Cultural top-up, part 1
Last night saw "The Country Wife" at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket; a restoration comedy, it's very well done, with Toby Stephens and David Haig in particular being fabulous. The role of Master Horner, famous wit and seducer of women, suited Toby Stephens perfectly (not that I'm suggesting he's a serial seducer) - he's always struck me as quite an old-fashioned swashbuckling sort of actor, too big and flamboyant for some roles (e.g. I didn't like his Hamlet very much at all). But in "The Country Wife", he's cheeky, funny, has great comic timing and the role just fits him so well. David Haig has the rather thankless and dislikeable role of Pinchwife, but does it well. Jo Stone-Fewings also stood out as being very funny, and also completely different to the things I've seen him in before. So, well worth seeing, especially as the half price ticket booth in Leicester Square is doing good stalls seats for half price.
Today, saw "Grace is Gone" starring John Cusack, a very moving film about the effect of America's involvement in Iraq on one family. It manages to tread the political path very evenly, and as John Cusack said in the Q&A afterwards, the aim wasn't to be one-sidedly political, it was to show something that the American public aren't allowed to see - images of fallen soldiers being brought back home. The two little girls were fabulous, and John Cusack was great as the father struggling to cope with the news he has to tell his children - they were utterly believable as a little family.
And tonight, Liz and I saw "The Hothouse" at the National, an early Pinter which left us both rather confused. The first half was much more coherent than the second, and although it's clear what's essentially going on, the nuances passed me by a bit, I feel.
More theatre and music to come - hoorah!