Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #090

20th March to 12th April.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Blood Brothers (Wycombe Swan)
2. Scenes from 68* Years (Arcola)
3. Sunset Boulevard (Coliseum)
4. The Winter's Tale (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)
5. Miss Atomic Bomb (St James Theatre)
6. Right Now (Bush)
7. Flare Path (Wycombe Swan)
8. Les Blancs (National; Olivier)
9. The Painkiller (Garrick)
10. In the Heights (King's Cross Theatre)

Who was the best performer in number one (Blood Brothers)?
I'm not gonna lie - it's so nice to finally have a Narrator who knows how to enunciate again that it's pretty much got to be Kristofer Harding here by default.

Why did you go to see number two (Scenes from 68* Years)?
I had a ticket booked for The Caretaker at the Old Vic, the knowledge of which had dismayed me a little after I came out of The Homecoming ready to swear off Pinter for a while. Then they announced that The Caretaker was likely to be over three hours long with two intervals, and even though it has apparently since reduced its running time a little, I was nonetheless SO NOT INTERESTED any more, so I booked this instead, because Mateo Oxley. NO REGRETS.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Sunset Boulevard) that you liked?
Sunset Boulevard is one of the best Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, which it in large part owes to the brilliance of its source material. So there's a whole freakin' bunch of fantastic lyrics and brilliant dialogue to choose from, however in this particular instance none of them were quite as satisfying as hearing a great big wonderful orchestra playing the crap out of that score.

What would you give number four (The Winter's Tale) out of ten?
A fully respectable 8, which could have had the potential to go even higher except I'm getting increasingly angry about plays that run for longer than 3 hours, even when the theatre isn't completely uncomfortable.

Was there someone hot in number five (Miss Atomic Bomb)?
You know, I really actively disliked this show, so I'd prefer not to think about it any longer than I have to. I'm pretty sure most of the cast was pretty attractive, if that helps.

What was number six (Right Now) about?
Oh good, we're getting into a new run of making sure one particular question is always about the worst possible productions. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I'm not constantly being asked who was the best actor in one-man shows any more, but at least I was able to give an answer to those. This one though... was it about grief? Was it about family? Was it about mental illness? Was it about juggling? Does ANYONE actually know?

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Flare Path)?
Obviously William Reay ("obviously" because he is delightfully ginger, and also because he played the most endearing character).

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Les Blancs)?
My favourite bit about Les Blancs was the way it started at 7:30pm and declared that it wouldn't finish until 11pm, but changed its mind and finished bang on 10:30pm. The play was excellent, the production and performances were great, but NOTHING compares to the relief of getting out of an auditorium at a semi-reasonable hour, especially when you weren't expecting to.

Would you see number nine (The Painkiller) again?

What was the worst thing about number ten (In the Heights)?
There was a lot of illness going round, and although the cast did a fantastic job in spite of the face of poorliness, I was occasionally thrown by concern for their well-being.

Which was best?
Probably Sunset Boulevard, I reckon.

Which was worst?
Easily Miss Atomic Bomb, though The Painkiller was almost as painful.

Did any make you cry?
It would've been difficult not to shed a tear at Scenes from 68* Years, and there was definitely some repressed sniffling going on during Flare Path. And obviously Blood Brothers - it's been a part of me for too long to not get to me every time.

Did any make you laugh?
I don't particularly remember laughing at any of them. Indeed, I remember distinctly NOT laughing at The Painkiller, though judging by literally everyone else in the theatre mine was apparently the minority view.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I have always always always wanted to play Norma Desmond. I don't believe it will ever happen, but I have always wanted it.

Which one did you have best seats for?
My seat for Scenes from 68* Years was TOO good. Right Now, Flare Path, and In the Heights had much more traditionally good seats.

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