Monday, February 05, 2007

Swings and roundabouts

Either life is too dull to blog about (I now have two boring low paid jobs, oh joy) or it gets interesting and I'm too busy to blog. Sudden burst of the latter last week.

I had a few meetings related to the producer side of my life, which were all good and promising; we're also gearing up for the cast/crew/investor screening of "Echoes" this weekend, which I'm looking forward to. Also went to a workshop at YAC, which was really good - a workshop every now and then to kickstart ideas is a really useful exercise, I think.

On the spur of the moment on Friday, I went over to Sheffield to see "As You Like It" at The Crucible, directed by Sam West, starring Eve Best and Sam Troughton (who sat next to me in the bar afterwards so I can now say I've sat next to Dr Who's grandson - cool!). As it was only the second preview, it seems unfair to do a proper review as no doubt refinements will be made, but actually there seems to be very little to refine. I really enjoyed it, even though AYLI isn't one of my favourite plays. Eve Best was fabulous, she has such an expressive face that she made the scenes where Ganymede makes Orlando woo "him" as Rosalind completely hilarious but also full of yearning; she and Sam Troughton had real chemistry. The set, designed by Katrina Lindsay, is beautifully simple, extending the stage as far as the back wall making it into a huge white box with almost no furnishings, except for a gorgeous moon and a solitary silver tree for the forest. Because the set goes so far back, sitting in the side block is a slight disadvantage but not massively so. In the second half I moved round to sit with Sam, Katrina, and Paul Arditti the sound designer, and had a better view, but I don't think you'd miss anything significant at the sides.

Then of course a sensible person wouldn't have stayed in the bar til midnight if they had a train to catch at 6:50 the next morning, but I never claimed to be sensible, and what's more I made the train. And had a little snooze. This month's NPA workshop was on formats and technology, and was very useful, althoguh I need to read up a bit more. Then to Sloane Square to meet Liz because we had the hot tickets of the season - The Seagull at the Royal Court, Christopher Hampton's new translation and adaptation of Chekhov, diretced by Ian Rickson and starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Mackenzie Crook and Chiwetal Ejiofor. Kristin Scott Thomas is perfect as Arkadina, self-absorbed, shallow and too interested in herself to really pay any attention to her son except when she thinks she should for appearances sake. With a roll of her eyes or a sigh she conveys exasperation and desperation, especially in her scenes with Chiwetal Ejiofor as Trigorin, who seems here ill at ease in the country, as if he doesn't know what he's doing there, with Arkadina, and wishes he hadn't got himself into the situation at all. Mackenzie Crook was physically just right as Konstantin, thin, gangly, almost consumptive, and consumed with passion at being so misunderstood. It's a perfectly balanced production, with the laughter covering the underlying sadness, fear and desperation. Katherine Parkinson as Masha also stood out, and Hildegard Bechtler's set, a crumbling Russian estate, was perfect. I'd say "go see this", but if you haven't got a ticket already, you'll have to queue for returns as it's completely sold out.

And now to the RSC website to check out tickets for the Ian McKellan "Seagull", plus Lear, plus Coriolanus (the last production in the old theatre), before my laptop conks out.


Blogger Stacie said...

Ah! We both got to do something lovely on Saturday--I had coffee out and spent the afternoon knitting!

9:29 pm  
Blogger mernitman said...

Sounds just great... wonder if they'll export the production over here... (hope springs eternal)

11:30 pm  
Blogger Stacie said...

are you bringing a screening copy of Echoes?

11:16 pm  

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