Saturday, 28 March 2015

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #072

7th to 27th March.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Barnes' People (Trafalgar Studio 1)
2. The Ruling Class (Trafalgar Studio 1)
3. Taken at Midnight (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
4. How to Hold Your Breath (Royal Court)
5. Romeo and Juliet (Rose Kingston)
6. Alice: A New Musical (St James Theatre)
7. Romeo and Juliet (Tobacco Factory)
8. Dreaming in Code (The Place)
9. Rebecca (Wycombe Swan)
10. Game (Almeida)

Who was the best performer in number one (Barnes' People)?
Maggie Steed, hands down. Though the others were excellent too.

Why did you go to see number two (The Ruling Class)?
Because I hate myself and thought that surrounding myself with 200 chattering, quivering, giggling fellow audience members might be a harsh enough punishment for such an act of self-loathing.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Taken at Midnight) that you liked?
Oh. Erm, no. Mostly I do remember to make mental notes as I go along, but this time I made the conscious decision to just focus on the play and see if standard memory would serve. You'd think I would have learned by now that standard memory will not serve. Although I do remember having my mind blown by the revelation that Dr Conrad likes to break his sugar cubes in two just so. HOW DOES ONE ACCOMPLISH THIS? A WHOLE SUGAR CUBE IS TOO MUCH BUT I AM NEVER ABLE TO BREAK THEM UNTIL THEY ARE ALREADY HALF-DISSOLVED. I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO EFFICIENTLY BREAK A SUGAR CUBE IN TWO.

What would you give number four (How to Hold Your Breath) out of ten?
4. It can have a 4, and it can like it.

Was there someone hot in number five (Romeo and Juliet)?
As much as I adored the entire cast, I don't think "hot" is the word here.

What was number six (Alice: A New Musical) about?
One girl's surreal emotional journey to find a comeback equally as half-hearted as the insult to which it will be rejoindered. She accomplished this in spades. Also there was an angry French mouse, a needlessly attractive cat, and a song all about cake which was exceptionally cruel considering this was a lunchtime performance and I had not eaten before going in.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Romeo and Juliet)?
Probably Callum McIntyre. It's rare that Benvolio ever makes an impact on me, so I appreciate the charming ones all the more when they appear.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Dreaming in Code)?
There was a bit with a disco ball, and disco music, and synchronised dancing, and then it all moved inside a tent. I really like the idea of a spontaneous disco in a tent.

Would you see number nine (Rebecca) again?
Sure! I mean, there did come a point where the plotting grew simply preposterous that ran to the point of tedium rather than tension, but I otherwise enjoyed it a great deal.

What was the worst thing about number ten (Game)?
I can see there's an argument for the focal characters not being developed enough for us to care about them, but I think there's a lot to be said for the focal characters in a play about the housing crisis being presented as a relatively blank slate. The housing crisis affects us all, after all, so being able to imagine ourselves in such a situation makes the point better than witty dialogue or clearly defined characters can. So I suppose the worst thing about Game was that it didn't manage to remind the audience that it was about the housing crisis and thus it really did end up in many ways seeming to be just about how sadistic people can be when they're given permission to be so, which we have definitely seen endlessly before.

Which was best?
Probably The Ruling Class, in fairness to the production and ignoring the audience.

Which was worst?
And this is why I've not killed this question all together, How to Hold Your Breath.

Did any make you cry?
I don't think I cried at all, actually. Possibly welled up some at the Kingston Romeo and Juliet.

Did any make you laugh?
I suspect I laughed at most of them, but I think it would have mostly been The Ruling Class.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I don't think there's anyone who wouldn't like to have a go at Mercutio. I do feel I could do quite a good Romeo, though my Juliet days are definitely behind me now.

Which one did you have best seats for?
Front centre for Dreaming in Code and Rebecca. I have also found a small number of acceptable cheap seats in the Theatre Royal Haymarket which I shall be remembering for future reference.

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