Friday, 25 July 2014

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #059

5th to 25th July.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Leviathan (Hackney Downs Studios)
2. Medea (National; Olivier)
3. Holes (Arcola)
4. Amadeus (Chichester Festival Theatre)
5. Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare's Globe)
6. Great Britain (National; Lyttelton)
7. Fathers and Sons (Donmar Warehouse)
8. Travesti (Pleasance)
9. The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable (Punchdrunk)
10. Mr Burns (Almeida)

Who was the best performer in number one (Leviathan)?
I cannot tell a lie - the white whale itself outstripped all the human performers by a SIGNIFICANT margin.

Why did you go to see number two (Medea)?
Well, because Helen McCrory. Lots of things about it looked promising, and every subsequent piece of news about it just increased my levels of anticipation, but really my decision was made as soon as Helen McCrory.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Holes) that you liked?
I feel that this play was sold as being funnier than it was. But if you actually pay attention to the synopsis, it does instantly give away the fact that it's a pretty dark set-up, so I really shouldn't have been as surprised as I was that it ended up as dark as it did. (Well, I think you can be surprised how dark it ended up, you just have to bear in mind it was hardly light to begin with). Also, what with current affairs being what they are, it did feel like exceptionally unfortunate timing. Although I bought and have read and do enjoy the playtext, the only lines I can really remember are the ones that made me cringe because of the unfortunate timing, so I'll refrain from recounting any here.

What would you give number four (Amadeus) out of ten?
Erm... well, it was a solid enough production with some (some, not all) very good performances, but it wasn't spectacular. Ordinarily that would merit a fairly respectable if somewhat non-committal 7 out of 10, but I'm going to mark it down to 6 out of 10 for one very very important reason - IF YOU RUN ONE OF THE PREMIER THRUST THEATRES IN THE UK, THEN YOU SHOULDN'T BE DIRECTING A PLAY AS THOUGH IT'S A PROSCENIUM.

Was there someone hot in number five (Titus Andronicus)?
If you don't have a crush on Indira Varma, then I can only assume you are basically a broken person.

What was number six (Great Britain) about?
It was about... well, it was about 30 minutes longer than it needed to be, and about 60% as funny as it thought it was.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Fathers and Sons)?
Oh gosh, much as I am continuing to get all the joy in the world out of following Joshua James's career, today it was actually Anthony Calf. He is ridiculously good at everything he does, and whoever decided that Calf and James should play father and son deserves a gold star.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Travesti)?
I enjoyed the whole thing, but I suppose I would be remiss in my blogging duties if I didn't mention the brief spontaneous lap dance I received from a Welshman (yes, it was part of the play, before you ask).

Would you see number nine (The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable) again?
I would, but I won't. This was the final performance. I from henceforth declare this blog to be a Drowned Man free zone. We may all sleep soundly in our beds forever more (until the next Punchdrunk show). Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be the one wearing the mask, weeping in the corner...

What was the worst thing about number ten (Mr Burns)?
I wasn't entirely sure about the pace of the third act, but I did greatly enjoy the show as a whole so I can let it off. It did very well to keep the pace up as much as it did considering the whole three acts/two intervals thing.

Which was best?
Between Medea, Fathers and Sons, and The Drowned Man, I think I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Which was worst?
Oh, Leviathan. It wouldn't have been so awful if I hadn't been waiting for so long after being so impressed by Cart Macabre, but it really was a big ol' pile of not-my-bag.

Did any make you cry?
Sobbed quite a lot at The Drowned Man. Probably teared up some at Medea, but I left most of my tears shed on the floor in Paddington that day.

Did any make you laugh?
Fathers and Sons, somewhat surprisingly. And Travesti, and maybe The Drowned Man? It was an emotionally wrought evening.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?

Which one did you have best seats for?
My seat for Travesti was all sorts of impressive.

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