Hurrah. I was offered the (single, meh) press ticket by my boss. Amazing. I'm so grateful.
The excitement crescendos on a number of levels.
First, and most importantly, I'm getting to see the lovely Dame Judi Dench on stage for the first time. I've been a big fan for a long time now. It probably triggered by seeing her in Mrs Brown, in Bond films, in Shakespeare in Love and on telly. Or by reading about her playing a wonderful Lady Macbeth at the age of 20, while I was studying at Liverpool. (This last fact may or may not be correct - I'm sure it was wonderful, I just don't know how old she was - but surely the point is that my interest was aroused...) Tonight's research has revealed a few more choice nuggets:
- I love the fact that when she played Lady M opposite Ian McKellen at The Other Place in Stratford, Michael Billington was there, reviewing it: "If this is not great acting I don't know what is." (Not that exceptional a quote, I'm sure MB said other things besides, but apologies: I'm using wiki. Here's hoping he's there tomorrow; he might be seeing it tonight, though.)
- She's also a singer, having played Sally Bowles in Cabaret. Here it is on YouTube. She played Sally when she was 34. Which kinda kills my current silly "life's-going-to-be-over-when-I'm-30" vibe stone dead...
Third, this is the kind of show that's got even the sensible people at the Guardian getting into mischief: Dame Judi Brings Home the Bacon...
Fourth, and cheeky, I know, but it's a press ticket, so hopefully I'll get a great seat. I saw Ivanov from a vertigo-inducing standing position at the back of Wyndham's, for just a tenner, on the last weekend. Even from that distance, after that many shows, watching the top of Branagh's head and missing some of the play through awkward sight-lines, I could still tell that the acting, the directing, the whole shebang was brilliant. I can't wait to be able to see that from a decent seat (in the stalls?).
It's going to be good.