Thursday, 22 October 2009


Disappointing, I know.

Where the hell have I been all this time? Is this blog even still going?

Well, between work and londonist, and lots of other things, sadly writing stuff for Culture and the City has really slipped.

JC turned 30; I turned 30. The world and his wife celebrated birthdays (and not just people: even londonist was due a 5-candled birthday cake and some binge-drinking - can you make candle a verb?? I'm getting all inventive after seeing The Spanish Tragedy on Tues, where a characted "dewed" someone in his tears - beautiful language, our Kyd...) After the wedding-filled summer, it seems September and October are now full of more reasons to dress up and see friends. NOT that I'm complaining. Seeing people more is one of my old-age resolutions. Hence a dinner party planned for Monday night, and another for the first week in November.

Since my excitement over An Inspector Calls (totally right to get enthusiastic about this - it was aces), I've seen a disappointing George Dawes in Prick Up Your Ears (followed by the poor fellow pulling out after his ex-husband killed himself... sad story), and been thoroughly pissed off by an entire evening at the Greenwich Theatre, seeing an averrrage School for Scandal. Here's what didn't make it into my review:
But perhaps Mr Billington, unlike us, doesn't venture down to Greenwich Theatre. If he did, he'd've witnessed several people getting mixed up with their tickets (the same seats having been sold to a number of people); our own tickets failed to exist - we were given one in row N, two empty rows separating us from the rest of the audience. Mr Billington could've been greeted into the auditorium by the most unenthusiastic staff in the world. It was cold back in row N. Mr B would've heard our neighbour continuing to send text messages throughout the first scene on a beeping blackberry, before leaving the theatre altogether halfway through the first half; Mr B could've taken advantage an over-indulgent half-hour interval, despite the actors being on stage and ready, presumably to make sure the cold audience could all be served a cup of hot water with a teabag floating in it (£2.50) by the slow, sulky staff; Mr B would've also been able to hear the stage directions coming across loud and clear in a dad-style stage whisper (pun intended) from the lighting box OVER the cast on stage.
Not a good show. I could barely concentrate on what was going on on stage, the whole surrounding "stuff" was so distracting.

I took a week off from going to the theatre after that.

Happily, Tuesday's Spanish Tragedy was very, very cool. I liked the Arcola, it was lovely going with Lindsey Londonist, the play was fantastic, the direction had hints of Goold (mad, bad, blood-coloured hints), and all the staff were really good. Was it simply because I was close enough to smell them?? Maybe a contributing factor, but there was so much good about this, it's hard to put it all into words. And over all the good things, a sprinkling of magic that means you can't quite put your finger on why it was you enjoyed it so much. You just do.

Inventive: that's all I want. Something that makes me smile, and think, "That's clever." Whether its a line of script, a piece of costume, a strain of music, some cool way of staging a scene. Something surprising and intelligent. Like my friends and the people that I admire.

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