grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
(Part 1 can be found here http://grondfic.dreamwidth.org/5907.html )

The Ensemble:

It’s a bit invidious of me to divide the cast into ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Ensemble’; mainly because (unlike the last Hamlet production I saw *cough*), we’re not looking at a play consisting of STAR and the rest. Every character is fully integrated, and can be seen to possess their own backstory. In other words – all their performances are are all layered and nuanced; and each has their ‘moment in the sun’ onstage. The ensemble contains stars, sure. Andrew Scott, Juliet Stevenson, Jessica Brown Findlay, David Rintoul and, arguably Peter Wight and Angus Wright could reasonably lay claim to star-(or one-time-star-)status; whilst Luke Thompson is surely a star of the future on stage and tv.

So here are my impressions of some fine actors doing their job supremely:

Horatio
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Gertrude and Claudius
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’The Polonii’
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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
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Old Hamlet/The Ghost
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I've treated some of this miles-deep interpretation of Hamlet in some depth .. and yet STILL there are things I've had to leave out. The Players and their wonderful dumb-show of The Mousetrap; the Gravedigger; the soldiery; the actors who only appeared on the screens. I can only say that the play runs until September 2. There's still time to see it if you can get hold of a ticket!
grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
How can I even BEGIN to talk about this play?

This is not because - as was the case with Common (http://grondfic.livejournal.com/245180.html) - it was so bad. Quite the opposite in fact. It was so full of fresh ideas and novel takes on this best-known of all Shakespeare's works, that my head is jammed with things to say; each point spawning at least a dozen more insights. So I shall just have to write it as an essay, in 2 parts, under section headings. In this part, I'll give a sense of the play and look specifically at Scott's Hamlet; and in Part 2 I'll look at the brilliant ensemble, and maybe tackle a couple of problematic areas in reaching an absolute reading - OK? Ooooookay -

General Overview
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Scott's Hamlet
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So now, it’s time to introduce the rest of the cast, in Part 2, here - http://grondfic.dreamwidth.org/6204.html
grondfic: (DeathHorse)
June has been a month of mixed fortunes for us as theatregoers. A nervous edge has been added to each visit with the post-Borough-Market re-imposition of bag searches, plus an airport-like limit on the size of our 'handbag-age'. Cue the metallic tape-measure, and a lot of heart-searching about what outfit goes with which (reduced) handbag.

Anyway, onwards and upwards to -

Love in Idleness (Apollo Theatre)
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Common (National Theatre)
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Well, I WAS going to add a third review here - Andrew Scott's Hamlet. But after that last review, I think I should maybe write more fully in a separate entry. After I've re-read the programme, looked at all the pictures, and purged myself from the contemplation of Common.
grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
At long last, after rather an epic, we made it to the penultimate performance of the play's run. Originally we'd booked for Wednesday's matinee, but it was mysteriously cancelled, taking with it our lovely front row-seats. So, having braved the idiosyncrasies of Saturday Public Transport, we fell into the theatre and were ushered into two back-row end-row seats behind the two largest people in the audience.*sigh*

However, cutting across the stage en route to these unenviable perches, we passed the hunched figure of Greg Hicks' Richard; already ensconced at a table alternatively buffing it with his sleeve and then deploying a small metal spinning-top on its surface. It was an intimate start.
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grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
It's been a rather dispiriting spring chez nous, with a number of health issues taking precedence. This included what turned out to be our worst Viennese Easter ever. I may try to give a brief account (because it wasn't all bad, and we saw a lot of new places and things); but first - May's three very disparate plays:

Salomé (The National)
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The Philanthropist (Trafalgar Studio 1)
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A Lie of the Mind (Southwark Playhouse)
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Well, that's May done. Now on to a theatrically-epic June, which holds the following -

Richard III, with Greg Hicks (Arcola)
Love in Idleness, starring Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Anthony Head) and Toby from The Halcyon (Edward Bluemel) (Apollo)
Common, starring Anne-Marie Duff at the National, and last but not least -
Hamlet,with Moriarty (Andrew Scott), Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey (Jessica Brown Findlay) and Juliet Stevenson (The Harold Pinter)
grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
.... to my dear friend [personal profile] rusty_armour.

Have a great day; and all fond wishes for a successful year.

Here are some images from our recent trip to Vienna:
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grondfic: (DeathHorse)
Solar Heroes? Pffui - who needs them whilst the Dragon guards the Golden Hoard.

Here's one we've met during our travels -

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grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
We managed tickets at the midweek matinee, taking the far left of the stalls back row. I recommend these seats - the sightline is pretty good; the legroom is opulent. But best of all, you're handily placed to leap to your feet at the interval and win the race to the limited Ladies' Facilities. WIN!
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It was a slightly odd experience seeing bits of Hamlet ‘from the rear’ so to speak. Odd characters take on prominence – William Chubb’s Polonius was particularly ‘visible’. One commentator noted that R&G proved to be a balance, after they’d seen Andrew Scott at the Almeida.

Well, guys, we have good news. WE are going to be able to make that comparison too – but not until late June. Scott’s Hamlet is transferring to the Pinter Theatre for a more extended season from June to early September; AND WE HAVE TICKETS! *does a happy dance of Dionysiac ecstasy*

(And next week, we shall be Elswhere – guess where? – for Easter)
grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
I've had a number of varied experiences recently, so I thought I'd review them all. Naturally they include theatre and concert visits; but also some other stuff:

Pure Everyday Theatre - Dental Implant Procedure
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Loreena McKennitt (London Palladium)
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Beauty and the Beast (at a cinema near everyone right now)
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Twelfth Night (The National)
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Next-up: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at the Old Vic, next week; and thereafter our usual Easter arrangement.
grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
Whilst agonising over sundry Trackers, Shakespearian avatars and genius composers, I've racked up rather a backlog of other theatre/ballet visits.

We've started 2017 in lavish style in this regard; and yet, selfishly and childishly, I'm lamenting the One that Got Away. We couldn't secure tickets for Andrew Scott's Hamlet *weeps buckets*.

Anyway - here are some (I hope! mercifully-)brief accounts of what we DID see:

Red Shoes (Sadlers Wells)
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The Verdict (Churchill Theatre, Bromley)
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Hedda Gabler (The National)
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Saint Joan (livestreamed from The Donmar Warehouse)
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Travesties (Apollo Theatre)
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The Cherry Orchard (Arcola Theatre)
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And, indeed, we're not stopping there. So far, we're booked for:

March
Loreena McKennitt's concert at the London Palladium
Twelfth Night at the National, with Tamsin Greig's Malvolia

April
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at the Old Vic

May
Salome at the National
The Philanthropist at the Trafalgar Studio (first visit here for us)

June
Richard III at the Arcola, starring my fave Greg Hicks
Common at the National, with Anne-Marie Duff

July
The Tempest, RSC at the Barbican. Yup - the one we saw livestreamed.
The Ferryman at the Gielgud

August
Nothing booked, but Billie Piper's Yerma is being livestreamed.

September
Girl from the North Country at the Old Vic

And that's it so far. So - we'll hardly repine over Andrew Scott at all, will we?

YES WE WILL!! *continues sobbing*
grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
the quote is from The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus by Tony Harrison (with a little help from Sophocles).

Following on from The Trackers review (http://grondfic.dreamwidth.org/2645.html) and The Tempest review (http://grondfic.dreamwidth.org/2822.html), here are my impressions of All the Angels at the Wanamaker Theatre:
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grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
the quote is from The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus by Tony Harrison (with a little help from Sophocles).

Following on from The Trackers review (http://grondfic.dreamwidth.org/2645.html), here are my impressions of The Tempest (Livestreamed by RSC from Stratford)
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grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
the quote is from The Trackers by Tony Harrison (with a little help from Sophocles).

****

Since New Year, I've seen 3 plays which, in retrospect, seem to me to be linked in their various themes and ambience. They appear to be outlined and pulled together most intensely in the final work I saw - The aforementioned Trackers.

I shall therefore begin with a very full appraisal of this play; and of the performance I saw; and then review the other two plays (The Tempest, livestreamed by the RSC from Stratford; and All the Angels at The Wanamaker Theatre) in the light of those common themes, in a separate post.

The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus (Finborough Theatre)
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grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
..... this reader-comment on the Guardian Sherlock review says it all about Series 4 really. Apart from this masterly summary of the final episode, by the same person - It was an hour of utter wanky drivel.

(Thank you Willowmeena, for so neatly encapsulating my own feelings on the matter).

One comment of my own though, anent series 4:

NOT HALF ENOUGH LESTRADE! What were Gatiss and Moffat THINKING? Haven't they ever heard of a decent fan-service?

And that - I devoutly trust - is the last we'll see of Sherlock - forever!
grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
..... a record at 30 (or 32 if you count all three plays in the Young Chekhov trilogy). Notwithstanding that there were 4 months in 2016 (February-April and August) when we didn't have any theatre-visits, this has been a pretty intense year!

I'm not counting regular cinema film-visits (although I may have something specific to say about A Monster Calls in a separate posting); but Livestream, IMHO, is a different matter.

I've reviewed most of these, but will add a line or two here on the ones I didn't manage to give the full treatment elsewhere:

January
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May/June
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July
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September
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October
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November
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December
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And now, we begin again next week with Livestream Tempest from the RSC, starring Simon Russell Beale and a load of live CGI; and All the Angels at the Wanamaker (yeah, that place we said we wouldn't visit again!).
grondfic: (FuchsParadise)
TITLE: Dionysos in the Underworld
FANDOM: Bakkhai, by Euripides, translated by Anne Carson for the Almeida Theatre, 2015
PAIRING/CHARACTERS: Dionysos/Pentheus, Persephone, Frog chorus
RATING: Mature
WARNINGS: Major character death (occurred in canon previously). Questionable consent.
DISCLAIMER: None of mine - all down to the genius of Euripides and Carson. No money made; no offense in the world!

AUTHOR’S NOTES:

1.This piece is specific to the version of Euripides’ Bacchae which was played at the Almeida Theatre in September 2015 and titled Bakkhai. The sparkling new translation by Anne Carson can be obtained here (and it’s worth it!) –
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bakkhai-Oberon-Classics-Anne-Carson/dp/1783199156/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451117846&sr=1-1&keywords=bakkhai

It starred Ben Whishaw as Dionysos and Bertie Carvel as Pentheus; and the chemistry was palpable. Here are a couple of pic links, just to give the flavour of the piece:

https://www.thestage.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Ben-Whishaw-and-Bertie-Carvel-in-Bakkhai.-Almeida-Theatre.-Credit-Marc-Brenner.gif

http://eqview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/BakkhaiA.jpg

2. In addition, I have referenced Aristophanes’ Frogs, which also stars Dionysos (but in a VERY different context); and, crucial to this plotline, takes place mainly in the Underworld.

3. All words and phrases in Italic are quotes from Carson’s Bakkhai, or Frogs (translated by G. Theodorides for Poetry in translation - http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Greek/Frogs.htm ). It should be obvious which is which!

4. Any dialogue appearing between two crosses (++as so++), denotes thoughts or mind-to-mind communication.

5. Carson’s translation leaves Dionysos’ god-status a bit murky. He refers to himself as daimon, but the whole plotline turns on recognition of his godhood. In addition he appears in human guise as his own priest. I’ve made use of all three of these statuses, with the implication that he is an emergent deity, still in the process of perfecting himself



Read the fic here:

http://archiveofourown.org/works/5540639
grondfic: (DeathHorse)
Well, I got to see Bakkhai again at the Almeida on Friday, thanks to [profile] mythmaker05 who snapped up the very last tickets available online. So, whilst it's once again fresh in my mind - a few more impressions:
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I have the beginnings of a piece of fic based on Bakkhai. It's a bit stalled; I'm not really very surprised. As Anne Carson says, in her poetic Translator's Note to this version: ..... the lick of beginning to know you don't know. That's exactly where I am at the moment.
grondfic: (DeathHorse)
New Year's Eve turned out to be a bit of a cultural wilderness, so we finished up watching Top of the Pops. I can't remember a thing about it, except that the X-factor man made the dizzy height of Chart-top (having publicly deferred to the Hillsborough single for Christmas). I was therefore forced into the suspicion that this TOTP innovation had been shoehorned into the listings after pressure from Simon Cowell (This is a personal opinion, not worthy of notice in a legal context. But if it is, I want Robert Jay QC for the defense.).

The only other programme we saw was (as ever) -

Jools's Annual Hootenanny
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And so, on to New year's Day.

We saw a number of things, but not necessarily when they appeared on the listings (all these modern devices for capturing alternative airwaves might catch on, my dears). So, over a period of time, I can report on -

The New Year's Day Concert
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Robin Hood
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