Saturday, 7 June 2014

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #056

22nd May to 6th June.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. In the Heights (Southwark Playhouse)
2. The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable (Punchdrunk)
3. The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable (Punchdrunk)
4. King Charles III (Almeida)
5. Blithe Spirit (Gielgud)
6. The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable (Punchdrunk)
7. The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales)
8. Privacy (Donmar Warehouse)
9. A Handful of Stars (Theatre503)
10. Secret Theatre: Show 5 (Lyric Hammersmith)

Who was the best performer in number one (In the Heights)?
Yeah, I made the time to go again. I thought "I don't have time, and I really can't afford £22 to see it again." And then I thought "YOU IDIOT, GO DIRECTLY TO YOUR PC AND BOOK." And then it sold out the very next day, so I was clearly correct in my decision to sacrifice sanity and make a return trip. To answer the actual question: Damian Buhagiar (with Victoria Hamilton-Barritt an honourable runner-up). Though the ENTIRE ENSEMBLE is superb with not one single weak link among them.

Why did you go to see number two (The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable)?
Are we... are we still asking this question? Look, there are thirty one characters, and it closes for good in just one month. I sat down and did some counting and realised that if I focused, I could totally DO this thing and follow them all! It just calls for a few more trips, that's all. I get my life back and a more normal blog (and hopefully fewer insane hormones) as of July 7th, just hang in there.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable) that you liked?
Ooh, yes! Faye's "Faye Greener! Professional actress!" charmed me extraordinarily, and Dolores's "little tip, sweetie? Red's not your colour" - due to the way one gets very emotionally connected to the character one has chosen to follow - made me almost excited for her impending downfall. (Red SO IS her colour, Dolores.)

What would you give number four (King Charles III) out of ten?
9! As with all History plays, it took a bit to get going, but it was DAMNED SPLENDID once it did.

Was there someone hot in number five (Blithe Spirit)?
Come for the Charles Edwards, stay for the Jemima Rooper.

What was number six (The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable) about?
This time, it was about people who work in movie studios, who do the less glamorous jobs (not as far down the chain as janitorial, but still plenty of dirty work), who aren't always happy about doing all the things their jobs entail, and who like to make the audience complicit in the things they do. Also there was quite a lot of face painting. It was all round a very charming (but with, of course, the obligatory sinister under overtones) evening.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (The Book of Mormon)?
It is always a pleasure to be reminded how excellent Gavin Creel is. I'd apologise to Broadway for the West End having stolen him, but I'm not sorry at all.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Privacy)?
As the run has now finished, I believe it is safe enough to discuss moments of the performance. I was very amused by the big interaction scene of the first half, less because of the amusing consequences of over-sharing on the internet, and more because of the implications that going to the wrong play at the wrong time could see you on an extremely awkward enforced date with Joshua McGuire. (I was also extremely impressed by the bookend moment in the second half; see, other plays? You CAN do it without it being awful and cringeworthy!)

Would you see number nine (A Handful of Stars) again?
Probably not. It was very fine indeed, but there's no need for a revisit, and there's very little legroom at that theatre, it turns out.

What was the worst thing about number ten (Secret Theatre: Show 5)?
I really really loved it. I came straight home and booked to go see it again. I'm now just nervous that I might get the same protagonist next time (they make a member of the audience pick a name out of a hat to see who's in the main role each time), but it's only a 1 in 9 chance. It'll be FIIIIINE, I'm sure!

Which was best?
Probably In the Heights! And King Charles III!

Which was worst?
None, really. They were all very good indeed. I think I liked Blithe Spirit least best, but then I've never been into Coward really, and it was mostly the rest of the audience made me cringe a lot.

Did any make you cry?
In the Heights did, The Drowned Man did, and Secret Theatre: Show 5 did.

Did any make you laugh?
In the Heights did, The Drowned Man did, King Charles III did, The Book of Mormon did, Privacy did, and Secret Theatre: Show 5 did.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I'm still all about Faye, the Drugstore Girl, and Alice in The Drowned Man. That's it though really.

Which one did you have best seats for?
Probably In the Heights. I very carefully selected the back row, bang in the centre, so had nothing in front of me but aisle and stage. It was pretty freakin' sweet.

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