Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #066

30th October to 1st December.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. A Show for Christmas by Daniel Kitson (Battersea Arts Centre)
2. Usagi Yojimbo (Southwark Playhouse)
3. Accolade (St James Theatre)
4. Piranha Heights (Old Red Lion Theatre)
5. God Blesss the Child (Royal Court)
6. Grand Guignol (Southwark Playhouse)
7. 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)
8. Love's Labour's Lost (Royal Shakespeare Theatre)
9. The Witch of Edmonton (Swan)
10. This is How We Die (Battersea Arts Centre)

Who was the best performer in number one (A Show for Christmas by Daniel Kitson)?
Always and forever Daniel Kitson. God bless the one man show.

Why did you go to see number two (Usagi Yojimbo)?
I cannot tell a lie - I was looking for something cheap I could book in advance and this was the first thing to tentatively put up its paw and say "well, I'm £10 (no booking fee) with no dayseating or returns-stalking required, will I do?".

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Accolade) that you liked?
Nope. I mean, I had a few ideas of lines I remembered liking and wanted to look up in the playtext so I could be sure of relaying them accurately, but then I couldn't find a copy of the playtext anywhere. Y'all are just going to have to accept the "nope".

What would you give number four (Piranha Heights) out of ten?
I liked the play 8 out of 10, and I like the post-show poetry reading 10 out of 10, so the whole evening averages out at a wholly respectable 9 out of 10, even though I was SO TIRED that I can't guarantee I didn't hallucinate everything.

Was there someone hot in number five (God Bless the Child)?
I don't really like it when this question applies to a play that is absolutely jam-packed with children. That part of my brain simply doesn't switch on once you get to a 50-50 adult-child ratio, and this play had the adults outnumbered 2 to 1.

What was number six (Grand Guignol) about?
It was sort of about le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol and the people and the plays but even though a lot more of the content was based on historical fact than I realised while I was watching, it was still heavily fictionalised, and it sort of twisted itself into such a confusion that I just don't know any more.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven ('Tis Pity She's a Whore)?
It takes a very special sort of actor to take the oft-cut comic subplot and turn it into not only the most entertaining but also the most moving strand of a story, and this particular production is blessed with just such an actor - the one, the only, the more-than-a-little-bit-terrifying James Garnon!

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Love's Labour's Lost)?
I don't care, I don't care, I ENJOYED the Nine Worthies as Gilbert and Sullivan!

Would you see number nine (The Witch of Edmonton) again?
I wouldn't usually say so, but I might have to. Some chattering neighbours meant I missed key plot points in the first half (although possibly these points just weren't very clear anyway), and then I got extremely distracted by one of the costumes for the entire second half.

What was the worst thing about number ten (This is How We Die)?
As it was a short show, I wasn't especially worried about the 9.30pm start time. But when it eventually started, much closer to 10pm than advertised, I did start to get awfully concerned about the possibility I might end up missing the last train home. Luckily my journey home was ultimately smooth and uneventful but I'm sure I'd've enjoyed the show a lot more if I hadn't been sitting running through possible routes and potential contingency plans in my head the whole time.

Which was best?
I thought Accolade was terrific, and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore was marvellously well done, but first prize goes to A Christmas Show by Daniel Kitson.

Which was worst?
I don't think I got enough out of The Witch of Edmonton. Though I think I blame the playwright over the production.

Did any make you cry?
No, but there was some minor tearing up at A Christmas Show by Daniel Kitson, Accolade, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, and Love's Labour's Lost.

Did any make you laugh?
Oh hell yes! A Christmas Show by Daniel Kitson, Usagi Yojimbo (although most of the laughter was at the pre-show, it's worthy of a mention for the sheer quantity), God Bless the Child, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, and Love's Labour's Lost.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I think it's just the traditional "any of the female roles or even some of the male roles in the Shakespeare play(s)" answer here.

Which one did you have best seats for?
If we're talking front row centre (which I usually am, don't know if you've noticed), then that's Usagi Yojimbo, Piranha Heights, Grand Guignol, This is How We Die, and technically I suppose 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. Having tried the £10 standing spaces in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and having now sat in the pit, I am FAR more likely in future to pay £30 or so in the name of being able to see more than just the candelabra. Also, I had a restricted view front row ticket for Accolade, which was restricted by virtue of being directly behind a little phone table but came with the unexpected bonus that I was just about able to hear the voices on the other end of the phone whenever one of the frequent telephone calls occurred. This sort of thing is very exciting if you're me.

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