Monday, 26 August 2013

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #040

10th to 25th August.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Henry VI: The True Tragedy of the Duke of York (Shakespeare's Globe)
2. Henry VI: The Houses of York and Lancaster (Shakespeare's Globe)
3. Henry VI: Harry the Sixth (Shakespeare's Globe)
4. A Chorus Line (Palladium)
5. Titanic (Southwark Playhouse)
6. The Tempest (Shakespeare's Globe)
7. Gabriel (Shakespeare's Globe)
8. Liolà (National; Lyttelton)
9. The Cripple of Inishmaan (Noël Coward)
10. Josephine and I (Bush)

Who was the best performer in number one (Henry VI: The True Tragedy of the Duke of York)?
While I was extremely taken with Graham Butler's heart-breakingly sad-eyed portrayal of the titular king, I'm also going to give a shout-out to David Hartley for one of the most fascinating portrayals of Lady Bona I've ever seen.

Why did you go to see number two (Henry VI: The Houses of York and Lancaster)?
Well, I'd booked for Part 1 and Part 3 on the same day, so I thought I'd be a devil and see Part 2 as well.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Henry VI: Harry the Sixth) that you liked?
Oh lord, please let this question forever be about Shakespeare:
"Where is my other life? mine own is gone;
O, where's young Talbot? where is valiant John?
Triumphant death, smear'd with captivity,
Young Talbot's valour makes me smile at thee:
When he perceived me shrink and on my knee,
His bloody sword he brandish'd over me,
And, like a hungry lion, did commence
Rough deeds of rage and stern impatience;
But when my angry guardant stood alone,
Tendering my ruin and assail'd of none,
Dizzy-eyed fury and great rage of heart
Suddenly made him from my side to start
Into the clustering battle of the French;
And in that sea of blood my boy did drench
His over-mounting spirit, and there died,
My Icarus, my blossom, in his pride."

What would you give number four (A Chorus Line) out of ten?
A thoroughly well-deserved 9.

Was there someone hot in number five (Titanic)?
Not really. They were all rather lovely in their own ways, but not hot, not for me.

What was number six (The Tempest) about?
That time in every father's life when he needs to face up to the fact that his baby birds are flying the nest, and whatever mistakes he may have made while bringing them up, they've had to grow with those and there's nothing he can do about it anymore except love them as he watches them leave.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Gabriel)?
It is with absolutely no disrespect to the human actors who had lines and everything that I'm plumping for Ben Thompson. Who knew that War Horse would provide such transferrable skills? Best starling EVER.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Liolà)?
Blatant sex in the moonlit orchard as represented by careful choreography. Theatre is the only medium that can get away with being so ridiculously theatrical, and it's beautiful when it does.

Would you see number nine (The Cripple of Inishmaan) again?
Nah, I've seen it now. I'll save my day-seating efforts for other plays.

What was the worst thing about number ten (Josephine and I)?
Nothing. Nothing at all. Cush Jumbo is flawless, and Josephine and I should be required viewing for all human beings.

Which was best?
I'm going with Henry VI: The True Tragedy of the Duke of York, The Tempest, and Josephine and I.

Which was worst?
They were all in all a very good bunch. I think Titanic had the least strong source material, but that doesn't mean the cast and crew didn't all do very well.

Did any make you cry?
If there's a Battle of Towton that doesn't make me weep, then I don't want to see it. Titanic and The Tempest had some moments. I suspect Josephine and I did as well.

Did any make you laugh?
I laughed a lot at all three Henry VIs and The Tempest. I loved Liolà an awful lot, I expect I laughed there as well. I seem to remember laughing at parts of The Cripple of Inishmaan and Josephine and I as well but not anywhere near as much as the rest of the audience.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
Wouldn't it be extremely splendid to be a woman in the Globe's touring productions of the Henry VIs? "Right! One of you is going to be Margaret, and the other one is going to be Joan, Eleanor, and Elizabeth!". Margaret's one of my top five roles, but that'd still be a tough choice to make! I could see Liolà being a good one for amateur groups, having - as it does - only two adult male roles, though I don't feel strong attachment to any one character. I'd like to be able to dance well enough to be in A Chorus Line, but that ship has SAILED.

Which one did you have best seats for?
The Cripple of Inishmaan and Josephine and I. I got decent standing spaces for all the Globe stuff too.

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