Monday, 15 July 2019

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #140

29th June to 13th July.

List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. A Midsummer Night's Dream (Open Air Theatre)
2. Aesop's Fables (Unicorn Theatre)
3. Orpheus Descending (Menier Chocolate Factory)
4. Wife (Kiln)
5. Peter Gynt (National; Olivier)
6. Henry V, or Harry England (Shakespeare's Globe)
7. Henry IV Part 2, or Falstaff (Shakespeare's Globe)
8. Henry IV Part 1, or Hotspur (Shakespeare's Globe)
9. the end of history... (Royal Court Downstairs)
10. Present Laughter (Old Vic)

Who was the best performer in number one (A Midsummer Night's Dream)?
Future Dame Susan Wokoma, obvs.

Why did you go to see number two (Aesop's Fables)?
I was tempted anyway because I love the Unicorn, but I finally got around to booking once I heard that Rosie Wyatt was in it.

Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Orpheus Descending) that you liked?
I'm afraid not.

What would you give number four (Wife) out of ten?
8, I think. Somehow the individual scenes all ran for far longer than they really needed to, but the play as a whole was a treasure.

Was there someone hot in number five (Peter Gynt)?
Peter Gynt? At the National Theatre? Starring James McArdle, that Peter Gynt? Nah, I can't think of anyone.

What was number six (Henry V, or Harry England) about?
Gross nationalism and smashing the French. It's also about how beautiful the magic of theatre can be when done well, and maybe a whole strand about demonstrating character growth, but I think there's a reason why most theatres seem to have been avoiding it since the Brexit vote, when I last saw it.

Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Henry IV Part 2, or Falstaff)?
Oh I thought Nina Bowers was great! Shout-out to Sophie Russell too.

What was your favourite bit in number eight (Henry IV Part 1, or Hotspur)?
I can't recall a single stand-out bit, I'm afraid. It was a very long day.

Would you see number nine (the end of history...) again?
Putting aside very strong feelings that I had already seen that exact play numerous times in that very theatre, no, I can't say I'd be in a hurry to sit through it again.

What was the worst thing about number ten (Present Laughter)?
I only booked one performance, and there were no reasonably priced seats left that I'd be willing to sit in for any potential return visit. (But they will be screening it through NT Live, and I may even be free that day for ONCE, so it's not the end of the world.)

Which was best?
Present Laughter, easily. The production was a little uneven, but Andrew Scott is so good that he still elevated the whole thing to an easy five stars.

Which was worst?

Did any make you cry?
Wife. Henry V. I think.

Did any make you laugh?
Probably the entire Henry trilogy, definitely Present Laughter.

Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I am going through a summer of seeing a LOT of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Do I have to restate my thoughts for every single production? I may have an opportunity to be involved in Henry IV Part 2 next year (yep, on its own, bit risky) but I don't really fancy any of the female characters and don't think the director is as open to casting women as men as I would like.

Which one did you have best seats for?
Peter Gynt, I think. It wasn't even as uncomfortable as I feared it was going to be, which is often the best you can hope for from a theatre seat.

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