amnisias: (violater)
(or "evidence that I live under a rock")

On the way home from work I caught BBC4 Front Row on radio, with an interview of Benedict Cumberbatch.
amnisias: (violater) in Hamlet as a man played by a woman (Maxine Peake - you might have seen her if you watch UK TV shows).


There is also some other gender swapping going on, including the gravedigger. Reviews are generally good, though not stellar.

Unfortunately I've picked up on it too late, so I'm unlikely to get tickets.

Short break....

Sunday, 15 December 2013 08:28 pm
amnisias: (violater)
I had a lovely mother-daughter weekend last week. We went down to London, mainly to see Henry V, which I got my parents as a Christmas present last year (Daddy chickened out, though, so we had a bit of extra spending money, and more piece and quiet, lol). But since we were already there, we also went to St James Smith Square for Haendel's Messias, which was just the right thing to get us in the Christmas mood. It was a fairly small orchestra and choir, but that worked really well in that setting, the acustic and quality was excellent, but it had a much more intimate affaire compared to the Royal Albert Hall, for example, where we went last year.

Saturday we mostly spend at the British Museum in the Ancrient Collection (we made it through Egypt, Assyria and Grece but caved before Rom) and Sunday we swung by the National Portrait Gallery (I love that all the public Museums are free of charge, it means you can do it in small chunks rather than feeling you've got to get 'your money's worth'. Henry V was very good, though it took me a bit longer to get into it because I've never seen the play on stage, just as various TV and movie productions, and there you have a lot of action and change of location, whereas in the play most of that takes place off stage. But at the same time this really focuses the play on the essential, the internal struggles of the king. As often with the Grandage productions, the set is minimalistic and the costumes vaguely historical, and there is little to distract from the words and the acting. I really liked the stage design, which was borrowed from a Shakesperian theatre, which fitted very well with the set up of the play, which includes a chorus that continues to comment and fill gaps in the play.  A very good performance from Jude Law, I thought, he effortlessly went from regal, to conflicted, anxious, funny and flirty. And one has to be amazed by all the actors ability, this was the second performance of the day (and the 7th in the week) and one could not tell other that they cut the applause a bit short.

amnisias: (Default)
Michael Grandage has confirmed that his company is staging another West End season, and once again Jude Law is doing a Shakespear play, Henry V this time. I saw the Grandage/Law Hamlet a couple of years ago a couple of times, and found it a very engaging production, I am hoping Henry V is going to be equally rewarding. It will be interesting to compare this version to the recent BBC production. The seaon also includes Daniel Radcliffe & Julie Dench.

Here, have a snippet from the Hamlet promo reel to get you in the mood.

Tickets are available here. I've booked some for a couple of weekends in December and February, if anybody fancies joining me give me a shout. I'm not making deffinit plans yet, but it's good to know who would be potentially interested in coming along.

amnisias: (Default)
While my folks were here we went to see Othello at The Crucible in Sheffield (one of my fav theatres in the country), courtesy of a great flist that points stuff like this out to me.

I really enjoyed the production. They did not make any changes to the setting (16th century Cyprus) which I mostly prefer. I don't mind directors making changes to the time/setting of a play if it actually adds something or provides an additional commentary to how the play applies to modern times, but often it feels more like gimmickry or an attempt to be edgy.

Both leads were very good, West impressed me a little bit more than Peters overall, partly I think because I found the Yorkshire accent easier on the ear than the Caribbean one (though both were apt choices imo). Also, Othello doesn't have that much to shine with in the first half of the play. I'd be interested whether knowing the back stories of their respective characters would add something to the reading of this play, unfortunately I haven't seen The Wire, so I don't know.

A small collection of links - please click the media of you choice:

A review that kind of comes quite close to what I thought, and says it much better
More Print
In case you like your review less biased, this is a compilation of all the review of the play.

BBC Radio - Front Row
Includes an excerpt of the scene at the beginning if you want to check out the accents, but I'm not sure it works outside the UK.

15 minute interview with Dominic West, mainly about Othello, but also some other recent projects. Includes some brief clips of the play, in case you wanna see him in tights, but no sound for some stupid reason. The editing is a bit annoying, though.

(this post was started a couple of weeks ago and got lost in the open tab jungle on my computer, but I'm posting it anyway)

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