Sunday, 14 September 2014

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #061

25th August to 13th September.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Arden of Faversham (Swan Theatre)
2. The White Devil (Swan Theatre)
3. Ballyturk (National; Lyttelton)
4. Titus Andronicus (Peckham)
5. Punishment Without Revenge (Shakespeare's Globe)
6. The Elephantom (New London)
7. Little Revolution (Almeida)
8. A Streetcar Named Desire (Young Vic)
9. The Two Gentlement of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Theatre)
10. Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare's Globe)

Who was the best performer in number one (Arden of Faversham)?
THERE WAS AN UNDERSTUDY SITUATION. Man ALIVE, but I love an understudy situation! It was a little bit sad, because I could see that the character who Joe Bannister would usually be playing would have been UTTERLY DELIGHTFUL as played by him, but thanks to the understudy situation, I got to see him in a role unlike anything I've ever seen him play before, and he NAILED IT.

Why did you go to see number two (The White Devil)?
I appear to be seeing the entire Roaring Girls season. Which is a little more time than I usually spend at the RSC of a season, but how can I resist the idea of great female roles being spotlit?

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Ballyturk) that you liked?
ERM. Well, there were a lot of really entertaining lines about bunnies, including "he came from a long line of bunnies", and I have a vivid memory of Stephen Rea suddenly bursting into 'Time After Time' which I'm not wholly sure I didn't dream, but the entire thing was BEYOND baffling. So I can't really commit any more than I already have.

What would you give number four (Titus Andronicus) out of ten?
I'm going for an unashamed 9! I loved it a LOT. For me, whether this play works or not hinges on the various fraternal relationships, and how much a product of her family Lavinia clearly is. And even though it's nasty and vicious and brutal, it's also a REALLY funny play. This production really worked for me on all these grounds, and I was thoroughly delighted (and appropriately harrowed) by it.

Was there someone hot in number five (Punishment Without Revenge)?
I was too busy trying to work out what on earth I was watching to pay heed to such superficial notions. By the interval, I'd narrowed it down to either erupting into bloody tragedy, or continuing as a rather creepy romcom. By the end, I still hadn't managed to narrow it down any further.

What was number six (The Elephantom) about?
An insecure stay-at-home father who isn't emotionally equipped to deal with the fact that both his wife and daughter are much more intelligent, driven, and successful than he is. Oh, also there's an elephant who's also a phantom and an asshole, and it's GLORIOUS.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Little Revolution)?
I'm reasonably confident that I didn't have one.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (A Streetcar Named Desire)?
I don't think I can answer this one actually. It was an all-round especially well done production with no particular stand-outs in terms of "bits".

Would you see number nine (The Two Gentlemen of Verona) again?
Probably not, actually. I'm extremely fond of the play in spite of its rather juvenile feel, and the cast are terrific, but some productions just really don't call for repeat visits.

What was the worst thing about number ten (Antony and Cleopatra)?
I appreciate that the audience at the Globe is going to be more unpredictable and more willing to engage than the average audience, and that a great joy of this theatre is the facility for this to happen and also the skill of the performers to work with it and not let it disrupt the performance. However that doesn't mean it's not really embarrassing when an audience member who should really know better decides to go the extra mile and make a scene all about them. OH how I cringed!

Which was best?
Well, Ballyturk was terrific, even though I can't work it out at all. I loved Titus Andronicus a LOT. The Elephantom is still an utter delight. A Streetcar Named Desire deserves its plaudits. Antony and Cleopatra was just FANTASTIC.

Which was worst?
I think by default it has to be Little Revolution. There was no focus, no pace, nothing to really pull for.

Did any make you cry?
Titus Andronicus did. I think that was it.

Did any make you laugh?
But I laughed at Titus Andronicus WAY more than I cried at it. I also laughed goodly amounts at Arden of Faversham and The Elephantom.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I just want to be an elephantom and come round on Fridays for parties, especially since the playlist is now longer than just one song.

Which one did you have best seats for?
I forgot I'd booked front row centre for The Elephantom until I got there. I felt very conspicuous and very tall.

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