Sunday, 20 December 2015

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #085

2nd to 19th December.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Dr Seuss's The Lorax (Old Vic)
2. Husbands and Sons (National; Dorfman)
3. Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Donmar Warehouse)
4. Pericles (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)
5. Here We Go (National; Lyttelton)
6. Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith)
7. Jane Eyre (National; Lyttelton)
8. Little Eyolf (Almeida)
9. Linda (Royal Court)
10. Jesus Christ Superstar (Wycombe Swan)

Who was the best performer in number one (Dr Seuss's The Lorax)?
Well, the Lorax himself is probably the finest puppet I've seen since Joey and Topthorn, so this has to go to Simon Lipkin, Laura Cubitt, and Ben Thompson.

Why did you go to see number two (Husbands and Sons)?
Although the National's output has been much less inspiring recently than it has been previously, I still largely work on the assumption I'm going to try to see everything they do, and this one had enough positive word-of-mouth that it escaped a recent exchange of previously bought tickets for credit vouchers.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) that you liked?
There were a great many extremely witty lines and I was making many mental notes throughout the play - "oh, this one's good, no, this one, wait, *this* is the one to look up later" - and really just couldn't narrow it down at all. Then there was a man on the train home who couldn't take hints and just wanted to talk even though his chosen audience didn't really want him to, and I was very much reminded of this line of the Marquise of Merteuil's: "To say this man is entitled to your daughter just because of his passion for her is a little like saying a thief is entitled to your money". Yes, she was being manipulative for her own ends when she said it, but that doesn't mean she didn't hit upon a ringing truth at the same time.

What would you give number four (Pericles) out of ten?
8! I found it a bit difficult to keep up at first, and though it was an excellently restrained production from Dromgoole, you could still sense his hands on it. Nonetheless, it was extremely well performed and a delightful production of a terrifically mad play.

Was there someone hot in number five (Here We Go)?
No, not really.

What was number six (Cinderella) about?
A traditional fairy tale for children told via the medium of the FILTHIEST LANGUAGE EVER.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Jane Eyre)?
Felix Hayes. Unquestionably. Performing though he was alongside a bevy of extremely talented performers, I am very able to choose a favourite where Felix Hayes is involved.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Little Eyolf)?
Erm... probably, if we're being completely candid, the lovely sunrise that opened the play. It was a very well done effect indeed.

Would you see number nine (Linda) again?
If time and money were no object, I certainly would. But I have only a finite number of pounds, and a finite number of empty afternoons and evenings, and so I don't suppose I will.

What was the worst thing about number ten (Jesus Christ Superstar)?
I believe I have spoken of the echo effect before, where one knows a show so well that you hear all the lines in your head a fraction of a second before the cast utters them. It's off-putting. Especially when they've changed a tiny handful of lyrics. Also there was an exceedingly frightening wig, I was pretty frightened of it.

Which was best?
Seeing as I've already started planning out my end-of-year theatre round-up, it's only natural that suddenly two extremely brilliant shows have snuck in right under the wire to confuse things even further - damn your eyes, Husbands and Sons and The Lorax.

Which was worst?

Did any make you cry?
Yeah, I cried a lot at The Lorax. And maybe some at Husbands and Sons, and Here We Go, and Jane Eyre. And, confusingly, every time Mary Magdalene did ANYTHING in Jesus Christ Superstar.

Did any make you laugh?
I laughed my ass off at The Lorax and Cinderella, and a normal amount at Pericles (if, indeed, there is such a thing as "a normal amount" of anything where Pericles is concerned).

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
Actually, I also cried right at the beginning of Jesus Christ Superstar as I realised yet again that there is no way anyone will ever let me play Judas. I'd also desperately like to be in The Lorax, no role preference, and Pericles could be an interesting adventure.

Which one did you have best seats for?
Pericles! Not only did I treat myself to a Pit seat (I'm still feeling quite betrayed about the prices going up), but there were only three of us on a bench made for five, so it was probably the most comfortable I've ever been in that theatre. Otherwise it's the usual rash of front row/least restricted view/sitting right at the back because actually it's okay in that particular theatre.

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