kangeiko: (Default)
I've set up a new theatre blog collating all my theatre reviews, past and present. I'll also be including photos and programme images where I have access to them, and encouraging others to submit reviews. So if you attend / like theatre (or opera, or ballet), do check it out:

Theatre Addict

 
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
 Wow, I haven't posted here in a little while. I've mostly been stolen by tumblr, which is easier to post to from a mobile as I spend far less time doing social media stuff on my laptop. I was thinking about getting a laptop that's a little more portable, which would allow me to write more and blog more; any recommendations?

In the meantime, I wrote some fic and saw some theatre, so here is a short round-up of activity since, well, the middle of last year.

Fic wot I wrote:

Matins (Sherlock BBC)
"I think I would be perfectly alright if you died," Sherlock said over tea. He glared at Mycroft and very deliberately took a sip of Darjeeling.

spilt milk (The World's End)
Five things that never happened to Gary King (and one that did).

I finally finished this! It took me a few months, and in the meantime, I received some glorious fan art for it which made me weak at the knees. 

the ninth month (Coriolanus - Shakespeare / Coriolanus - Rob Hastie & Josie Rourke)
Each step further from her body has led to this. Volumnia has no illusions.


For [livejournal.com profile] yuletide I wrote the following:

I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be (Seafort Saga - David Feintuch) for [archiveofourown.org profile] Serenade 
"Why, Holser?"
"I don't know. Maybe now the Captain's dead, being first middy doesn't seem so important. Maybe it's the way Alexi looks at you sometimes, when he thinks you don't see."

Alexi isn't the hero of this story. He can't even remember his lines.

the bone mother (Deathless - Catherynne M. Valente) for [archiveofourown.org profile] dynamicsymmetry 
Look, said Viy, and held out the world for her inspection. Look, milochka, at what I have for you.
The Tsars and Tsaritsas of Widow Likho's black book.

a funny thing happened on the way to the ballot box(Deathless - Catherynne M. Valente / Political RPF - Russian 21st c.) for [archiveofourown.org profile] JJ_Shinnick 
This is what happens when you let your sister matchmake.

such is the breath of kings(Richard II - Shakespeare) for [archiveofourown.org profile] angevin2 
After Richard's death, the Duke of York visits his son. Set within the 2013 RSC version (where Exton's character is subsumed in the character of Aumerle).

northward, with such quiet steps (Frankenstein - Nick Dear) for [archiveofourown.org profile] Kahvi 
Slowly, gradually, the pursuit progressed.

Ouroboros (Frankenstein - Nick Dear) for [archiveofourown.org profile] Kahvi 
Victor collapses in the Arctic. The Creature intervenes.


Reviews of theatre/opera/ballet wot I saw fairly recently: 
- King Charles III (Almeida Theatre)
- King Lear (and here) (National Theatre) 
- Henry V (Noel Coward Theatre)
- Carmen (Royal Opera House)
- Prince Igor (London Coliseum)
- Richard II - RSC (and here) (Barbican Theatre) 
- Coriolanus (and here) (Donmar Warehouse) (& more meta on the play & this interpretation of it is here). My Coriolanus tag is fairly full.
- American Psycho: A New Musical Thriller (Almeida Theatre)

Things that I saw that I haven't gotten around to reviewing are the Let the Right One In (Royal Court Theatre), Matthew Borne Swan Lake (Sadler's Wells), Red Velvet (Adrian Lester - Tricycle Theatre), The Weir (Brian Cox - Wyndham's Theatre), A Taste of Honey (with the wonderful [personal profile] selenak , at the National Theatre), The Full Monty (Noel Coward Theatre), Versailles (Donmar Warehouse), 1984 (Almeida Theatre), Walmsley String Quartet (Royal Albert Hall).

non- theatre events: I attended the Sherlock Apple store event (photos and comments here and here or check out my applelock tag), the Royal Television Society "Anatomy of a Hit" lecture & drinks thing (comments and photos here and here, or check my rts tag), Malala Yousafzai's talk at the Southbank Centre (comments & photos here),

The above reviews are all on tumblr. I'm thinking of starting a blog or tumblr or something focused specifically on theatre reviews. I've been going more and more, and although I do the obvious things like collecting programmes, not writing down my immediate impressions means that I lose quite a bit of the memory of the performance, especially the quirky little things that won't then be recalled easily for a programme perusal. I'm still trying to work out the best format for that; I suspect that Wordpress (then crossposted to tumblr / LJ / DW) might be the best approach. If I treat it as a fairly rigorous this I may well be able to stick to it; it's only ad hoc blogging that I can't seem to get the hang of.

Speaking of things I can't get the hang of, I appear to be doing too many Nine Worlds things. Like, far too many. Two panels for sure, and maybe helping on others? This may not seem too many, but I have recently handed in my notice (because I have a wonderful new job that I am VERY excited about) and Nine Worlds is falling fairly soon after I start. I don't think this is a problem, but it means that I need to sit down and think out what I need to be doing for all the things I've committed to, rather than blindly trusting that things will work out in the end (because that way needless stress lies). 

In order to avoid needless stress, I will be taking a glorious 3 weeks holiday in between finishing current job and starting new job. This will probably involve a few days abroad, although the details are tbd. My mother seems fairly keen for us to go away to a spa in the Czech Republic for a week (I'm not entirely sure where in the Czech Republic, I suspect it's in the middle of a forest as all spas tend to be), and I'm fairly keen to spend a few days back in Paris doing art things, so who knows. It's quite nice leaving that all up in the air deciding nearer the time.

My Italian study has faltered since Christmas (as in, I've done fuck all since then), but this is mainly because I've actually been rather sick over the last quarter and have also been job hunting. Work has also been so spectacularly bad, we are the source of astonished entertainment for other teams. If I saw these plotlines on a show, I'd complain they weren't realistic. But that's mostly resolved now - plus, fantastic new job. So phase 2 of my new year's resolution (fix work, health, long-term life goals) is now moving on to a focus on health. This probably wasn't helped by eating doughnuts today, but let's assume that I'll be, er, healthier somehow with the Easter impetus. I'm definitely going to be indulging in some pilates classes, and will actually dust off that gym card as well. I suppose Italian self-study is the sensible thing to slot into my new schedule at this time as well... well, we'll see.
kangeiko: (RSC players)
I appear to have bankrupted myself somewhat with theatre. OTOH, I now have tickets to Mamma Mia (mother's day), Book of Mormon (my birthday), and Peter & Alice (dearest [personal profile] selenak 's visit) on my dresser. So I may be eating beans, but at least I'll be cultured?

There should be more fandom happening in my life. [livejournal.com profile] darlas_mom  is assisting through the provision of Due South, which is recalling my young teenaged crush on Benton Fraser, who may have perhaps set highly unrealistic expectations of future boyfriends in my impressionable young brain. (My first-ever crush was on Spock, of course, who was a paradigm of normality by comparison.)

...

Also, how weird is it that Eric Balfour plays a young, teenaged and beardless Jesse in Welcome to the Hellmouth? Recent rewatches have made my brain very confused.

kangeiko: (Default)
A very happy Easter to all those observing it. I've had quite a busy Easter weekend, all in all.

I met up with [livejournal.com profile] monanotlisa on Saturday and we went to see Six Degrees of Separation (front-row centre complimentary seats, courtesy of the amazing [livejournal.com profile] athena25 ) which was wonderful. Snippety snip for review. )*

Later on that day, we went to the Retro Bar for a drink and to watch the New Who. To quote just about everyone: a mad man with a box. )

*

And on Sunday... )

Currently,  am watching Secret Diary of a Call Girl, which I hadn't seen before. It is... interesting.
kangeiko: (Default)
- Saw The Observer at the National Theatre last night - excellent production, provocative and thoughtful.

- Have introduced [livejournal.com profile] athena25 to the joys of Veronica Mars, I stand triumphant.

- Gossip Girl is making me insanely happy right now. And making me crave Laduree macaroons like a crazy pregnant woman.

- Speaking of, someone brought in their baby to work yesterday, and I got him for close to twenty minutes. He was adorable, but seemed to be under the impression that I was edible (or at least my fingers, which were admittedly wearing coral nail lacquer and therefore could well have resembled sweeties). I also got to impart sage toothing advice: frozen bananas.

- And something else, that is so AMAZING I can't quite speak about it yet lest it dissolve in my greedy little hands. *clutches it tightly to my bosom*
kangeiko: (RSC players)
[livejournal.com profile] queenspanky, [livejournal.com profile] wingsmith, [livejournal.com profile] rifle and I went to see Waiting for Godot last night. To be more accurate, we went to see the first half, then went for dinner.

Now we're not really Beckett fans at the best of times, but still we persevered, determined to see Stewart in a production that wasn't awful (nightmares of Macbeth, the last thing we saw him in, loomed. [livejournal.com profile] queenspanky had the good fortune to see him in Hamlet, but unfortunately I missed out on that one. So Beckett it was, then.) Now, there is a slight hitch with this plan, in that Beckett is... ok, let's face it, the only Beckett performance I have ever enjoyed was done by a troupe of French clowns. Now they could deliver futility like no-one's business. And I'm not really familiar with Waiting for Godot, so I thought that even if I hated the play, it's unfamiliarity would keep me watching.

Which were we hit the second snag, and that's the Theatre Royal itself. As we weren't convinced, we got cheap seats up in the Gallery. It turns out that they're not only cheap, but also hideously uncomfortable. There was no leg room, they were angled oddly, and there was no back support whatsoever. Plus, they were tiny tiny tiny, so you ended up pressed arm-to-arm with those around you. Yesterday was 32C in London, which also didn't help. Finally, the acoustics of the Theatre Royal when it comes to the Gallery... well, there aren't any. You could hardly hear a thing.

So, halfway through, we walked. I enjoyed Stewart and McKellen's performance, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if 1) I didn't hate the play quite so much, and 2) the theatre was marginally better. I think if the theatre had been better I would have sat through it diligently, but as it is, I was working hard on staying conscious and also not having a panic attack at being so pressed up against other people for two hours. So let's call that a bust all 'round, shall we?

Afterwards over dinner [livejournal.com profile] wingsmith remarked that he'd give his eyeteeth to see Stewart and McKellen play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I concur.
kangeiko: (RSC players)
And just briefly, Madame de Sade at Wyndham's is a crock of bulls&*%. Do not pay money to see it. Even Dame Judi couldn't save this from being a complete waste of time. The only bright spots were Dame Judi and Frances Barber, and they were criminally underused. Rosamund Pike was hideously earnest throughout; a terrible one-note performance with no heart. And the script... oh, boy, the script. [livejournal.com profile] queenspanky, [livejournal.com profile] wingsmith and I were in hysterics. No no no.

*

OTOH, Death and the King's Horseman at the National Theatre was excellent beyond words. Not only do I recommend it heartily, I'm going to see it again. You may have trouble with the accents initially, but don't let that stop you, it's magnificent. (Having just got back from West Africa, I had a definite leg-up on the accents, I confess, but [livejournal.com profile] monanotlisa had trouble with them, as did quite a few people around us. Don't worry, that passes after about half an hour or so.) It featured some excellent performances, with the lead (Nonso Anozie) and the chorus/dancers being particularly impressive. Go see this instead.
kangeiko: (RSC players)
Tonight I saw The Fever by Wallace Shawn at the Royal Court Theatre.

It was a comped show for me, as it was first night and I am part of their target audience (or, rather, my friends are their target audience, and I am the person that's gonna tell them to go see it). All in all, it was an interesting but tiring experience. Clare Higgins is very good in delivering what is essentially a 90 minute monologue. The material is at times striking, amusing, and upsetting. A woman travelling to a poor country develops a fever and starts to question the motivation for her travels, and for her belief that what she's doing is good. It's good stuff, albeit marred by an over-reliance on clichéd imagery. Frequently people and objects are 'soaked in blood', and guilt is used somewhat overbearingly to force a reaction. Strangely, it's the humour that makes this work, elevating the material above that of a 90 minute navel-gazing session. It rings too close to home to be dismissed as that; the arguments used to justify the woman's lifestyle choices are the very same we all use, and it is the nervous, self-deprecating humour that lays that bare - not the descriptions of people suffering. At the end of the day, the audience leaves more interested in the wealthy traveller and her motivation than the nameless people she sees tortured and murdered. They have faded to a backdrop in her story.

*

On a side note, we had excellent seats in the stalls, and sitting a couple of rows in front of us was ... Wallace Shawn himself, who is, of course, Vizzini in The Princess Bride. Yes, I had to go look in imdb for that, because I recognised the face immediately but had no idea who the guy's name was... so was mildly surprised to realise that he was the writer! It makes sense he'd be there for the opening night, though. My brother - who was my theatre +1 for the evening - was also rather pleased.

Edit: and is also Grand Nagus Zek in DSN! (Gossip Girl and Sex and the City I knew about. DSN slipped my mind completely. Woe. But also, yay!) *fangirls shamelessly*
kangeiko: (RSC players)
I saw Complicit at the Old Vic tonight, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] athena25. I knew nothing about it going in, and had some bizarre impression that it was a period drama (possibly because it had David Suchet?) that was quickly dispelled by the beautiful - and very tech-heavy - in-the-round stage. The floor was raised, and glass, with screens panelled at odd angles beneath, showing both AV aspects of the play and also standing in for set (streets, wood panelling, the tv on the wall). Very nicely done. And the remodelled Old Vic is very pretty in the round; it will be a shame to go back to the proscenium after a few months.

The play itself was new writing, and somewhat middling, script-wise. Sometimes it gave the actors scope for comedy and pathos, but often it veered into 'worthy but dull' territory. Part of the problem was that it was about a reporter who is dragged in front of a grand jury to be questioned about a book he wrote in which he described the torture going on at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Suchet is excellent as the lawyer trying to keep his friend out of jail, manoeuvring behind the scenes to work the system to their advantage. Richard Dreyfuss played the reporter, Ben Kritzer, and had a fair stab at it. Unfortunately, he had far too many scenes with Elizabeth McGovern, who was incredibly wooden in her role as his wife. To be fair, the script didn't do her any favours, leaving her little to do but repeat "won't you think of your family!" at appropriate intervals.

Overall, I thought it was an average script, generally very well acted and superbly staged. It's worth going for the AV aspects alone.

*

name-drop )
kangeiko: (Default)
I'm back. Didja miss me?

*

Last night, [livejournal.com profile] queenspanky, [livejournal.com profile] wingsmith and I went to see Now or Later, a new play by Christopher Shinn at the Royal Court Theatre. Read more... )

Quote: courtesy of the script books wingsmith purchased for 'spanky and myself )

*

In other theatre-related news, [livejournal.com profile] athena25 and I have tickets to see Ivanov at the end of October, which I am very excited about. I remain astonished at those who waited for the reviews to book, especially considering that it's Branagh doing Stoppard doing Chekhov. What were people waiting for? Direction by Peter Brooke? I had the good fortune to see Branagh on stage once before, in Mamet's Edmond at the National, which was very impressive indeed. I thought that perhaps the set dressing was a bit fussy at the time - I could quite happily have watched Branagh on an empty stage, he's certainly big enough to fill it - but the play itself was very good, and Branagh was amazing. Which, given that I'm not really a Mamet fan, says quite a bit for the direction and for Branagh himself.

*

I couldn't get tickets to see the RSC Hamlet, as they sold out within 2 hours of going on sale. Damnit. BUT. I may be seeing someone even dearer to my heart if all goes well in the next month. I have been given no promises, and will be a small puddle of goo if it happens, anyway, BUT. The mere possibility is making me happy.

*

I had to indulge and buy the special extended edition of Sex and the City: the Movie. I don't care if people think I'm silly, it's guaranteed to make me happy. As is Pret-a-Portea, which I am going to with my mummy on Sunday. Now, the plan was to also go to London Fashion Weekend, but I'm not sure that we'll have time, plus tea-dresses are a little difficult to manage when one is shopping. So the plan is to stay in Knightsbridge, rather than shuttling back and forth to S. Ken, and maybe finally find a tailor to fix my silk evening gown. (If you've seen me in the last 3 months, this has been the bane of my existence. C'MON. I know silk is difficult to repair, but it's not that bad, and, anyway, isn't this what specialist tailors are for???)Why the focus on clothing? )

Speaking of tailors, I must repair [livejournal.com profile] wingsmith's trousers. Honestly, that boy. Tut tut.
kangeiko: (Default)
This will make no sense to all but a few other sleep-deprived bedlam individuals, but it has just struck me that gemma f***lie? (name blanked out to protect the, aherm, special) is jane from coupling (uk).

It's true:

separated at birth?
kangeiko: (thoughtful)
Last night, [livejournal.com profile] monanotlisa and I went to the 50th anniversary performance of The Entertainer, starring Robert Lindsay and Pam Ferris at the Old Vic Theatre, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] athena25 crazay skillz.

The Entertainer - Q&A
Before the show, though, we got to attend the Q&A with the actors. Free wine, always a good start. It was a little too early for me, though, so I dosed [livejournal.com profile] monanotlisa with it instead. The Q&A was with Robert, pam and Sean, the director, and followed the usual format - an MC going through a series of set questions, and then taking questions from the audience later. The MC seemed to know his stuff, which was a relief. There's nothing more cringe-worthy than an interviewer who doesn't know what he's talking about! The topics mainly stayed focused on theatre - the original staging of the play, the new staging, and the actors' and director's individual theatre backgrounds - and stayed well away from their respective tv and film careers. Indeed, Robert pointed out that theatre is what they've been trained to do; "TV is what we do to pay the bills," which I thought was very apt, considering the company. A not-insignificant number of people in the audience had seen the original staging (with Laurence Olivier as Archie Rice), and had a great many insights into the differences between the two runs. A lot of the difference seemed to stem from the fact that Robert is not Laurence Olivier - which is a good thing in this case! - and, as such, you watched the play, not the actor. After watching the play, I agreed with this: Robert was supremely convincing as Archie Rice, which wouldn't necessarily have been possible otherwise.

The MC also talked about Osborne for a bit, suggesting that there was a touch of Stringberg about this particular play (!), which had me in hysterics, basically. [livejournal.com profile] monanotlisa had no idea what was so funny, bless her soul, not having had post-war British theatre shoved down her throat. I was a little worried about the technical nature of the talk, actually - as I said, a significant portion of the audience had seen the original run, and were heavily involved in theatre, so there was quite a bit of theatre theory floating about. [livejournal.com profile] monanotlisa was shifting in her seat by the end.

All in all, the talk was good, and very informative, but possibly a bit too technical in nature. (The director, for instance, spent considerable time talking about cross-cuts and the uses of the proscenium.) Pam Ferris, though, did have very interesting things to say about how she, as an actor, approached taking on the role of Phoebe and (according to the MC) turning out the definitive performance. This, too, was very focused on the technical aspects of stagecraft, but she brought her own anecdotes and personal experiences into the account, which helped.

*

At any rate, by the end of it, I was a little worried - the audience at the Q&A had seen the play the previous night, and there's nothing worse than having theatre dissected before you've had a chance to see it!

[livejournal.com profile] monanotlisa and I bought a bite to eat from Waterloo station and then sat outside the theatre, munching away. A homeless guy came to sit with us, so we talked to him for a while. When we went back inside, we were considerably quieter.

The Entertainer
The show was magnificent. I have never been a big fan of Osborne because he's so bloody depressing - and he's just so sad about his anger, rather than, say, Bond's gleeful malice - so I was a little unsettled at first. I have to say that it was just as depressing as I was expecting, but with odd, uplifting moments. Of course, they were mainly there for Osborne to crush the audience's hope even more thoroughly later on, but you get my point.

Pam Ferris quite stole the show, I think. Well, her and Robert Lindsay, anyway - the rest of the cast were very good, of those two were astounding. I totally agree with the MC's comment that Pam came out with the definitive Phoebe performance. Also, I think I can see how a more charismatic and stately actor - such as Olivier - would be off-putting as Archie Rice. You need someone who has a dash of the everyman about him to play Archie, to make him someone seductive, whose charms were long-since dissipated, and only tricks are left in their place. Robert plays him with such sadness - the smiling clown - and such quiet viciousness that you completely buy both Archie's appeal and his self-absorption. Bit by bit, he loses everything and everyone that might have mattered to him.

The last scene struck me as very Brechtian in the way it was staged. The scene numbers had flashed up on glowing bulb displays on either side of the stage, and some scenes took place back of the proscenium ('in play' scenes), some in front of it (Archie speaking directly to the audience as an audience). The last scene took up the velvet curtain - and there was no backdrop, no set behind it. Everything had been pulled back to reveal the shell of the inside of an abandoned theatre. The audience watched Archie stand on the edge of the stage and take his leave of them. And then, very slowly, he followed Pam 'backstage' - both literally and within the confines of the play.

And if that doesn't break your meta brain, I don't know what will. :)

All in all, I give it 9 out of 10.

*

And, now, some poetry for you all. April is National Poetry Month, isn't it?

Untitled by Aleksandar Ristovic

Time of fools is coming,
time of the fairground tent
and the one with a clown's face
cursing God.

Time of the peacock quill,
the quill that glides from right to left
over the paper downside up.

Time when you won't lift your little finger
without dipping into something
they call indecent.

Time of fools is coming,
time of the know-nothing professor
and the book that can't be cracked open
at either edge.
kangeiko: (Default)
New Universal #2 - #4
The new Warren Ellis is rather good.

vague spoilers )

Not spoilery - but why is the art for Ken Connell, the defense guy, based on Josh Holloway? I mean, it doesn't just look like Josh Holloway, it is Josh Holloway. That's just... weird. I suppose the artist was watching a little too much LOST?

*

EQUUS - Gielgud Theatre, 10th March

This, too was v. good. One might even go so far as to call it fab. I don't put theatre reviews behind a cut because, well, spoiler warnings don't count for them (and no one can convince me otherwise).

I've never read Equus or seen it before, but have been a Shaffer fan for a long time. Hence the tickets, despite worrying that it might be crap. See, with Shaffer, you either end up with gold or with a big fat turd, and I was petrified that it would be the latter. Luckily, a good production of Equus requires three things:

1. Good design
2. Good direction and
3. A good Martin

What I was worried about - Alan - was mostly irrelevant, as it turned out.

Richard Griffiths played Martin (he'd had the flu for a while, so we were lucky to get him), and he was amazing. He was, in turns, funny, touching and a little frightening. He totally dominated the show; not that much of a surprise, really, as it is primarily centred on his character.

The design was amazing. They managed to convince John Napier (who did the original run in 1973) to come back to the play and to design a new look to it. This time, the stage was extended into the round by hoisting up balconies behind the stage and all around, so all (except the stalls) were sitting in this lop-sided circle, looking down into the circular stage. There was a raised cross platform, on which there were four large blocks that could be moved, and the entire stage was covered/painted with something that took light and texture beautifully. The triumph of stage design in this production was in its use of lighting design: the lights indicated the beach scenes by projections of sand dunes; they indicated pavements by the projection of grills and cobblestones; they indicated the stables by hay bales. The other good thing were the masks, which were very impressive indeed. They were metal, with lights fitted where the eyes were, the 'horses' were several ballet dancers.

The direction was fine - nothing particularly spectacular, nothing that took my breath away, but, then, I don't know what work Thea Sharrock did with Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe, so. The production was amazing, at any rate.

Now. Daniel Radclifee. I wasn't particularly impressed in the first half which, to be fair, was because the character of Alan was a very shouty character, which basically made me think of Harry Potter and I couldn't take him seriously. Maybe a case of having too much similitude? I liked his physical work, though: he moved well, and expressed quite a lot when Richard was speaking and it was his job to act silently. So, when the second half hit, I was vaguely hopeful - and, yes, he did a good job. Once he was out of the 'shout if you mean it!' part of Alan's head, he really started to let go. Maybe it took him that long to loosen up on stage? Anyway. Thumbs up on that score, too.

So, yes. If you haven't seen it yet, Equus is recommended.

*

Good Bones
by Margaret Atwood

Good Bones is a series of short stories. I've liked Margaret Atwood's work in the past (but, then, I've only really read the stuff that most people don't like, so maybe this says something about me?) so I was hoping that this would be similar. No joy, though. Oh, Good Bones isn't boring, per se, or straight-forward or simple or any of those other obvious choices. It is, however, annoyingly predictable in the matters it covers and the way in which it covers them.

Overall - fun if you haven't read / studied Atwood before, rather dull if you have.
kangeiko: (Default)
Just as fab, really. *snuggles the fabulous Richard* I was in a bog-awful mood beforehand, so I'm really glad I went. We had really good tickets - fourth row from the front, close enough to feel the energy and emotion rolling across him. *glows*

The Q&A:
The Q&A rocked, I asked a question! *g* And Richard said it was a good question! *preens* Basically, I said that I'd seen the show during the previews and felt that the interpretation of The Librarian and the show itself had changed throughout the run - what did he think on that? Did he prepare The Librarian in rehearsals and stick with that interpretation, or did it change?

Richard said - and it was a nice long answer so I'm not even close to paraphrasing - that during rehearsals, he didn't have an audience, so he couldn't 'fix' his interpretation of the character. Also, that he viewed the audience as the other actor on the stage, and so his interpretation of the play changed with what the audience gave to him. He said that the Press Night had been an awful night for him, because the audience was so ungiving - they sat there with notepads and didn't participate, which was difficult for him because he didn't have anyone to act against.

Then [livejournal.com profile] wingsmith asked about the difference between acting in a tv studio and on a theatre stage, and Richard talked about how powerful he was on the tv studio - as an actor, he was able to work in his comfort zone the entire time, and that if he needed extra rehearsal time, he'd get it. He said that it was a bit of a shock when he directed some episodes, and how little power he had as a director! *g* Going back to theatre, with a one-man play, no less, was a real "shaking up" for him - possibly more than he had ancticipated!

[livejournal.com profile] queenspanky asked him about faith and the role it plays in his own life - but given that she's likely to write her own review of the Q&A, I'll leave her to relate his response! *g*

Someone asked him about his future plans, and he said that he was looking at a variety of things, but was tempted to spend some time with his kids, as they're still v. young.

He talked about Aaron Sorkin, and said that he seemed to practically vibrate! *g* Not quite sure how to take that, really. He also said that his relationship with Sorkin was really good, and talked a little about his own input in the writing process - not really regarding Toby's lines, but the other character's lines. So, for Charlie, in Take This Sabbath Day, when Charlie says that he'd want to kill his mother's murderer himself, the initial line had him going on to say that, "but then I'd come to my senses and call the police," or something like that. Richard thought that this qualified the strength of Charlie's earlier statement, and argued hard that it should be removed. In the end, it came out in the editing process.

He said that he'd given away a few of his monologues because he felt that they worked better coming from other characters - "this speech is a Josh-speech, it's very effeminate..." to great laughter. :)

One scene that he did want to claim for Toby was the scene in In the Shadow of Two Gunmen, when Toby goes to get CJ from California. Initially, that was supposed to be a Leo scene, but Richard wanted it for Toby, so spoke to John Spencer about it, who was happy to hand it over and agreed that it made better sense for Toby to do it.

Richard also talked about how he tried to NOT be involved in politics, as he found it odd that people expected him to be knowledgeable - he mentioned that when the Democratic convention had happened in LA, someone had tried to interview him about the Al Gore speech! "Well, I didn't write it!!" He also mentioned Howard Dean - apparently, when the West Wingers (who did get involved in politics) turned up to whatever state Dean was in (I forget... *hangs head*), Dean had been up by 9 points... by the time they left, he was down by 6! He basically said that he didn't think it was constructive for Hollywood to back a candidate or get involved in politics.

One odd moment for him when reality and The West Wing conflated was when he was receiving his honorary doctorate from CCNY, at the same time as Bill Clinton. Clinton greeted him with open arms (literally), they hung out for a bit, talked about the coming 2004 election, and then when they were walking down for the ceremony, they apparently went through Harlem, where Clinton was very very popular, so there were all of these people screaming, "Mr President, Mr President!", and Richard walking beside him said, "I've done this scene about 11 times..." ... which had us all laughing, of course.

Things Richard likes: baseball, not working, and parks. He's been hanging out at Speaker's Corner, apparently.

I can't remember the rest off the top of my head - I'll link through to [livejournal.com profile] queenspanky's review once she writes it for the details of her question and anything else that she remembers that I missed off. The last thing was that, even after the MC kept saying, "last question, last question," Richard just said, "no, no, I'm happy to answer more," and carried on. He's such a star.

Outside:
He wasn't outside the stage door, but instead exited the theatre by jumping down from the stage and going out the front door. He'd been carrying a book around for the Q&A, so when I immediately went to his side and smiled and was incredibly nosy about it, he was an absolute darling and showed it to me and told me what it was about (it's called "The History Book of the Dead", or something, and he hadn't read it yet, but it was a gift a fan had sent to him at the theatre, and it apparently featured The Wandering Jew). He signed my programme, and I am such a silly fangirl but I practically expired on the spot when he touched my elbow as he showed me the book and the little post-it on it and signed my programme and smiled and - *glee*

He's da bomb-diggy. I am luuuurve him long time. [livejournal.com profile] wingsmith, btw, will deny that he was grinning like a loon during this, but both he and [livejournal.com profile] queenspanky were both decrying having not purchased a programme that would be a good pretext for sticking around a little longer to talk to him. Because he's looooovely! *smooches him madly*

Is it wrong of me to want to go see the play again? *is hopeless*
kangeiko: (Default)
Do you want the long story or the short story? No spoilers, just awesomeness.

Short story - this play is AMAZING. Go see it immediately, if not sooner.

Long story - this play is BLOODY AMAZING. And I'm going to see it again. )

When we exited the performance, [livejournal.com profile] queenspanky was in tears, [livejournal.com profile] athena25 was still clapping, [livejournal.com profile] wingsmith was frantically scouring my programme to see how he could get his hands on a copy of the play, and I was practically hyper-ventilating.

Long story short? All four of us loved it. All four of us are going to see it again, and bringing all of our friends.

GO SEE THIS PLAY. NOW.
kangeiko: (thoughtful)
Today was a bit of a joke as far as days go. Suffice to say it 'ended' with me being locked out and having to call the handyman to let me into my own house. Sigh.

My fucked-off melancholy mood was not helped by finishing Amy Tan's The Kitchen God's Wife last night, which left me in a furious rage.

The Kitchen God's Wife
by Amy Tan

page count: 415 pages

It's like a guilt trip, without even trying. )


*

Yesterday, I also saw Twelfth Night done by an all-male troupe at The Old Vic, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] athena25's magic freebie tickets. I really, really recommend that people go see the play if they possibly can. It's a bright, energetic performance, and very winsomely staged, with some beautiful set pieces. The cast are really quite brilliant, and the resultant performance is very physical, at times disturbingly so. The humiliation of Malvolio, for instance, reduced me to tears, and Sir Toby brought quite a bit of fabulous slapstick. Also brilliant was the Fool, who was a cross between a narrator and minstrel and all-actor, bridging the scenes effortlessly.

Having a boy play Viola was interesting - and his body languages was definitely more deferential - although I'm not quite certain that I fully bought him as a girl. That said, the similarities between Viola and Sebastian - deftly handled by some clever casting and a good use of costumes and props - was undeniable, and the mistaken identity worked well. Go, see, laugh.
kangeiko: (Default)
Ladies, lads and luvvies,

As we all know, I'm a big, big BIG Richard Schiff fan. I've just learned - via [personal profile] raedbard - that he's doing a play in London in a couple of months: Underneath the Lintel at the Duchess Theatre. Tickets go on sale on Mon 4th Dec and I'm going to be going. Yes. Probably to a preview (7 - 10 Feb) as the tickets are priced £15 - £25, rather than the normal £20 - £40.

Now, I AM going. But we should all share the fun - who wants to come with? We can all go in a big group. And squee. And wait outside the stage door afterwards. I am proposing making reservations - that way, if there's a last minute 'can't make it' nightmare, people don't end up out of pocket. But we all get to see him anyway.

Random trivia: One of my very close friends actually ran into him in Covent Garden on the afternoon after one of our exams last year. He signed her exam question paper for her.

Did I mention that I'm definitely going? Because it's Richard Schiff, for crying out loud. And he's apparently very very lovely. Which you knew already. Come be fangirly with me. Yes.
kangeiko: (Default)
Things I have seen recently:

Moon for the Misbegotten - no spoilers ) Overall rating: 7 out of 10.

Children of Men - no spoilers ) Overall rating: 10 out of 10.

Veronica Mars 3.01 - 'Welcome Wagon' - very mild spoilers )

I know a person who knows a guy, so now I have Veronica Mars #3.01 on my harddrive. If you can't wait until 3rd October, email me or comment and I'll send you the link to it. [livejournal.com profile] monanotlisa, I'm putting it in with the care package I'm sending you, honey. *smooch*

AND!!

Aug. 15th, 2006 09:17 pm
kangeiko: (Default)
Kevin McKidd was an Improvert. Which technically makes him my third uncle twice removed. Or something.

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