Friday, 29 July 2016

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #095

21st to 28th July.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Theatre)
2. Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Theatre)
3. Unreachable (Royal Court)
4. The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Bodleian Library)
5. A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare's Globe)
6. French Without Tears (Orange Tree)
7. Primetime 2016 (Royal Court)
8. Wild (Hampstead)
9. Pigs and Dogs (Royal Court)
10. The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare's Globe)

Who was the best performer in number one (Hamlet)?
I want to give a shout out to Natalie Simpson. Ophelia is probably one of the worst roles ever written, but she did a fine job. Anyone can give a good performance given enough words or characterisation, but if you can give a good performance with fewer than sixty lines and not one but two mad scenes, then you deserve all the plaudits.

Why did you go to see number two (Cymbeline)?
Too much good word of mouth and yet no London transfer for Hamlet meant I succumbed to the inevitable and booked it in Stratford, so I thought I may as well book a Cymbeline matinee to go along with it 'cos Stratford's quite a way to go for a single play.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Unreachable) that you liked?
OH SO MANY. From "a man with no head takes no comfort in hats" to "I'm an actress - if you want me to feel something, just fucking pay me" to "I will lick jam from a hamster's scrotum if it so pleases me", I could honestly transcribe half the play if only I had a copy of the script. (There was also a shared giggle at "he knows nothing of loyalty!", for Hamilton reasons.)

What would you give number four (The Two Gentlemen of Verona) out of ten?
For most of the performance, it was a very sweet and enjoyable and energetic production that hovered around a steady 7. Then they decided not to bother shying away from or glossing over the extremely problematic ending, and it rose to a delightfully depressing 9.

Was there someone hot in number five (A Midsummer Night's Dream)?

What was number six (French Without Tears) about?
Terence Rattigan's issues with women, I think.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Primetime 2016)?
I wasn't going to choose because they were such a wonderful ensemble, but then I noticed that one of them is called Amalia Vitale and that is SUCH a fantastic name that I thought my blog would be forever poorer if I didn't mention her specifically.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Wild)?
Look, I'm as much a fan of extremely distracting visuals as the next person, and I adored the extremely distracting visuals beyond measure, but I think my favourite thing about the play generally was Caoilfhionn Dunne's performance. The guys were great, but it did dip a little whenever she wasn't on stage.

Would you see number nine (Pigs and Dogs) again?
Nah. It's a limited run, a very short play, and extremely comprehensively written.

What was the worst thing about number ten (The Taming of the Shrew)?
I thought it was a great production that didn't shy away from the awfulness of the premise and was well-performed by all, EXCEPT Petruchio didn't really register for me. At all. Whether you're playing him as an asshole or an idiot, he needs to have some proper charisma, and this one didn't really tick that box for me. Which is sort of a problem when it's the biggest role in the play.

Which was best?
I enjoyed Unreachable and Wild enough that these were return visits to both plays. I also had a lot of fondness for French Without Tears.

Which was worst?

Did any make you cry?
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Taming of the Shrew. You can't really take me to comedies, it turns out.

Did any make you laugh?
Let's say all of them. But ESPECIALLY Primetime 2016.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
Man, that's a lot of Shakespeare. Julia and Helena are top preferences I think.

Which one did you have best seats for?
Front row centre for both Unreachable and Pigs and Dogs! Possibly even the same seat for both but Pigs and Dogs was unassigned seating so I can't be sure!

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