Sunday, 17 July 2016

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #094

25th June to 16th July.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Unreachable (Royal Court)
2. Sunset at the Villa Thalia (National; Dorfman)
3. A Midsummer Night's Dream (Royal Shakespeare Theatre)
4. Richard III (Almeida)
5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 2 (Palace)
6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 1 (Palace)
7. Cuttin' It (Royal Court)
8. Henry V (Open Air Theatre)
9. Karagula (Styx)
10. Wild (Hampstead)

Who was the best performer in number one (Unreachable)?

Why did you go to see number two (Sunset at the Villa Thalia)?
I'm still operating on the understanding that I'll be seeing everything at the National, and when I wavered on this one and contemplated returning my ticket, I was advised that actually it was perfectly fine and Sam Crane takes his shirt off and I should definitely just go. And so I did, and lo it was indeed perfectly fine and Sam Crane did indeed take his shirt off.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (A Midsummer Night's Dream) that you liked?
Shakespeare's writing is so timeless and so universal that one could swear he had spent time in a twenty-first century primary school only this morning:
"Indeed he hath played on his prologue like a child
on a recorder; a sound, but not in government."

What would you give number four (Richard III) out of ten?
Hmmm. 5? It was a fairly standard production for the most part (some grand-standing, some blood, some excellent supporting performers) but if you're going to add a 100% gratuitous rape scene that adds nothing to - nay, detracts from - the overall production, you can't expect a decent numerical score. Shoehorning unnecessary violence against women into your production doesn't make you "edgy", it makes you TEDIOUS and OFFENSIVE.

Was there someone hot in number five (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 2)?
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have found Alex Price's best look. Not even sorry!

What was number six (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 1) about?

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Cuttin' It)?
Either Adelayo Adedayo or Tsion Habte. One of those.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Henry V)?
I've seen some world-beating coups de théâtre this year (this MONTH), but I think the visual that will forever stick with me is Chorus, having invited us all to use our imagination to watch this play, glancing around the assembled cast, gently but firmly rejecting several likely-looking young men, and choosing to give the crown of England to a diminutive young lady in a cardigan. It was a powerful statement, and it's taken me several days (and a lot of tears) just to type it up because I simply don't want my words to diminish it. The St Crispin's Day speech was also beautifully done, and I loved the wooing scene not being done as the usual giddy romance. This production GOT me.

Would you see number nine (Karagula) again?
Not at that price. Also I have only limited time on this earth, so although I will reread the playtext and relive the play in my mind, I wouldn't prioritise a revisit.

What was the worst thing about number ten (Wild)?
WELL. WELL. I'd heard the ending was something special, and when the moment (as I thought) began, I remember thinking it was a real shame I'd just seen YOUARENOWHERE, because maybe it would have been impressive if I didn't already have YOUARENOWHERE lodged in my brain. Then the moment (actual) began, and I realised it hadn't been over-hyped AT ALL. So if it really had stopped where I initially thought it was going to, that would have been the worst thing, that it wasn't as impressive as I'd been led to believe. But as the ending was ultimately even more impressive than I'd been led to believe, I suppose the worst thing was that the main character was just a little too underwritten (though I will defend the seemingly gratuitous shirtless scene to the bitter end, FIGHT ME).

Which was best?
I mean, okay, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was jolly good and a non-stop roller coaster of fantastic stage craft, but Unreachable, Henry V, and Wild were much more to my liking when it comes to what I look for in the theatrical arts.

Which was worst?
Richard III let itself down enough for me to not simply strike out this question this time.

Did any make you cry?
I laughed so hard at Unreachable that tears fell. I welled up a wee bit at Sunset at the Villa Thalia. And I sobbed like a child meeting her hero and realising that she too could touch the sky for pretty much the entire duration of Henry V, so.

Did any make you laugh?
I laughed so hard at Unreachable that I don't think I've ever before truly known what laughter actually means. (What I'm saying, guys, is that Unreachable made me laugh, really really hard.)

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I'm torn between UTMOST JOY and CRIPPLING TERROR at the idea of working on an Anthony Neilson play with the kind of people that Anthony Neilson likes to work with. There are some good roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard III and Henry V that I'd like to have a go at. And although I'm not 100% sold on Karagula, I am nonetheless amused that I would find it extremely easy to costume myself appropriately from my own wardrobe (and, indeed, accidentally did so when going to see it).

Which one did you have best seats for?
It'd be difficult to beat my seat for Wild - close enough to see the sweat, but not close enough that I could reach out and touch anyone anything. My replacement seat for Henry V was also fairly magnificent, and it was worth splashing out on stalls seats for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

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