Monday, 14 March 2016

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #089

19th February to 12th March.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. War Horse (New London)
2. Twelfth Night (Shakespeare's Globe)
3. A Raisin in the Sun (Watford Palace)
4. A Midsummer Night's Dream (Lyric Hammersmith)
5. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (National; Lyttelton)
6. Escaped Alone (Royal Court)
7. Rabbit Hole (Hampstead Theatre)
8. Uncle Vanya (Almeida)
9. Iphigenia in Splott (National; AFKAS)
10. The Tempest (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)

Who was the best performer in number one (War Horse)?
Always Joey. Goodnight, sweet prance [sic].

Why did you go to see number two (Twelfth Night)?
When I say I like to see everything at the Globe, I'm not kidding around, I do mean the Playing Shakespeare educational productions too. They are delightfully concise, they never let themselves get bogged down, they get the balance between "respectful" and "fun" exactly right in the way the summer productions don't often manage, and the casts are always excellent.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (A Raisin in the Sun) that you liked?
Well, the whole play was tremendously written and there's a whole bunch of brilliant lines I could fish out at this point, but I'm going with this bit, because it's the bit that made me cry: "I will show you our mountains and our stars; and give you cool drinks from gourds and teach you the old songs and the ways of our people - and, in time, we will pretend that - you have only been away for a day."

What would you give number four (A Midsummer Night's Dream) out of ten?
Well, it was delightfully inventive and hilarious and a whole heap of fun, but I'm always wary of Dreams that don't balance out the three aspects of the play. I mean, the play is great but can turn tedious if it veers too close to becoming The Bottom Show, anddddd... this production was not entirely innocent of that. So probably a 7.

Was there someone hot in number five (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom)?
Always a pleasure to see O.T. Fagbenle on the stage.

What was number six (Escaped Alone) about?

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Rabbit Hole)?
They were all great. Top accolade goes to Penny Downie though, she's EXTREMELY good at portraying the depths below the surface that the playwrights probably never even consider.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Uncle Vanya)?
I always liked the second act best, with its ability to perfectly capture that stillness and surreality of it being the middle of the night and yet nobody's asleep. It didn't hurt that the extended running time of this production meant there were several minutes of this act during which Tobias Menzies was dancing around in his pants.

Would you see number nine (Iphigenia in Splott) again?
Hmmm. No. It was very good, but no.

What was the worst thing about number ten (The Tempest)?
As a play, I find it a little stagnant and this production was played awfully earnestly, which means in the long run I'm probably only going to remember it as "The Tempest where I actually liked the comic subplot best", which NEVER happens.

Which was best?
A Raisin in the Sun, for sure!

Which was worst?

Did any make you cry?
War Horse, Twelfth Night, A Raisin in the Sun, and Uncle Vanya all did.

Did any make you laugh?
All the Shakespeares, apparently.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
Helena or Hippolyta would be my top choices for A Midsummer Night's Dream, Olivia is on my Top Five Female Shakespeare Roles wishlist, but all of that pales next to how desperately I MUST. PLAY. SONYA.

Which one did you have best seats for?
My seat for A Midsummer Night's Dream was great until the food fight. Still, it was nice of the cast to provide me with a snack for the journey home.

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