Monday, 29 September 2014

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #062

14th to 27th September.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. My Night with Reg (Donmar Warehouse)
2. James III: The True Mirror (National; Olivier)
3. James II: Day of the Innocents (National; Olivier)
4. James I: The Key Will Keep the Lock (National; Olivier)
5. Miss Saigon (Prince Edward)
6. The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare's Globe)
7. Teh Internet is Serious Business (Royal Court)
8. Julius Caesar (Shakespeare's Globe)
9. The Tune is Always Better on the Outside/Bitterenders (Mosaic Room)
10. Mother Courage (Teatro Vivo)

Who was the best performer in number one (My Night with Reg)?
Oh well that's unkind. When something is so universally exquisitely performed, it is not fair, nay, it is not RIGHT to elevate one performer above any of the others.

Why did you go to see number two (James III: The True Mirror)?
Is this a trick question?

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (James II: Day of the Innocents) that you liked?
"It is energy, not stupidity?". A line that initially made me giggle, but now haunts me with the idea that my 6 year old nephew could end up being exactly the same as he is now when he's 20.

What would you give number four (James I: The Key Will Keep the Lock) out of ten?
I'm going with the traditional 8, equivalent to a 4-star rating, which means "see it, enjoy it, recommend it" in my books.

Was there someone hot in number five (Miss Saigon)?
I'm sorry, could you repeat the question, I can't hear you over that WICKED AWESOME HELICOPTER. Also Jonathan Pryce was there and he's wicked awesome too.

What was number six (The Comedy of Errors) about?
From where I was standing, it was about a magnificently painted wooden box that matched the aesthetic of the theatre perfectly, and from time to time a story of extremely mistaken identity would appear round the sides of it. We moved for the second half, where we were much more able to watch the moving story of one man's struggle to take in all the clean laundry.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Teh Internet is Serious Business)?
I uh... oh gosh. I'm reasonably confident I fell asleep in front of my computer and hallucinated the entire play. It certainly resonated a little too heavily with too many misspent hours on the internet. Basically I'm just trying to put off answering the question so I don't end up saying Ferdinand Kingsley again but damnit I think it must have been. He's endlessly delightful.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Julius Caesar)?
I... really hate to be That Person, but I LOVED the pre-show puppet show explaining how Julius Caesar went out and biff-biff-biffed the world. As for the play itself, I guess I loved Brutus's death (spoilers). I've seen meaningfully symbolic double-casting in that vein before now, but this is the first time I've wept at meaningfully symbolic double-casting in that vein.

Would you see number nine (The Tune is Always Better on the Outside/Bitterenders) again?
Well, it was a pair of rehearsed readings, and I always feel the default answer for this question when it is a rehearsed reading should be yes, to see what benefits a full production brings to the raw script. However, both plays knew exactly what they wanted to say, and they said it so firmly and with such conviction that I really don't think a return trip would be necessary.

What was the worst thing about number ten (Mother Courage)?
It was a bit of a sunny day and I kept ending up on the wrong side of the action and spending entire scenes squinting painfully into the sun. It also turned out there weren't as many audience members as it initially appeared there were, thanks to the use of a community chorus, so I did start to get confused towards the end. There aren't many situations where I'm the only person in a crowd who's NOT singing, it was very disconcerting!

Which was best?
I think it's probably My Night with Reg.

Which was worst?
A strong batch means I don't have a worst, but I suppose James II: Day of the Innocents was the least best.

Did any make you cry?
I didn't really weep at anything other than The Comedy of Errors and Julius Caesar. Sometimes I just don't.

Did any make you laugh?
Too many of 'em to bother boiling it down.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
Oh, I don't know. No preference. You decide.

Which one did you have best seats for?
Got away with row D in the stalls for Miss Saigon. Even though we were right over at the edge, the view was hardly impeded at all, and for £20 apiece and with free champagne included, they cannot be faulted!

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