DNA

Mar. 1st, 2012 02:48 pm
undyingking: (Default)
Went last night to see the play DNA by the Hull Truck company, which a friend's child's partner was acting in (gone are the days when our friends themselves had partners who were struggling newbie actors…). It's touring around, in Oxford tonight and tomorrow I think and then all sorts of other places.

This is quite a well-known play among kids, it turns out, being on the national curriculum. I guess about 80% of the audience were teenagers. I thought it was a very neat production and well acted – although the play itself, while it contains some powerful and in palces funny dialogue and individual scenes are strong, was a bit lacking in overall sense and plausibility in places. You can see how it would be good to teach around… but it's no Lord of the Flies, tbh.

If you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you'll like, I guess is the verdict. We had a good time, anyway.

DNA

Mar. 1st, 2012 02:48 pm
undyingking: (Default)
Went last night to see the play DNA by the Hull Truck company, which a friend's child's partner was acting in (gone are the days when our friends themselves had partners who were struggling newbie actors…). It's touring around, in Oxford tonight and tomorrow I think and then all sorts of other places.

This is quite a well-known play among kids, it turns out, being on the national curriculum. I guess about 80% of the audience were teenagers. I thought it was a very neat production and well acted – although the play itself, while it contains some powerful and in palces funny dialogue and individual scenes are strong, was a bit lacking in overall sense and plausibility in places. You can see how it would be good to teach around… but it's no Lord of the Flies, tbh.

If you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you'll like, I guess is the verdict. We had a good time, anyway.
undyingking: (Default)
At the pictures the other night, saw a trailer for new film Anonymous, in which the Earl of Oxford writes Shakespeare's plays.

The conspiracy theory that the plays were written by someone other than Shakespeare (who in this version was just an actor) is of very long standing. There are a number of other candidates suggested, but the overall gist is the same: 'the man from Stratford's' contribution to the oeuvre (sonnets and other verse as well as the plays) was nil or negligible.

It seems to me that this theory or set of theories, which I used to think of as being the realm of fringe loonery, has recently gained a bit of currency. What better way to find out than with an LJ poll?

[Poll #1787472]

Discussion )

(The post title is a call-back to this post of a while back.)
undyingking: (Default)
At the pictures the other night, saw a trailer for new film Anonymous, in which the Earl of Oxford writes Shakespeare's plays.

The conspiracy theory that the plays were written by someone other than Shakespeare (who in this version was just an actor) is of very long standing. There are a number of other candidates suggested, but the overall gist is the same: 'the man from Stratford's' contribution to the oeuvre (sonnets and other verse as well as the plays) was nil or negligible.

It seems to me that this theory or set of theories, which I used to think of as being the realm of fringe loonery, has recently gained a bit of currency. What better way to find out than with an LJ poll?

[Poll #1787472]

Discussion )

(The post title is a call-back to this post of a while back.)
undyingking: (Default)
Went to see The Hypochondriac a few days ago with some of T's workmates -- it's a new translation of the Molière comedy, by Roger McGough. If you don't know the story, it's about a wealthy hypochondriac who plans to marry his daughter to a doctor so as to get free treatment. Thanks to the intervention of a clever serving-maid, everything works out happily in the end. There's a bunch of comedic business such as people pretending to be dead, disguising themselves as other people, suggestive comic songs and so on.

The play works fine in its own terms, although a biting satire about the evils of incompetent and avaricious doctors has perhaps less resonance in C21 UK than it did in C17 France. Molière himself played the lead in the oriiginal production, and during the course of it fell ill and died, which adds a certain bitter irony. But I really didn't like this translation, or this production, much at all. McGough tries too hard, forcing in jokey rhymes and sesquipedalian scansion as though manically gurning, and he also adds a feeble attempt to make it topical with a new song at the end linking the tyranny of doctors to general tyranny of MPs' expense claims and the like. The clever maid Toinette is made into a crafty Scouse japester, which might work OK if an actual Liverpudlian actor had been cast: but the actor in the show has a rather variable accent. The set is sparse, and there's no attempt to add in physical comedy or any such thing, forcing attention to the details of the lines -- which are weakened by the modernization and topicality that McGough has crowbarred in.

A few years ago I saw Ranjit Bolt's translation of Tartuffe, which was excellent, a complete contrast. He stuck to the rhyming couplets of the original, and the resultant language had a dignity which sustained the comedy strongly. I guess Bolt was aiming for something along the lines of Shakespearian comedy, whereas McGough here has gone more for the panto feel.

Well, you might enjoy it, but I didn't really. It seemed to me really that McGough was too fond of his own comic and linguistic skills, and not respectful enough of Molière. Not meaning that C17 plays should be trated like museum exhibits, but I think that for it to be an enjoyable theatrical experience, it helps if there's a unity of tone. C17 costume and plot with C21 language is an uneasy mix.
undyingking: (Default)
The first time I saw Julia McKenzie, I was 15 or so and she was playing Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre. I was sat quite near the front, and when she flung off her mink coat during her big number 'A Person Could Develop a Cold', it made a forceful impression on my youthful mind.

Last night she was playing Miss Marple on TV. From sex symbol to little old lady in what seems like the blink of an eye. How did that happen? I really feel old now.

Any of you had a similarly chilling experience?
undyingking: (Default)
Went last night to the theatre to see Spyski, by the Peepolykus theatre company. Extremely funny -- we were in tears at a couple of points -- physical theatre with ingenious use of props, few actors portraying many characters, groanworthy jokes, and all the kind of things I like. It's only in Ips for another couple of nights, but continuing to tour after that. Strongly recommended!

Also very good, some marmalade flapjacks I made the other day. So good in fact that I may make some more later today. And simple too. The recipe's based on one of Dan Lepard's, but I made a few changes -- this is to make 25 2-inch-square flapjacks:
  • Set oven to 160C (180 if not fan).
  • Soak 200g sultanas (or similar) in boiling water to soften them, drain after 10 mins.
  • Melt 225g butter in a large saucepan, add 125g dark brown soft sugar, 150g marmalade, 2 tbsp black treacle, and a finely chopped satsuma or similar (remove seeds before chopping, but leave peel and pith on). Mix all together and bring just to a boil, then remove from the heat.
  • Stir the drained sultanas and 400g porridge oats into the mixture.
  • Line a 10" square tin (or similar area, the shape doesn't matter that much) with silver foil. Pack the mix down firmly and evenly into it.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges are starting to colour.
  • Leave it to cool for a bit before cutting it into squares. Then leave it to cool some more before attempting to pick up the squares: it takes quite a while to set to the expected flapjack texture.
undyingking: (Default)
It's been an age since I've posted here, so about time for an update I think.

Gorey business )

Another fine mess )

Questions and answers )

0001 is revenged )

Ho Chi Minh to Windhoek )

That'll do for now, back to work...
undyingking: (Default)
Last night we went to see Arthur Miller's The Price, The Price is right )

We went to the theatre last Friday too, Mob rule )

Closer to the edit )
undyingking: (Default)
I've ben putting off writing about this, because I couldn't face the true ghastliness of it. But now is the time to face up to destiny...

On Thursday we went to see a play, Sherlock Holmes: the Athenaeum Ghoul. It was bad. Very, very bad. Indeed.

The grisly details )

Heed the warning of the Ghoul! -- avoid it like the plague!

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