lyttelton)
4. In the Republic of Happiness (Royal Court)
5. The Architects (Biscuit Factory)
6. People (National; Lyttelton)
7. The Changeling (Young Vic)
8. Feathers in the Snow (Southwark Playhouse)
9. Going Dark (Young Vic)
10. King Lear (Courtyard)

Who was the best performer in number one (Straight)?
I can't choose one, man. They were a (shelving unit) solid four-part ensemble who all brought their own particular strengths to the (plainly Ikea-bought) table.

Why did you go to see number two (Most Savage and Unnatural)?
An abiding fondness for Ben Deery that is beginning to span years and sometimes makes me do silly things. Turns out he can totally write plays as well as perform in 'em!

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Hymn and Cocktail Sticks) that you liked?
I'm trying a new technique for this question. It's called "make a mental note of lines you like as they come, then if any remain in your head at the end of the play, look them up in the playtext before leaving". And so allow me to present you with this lovely chunk from Cocktail Sticks: "What I cannot explain to my mother, and scarcely to myself, is I have come to see that I know more than I think I know and that, however sparse and seemingly unserviceable my memories, this doesn't matter because you don't put yourself into what you write, you find yourself there. And for a writer the life you don't have is as ample a territory as the life that you do."

What would you give number four (In the Republic of Happiness) out of ten?
I can't even tell you what it was about, I don't think there's any way in hell I can possibly assign it a number rating.

Was there someone hot in number five (The Architects)?
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't rather taken with the lovely Dave Vigay on the drums. He may or may not have been a welcome distraction during those moments that were simply too baffling or abstruse to pay a great deal of attention to.

What was number six (People) about?
Porn. Fabulous frocks. The insidiousness of the National Trust. Central heating. I think.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (The Changeling)?
If there is a more ridiculous creature on the face of this planet than Harry Hadden-Paton, especially when dancing, then I would dearly love to hear about it.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Feathers in the Snow)?
I don't care if it's cheating, THE WHOLE PLAY. What a glorious, wondrous, joyous smash of familiar fairy tale tropes and Ridley motifs!

Would you see number nine (Going Dark) again?
In a heartbeat. I would experience this play until so many tears had flowed that I was nothing but a dessicated husk lying on the floor, skin flaking away and disappearing into dust, hair snapping brittly and becoming indistinguishable from cobwebs, and the remaining force of my emotions echoing off the walls for a thousand millennia.

What was the worst thing about number ten (King Lear)?
As with any abbreviated version of Shakespeare, it's a shame that some of the better ideas raised by the production couldn't have been explored more fully. Also the pacing was a bit weird for what was, I believe, a 70 minute show.

Which was best?
Going Dark, Feathers in the Snow, and Most Savage and Unnatural.

Which was worst?
Probably The Architects. I know a lot of people would queue up to put In the Republic of Happiness under this category as well, but even though I'm still baffled by it days later, I would be lying if I said I hated it or thought it was terrible.

Did any make you cry?
I cried so much at Going Dark that my tear ducts have been bone-dry ever since.

Did any make you laugh?
Straight did. Most Savage and Unnatural did. Hymn and Cocktail Sticks made me chuckle gently. In the Republic of Happiness had some hilarious lines. Feathers in the Snow was just bloody magnificent.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
Any part in Feathers in the Snow, or Regan in King Lear.

Which one did you have best seats for?
Straight, and The Changeling. That trifle smelled DELICIOUS.

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