Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hooked again

Two plays in two days last week - and I'm hooked again. After a spell of seeing very little at the theatre for various reasons, I managed to combine a work-funded trip to London (yay, no train fare or hotel bill to pay, just theatre tickets to buy!) with a couple of plays.

I wanted to see Neil LaBute's new play, "In A Dark, Dark House" at the Almeida, but it was sold out (got a ticket for next Saturday, though) so I went to see "Fat Pig" instead. It's very funny, sometimes producing those laughs which afterwards make you think "Uh oh, I shouldn't really have laughed at that", and also quite sad. After "In the Company of Men" LaBute had a reputation for being a misogynist, but if anything "Fat Pig" has more sympathy for the women, and shows the men to be shallow idiots. Kevin Bishop portrayed Carter as a horribly repellent person, the sort you would dread having to work with, and Nicholas Burns showed Tom to be really quite pathetic. Katie Kerr and Kelly Brook were much more sympathetic characters, as Helen, the "fat pig" of the title, and Jeannie, spurned lover and sharp-witted office colleague. However, having built up a reat head of steam witht he comic aspects, I felt the ending rather fizzled out. The play faded, rather than going out with a bang, which after the laughs earlier on, seemed a bit of a let down.

Still, I shall go to see "Reasons to be Pretty", part three of the trilogy which began with "The Shape of Things", if/when it gets to London.

The following night, I really fell on my feet. Thinking "I haven't been to the National for a while, what's on?" I'd booked a ticket for "August:Osage County" on the basis that it was a Steppenwolf Theatre production. Wow. What a play. Tracy Letts has written a fantastic piece about families that makes you laugh out loud and want to tear your hair out at the same time. Funny, vicious, insightful, fantastically well acted on a beautifully built set - what more could one want from a night at the theatre? The cast were all on top form, but in particular, Amy Morton as Barbara was stunning. If she isn't nominated for awards in due course, justice will not have been done. Go and see this, if you can.

There's a ton of stuff coming up that I want to see - next Saturday I'm down for the next in the Donmar West End series, Derek Jacobi in Twelfth Night. I can't imagine it will reach the sublime heights of either Ivanov or Othello, both of which deservedly won awards this week - direction for Michael Grandage and acting for Chiwetel Ejiofor - but I'm happy to give it a go. Yep, looks like I'm hooked again.


Blogger Stacie said...

I'm so happy you are hooked again! I think Amy Morton is part of the Ensemble at Steppenwolf, right? Yep, she is. I love the internet; just popped over to the website. Plus Tracy Letts got the Pulitzer Prize for the play. You really did land on your feet. :)

3:30 pm  
Blogger Janice Okoh said...

I saw it, too. Was Barbara the sister of the pill popping mum? If so, she was excellent. It was great acting and there were some real comic moments.

1:02 am  

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