Friday, 8 February 2019

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #134

12th January to 2nd February.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Original Death Rabbit (Jermyn Street Theatre)
2. Cost of Living (Hampstead Upstairs)
3. Hadestown (National; Olivier)
4. Don Quixote (Garrick)
5. The Wedding (Barbican)
6. When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other (National; Dorfman)
7. Violet (Charing Cross Theatre)
8. The Tragedy of King Richard the Second (Almeida)
9. Romeo and Juliet (Barbican)
10. The Woman in Black (Fortune)

Who was the best performer in number one (Original Death Rabbit)?
I'm willing to commit to Kimberley Nixon here. And not just because it was a one-woman show either.

Why did you go to see number two (Cost of Living)?
Ordinarily I'd use this space to have a pop at the idea that it's haaaaard to find plays by female playwrights, but I don't really have the energy today. Basically I booked it because it's by a female playwright.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Hadestown) that you liked?
When I already know a show quite well before I go to see it, I try to drive out my preconceptions of the lines or the lyrics and see what hits me particularly on the night. In this case, I'm going with:
"Suddenly, when he saw her there
Persephone in her mother’s garden
Sun on her shoulders, wind in her hair"
They just struck me as really simple but incredibly evocative, so here they are.

What would you give number four (Don Quixote) out of ten?
8, actually. I was a bit wary going in of how much "fun" I'd heard it was, and I did find myself very much not in the mood for audience participation so having to do the exact opposite of everything I do when I go to immersive theatre to make sure I wasn't picked on but also not to make it look too much like I was trying not to be picked on, but actually it was a lot of fun, I only got hit by a flying bread roll once, and - slightly worryingly - it's probably the best RSC production I've seen in a while.

Was there someone hot in number five (The Wedding)?
I was in the cheap seats without my opera glasses, I'm afraid I couldn't tell you.

What was number six (When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other) about?
An elaborate piece of months-long performance art covering all the ways that theatre tortures audiences, from choice of creatives, to selection of theatre, to once more resurrecting the endless debates about the fairness of balloting (which REALLY brings out the unpleasant elitist in some people, it turns out), and all topped off with a play! A play which, all things considered, turned out -  in a complete anticlimax - to be basically fine?

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Violet)?
I didn't really have a favourite, sorry! The cast were pretty evenly divided into "did a great job" and "didn't have enough to do to stand out as doing a great job".

What was your favourite bit in number eight (The Tragedy of King Richard the Second)?
Is it unimaginative as hell to say act 4 scene 1? Probably. But was it exquisitely performed and worth the trip almost on its own? Hell yes.

Would you see number nine (Romeo and Juliet) again?
Nah. Though at least it was SO much better than Merry Wives.

What was the worst thing about number ten (The Woman in Black)?
I stan reasonably hard for this play, but even so isn't it time the casting was mixed up a little bit? Even if you simply must keep Arthur Kipps as an older white man, is there any reason why The Actor couldn't be played by literally anybody other than a younger white man?

Which was best?
Although I'd hate to have gone in without any foreknowledge of the play, I did love The Tragedy of King Richard the Second an awful lot. I also stan hard for Hadestown, even with the suboptimal casting situation.

Which was worst?

Did any make you cry?
Hadestown is an absolute weeper. Patrick Page and Amber Gray are AMAZING.

Did any make you laugh?
Original Death Rabbit and Don Quixote, I think.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I still wouldn't mind having a crack at Eurydice, as long as the rest of the cast suits my needs. And I wouldn't mind being in a Richard II, though quite possibly not this one?

Which one did you have best seats for?
Don Quixote and Romeo and Juliet. I enjoy the RSC's policy of front row tickets for £10, even though I don't think I'm the kind of audience member they intended them for. I also LOVED my little side-on front row seat for The Woman in Black, I loved having a ton of space to dump my stuff in, a railing to prop my feet up on, and no neighbours on either side of me. I would ABSOLUTELY sit there again.

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