allochthonous: (then you can tell if it's summer)
It is so disgustingly hot. The warm water dripping from air-conditioning vents makes it feel like even the buildings are sweating and everything is flat and heavy and there is squashed fruit underfoot everywhere which normally I find charming but now is just yuck. In protest I have holed up in my flat with three books of Russian grammar and a bottle of wine in an attempt to crack Russian dates. No luck so far, but a lot of Sebastian Stan (I have finally worked out what tumblr is for).

I was briefly in London the other week, which meant (almost) All The Theatre.

Julius Caesar, The Globe )

The Crucible, The Old Vic ).

Titus Andronicus, The Globe )

I had a ticket for Antony & Cleopatra the day before I left, but sadly had to go emergency shopping instead (stupid Sunday opening hours). My annoyance at missing Eve Best and Clive Wood is mitigated by the fact that the Globe now DVDs everything, and they usually do it quite well too.

The forecast is for 37 C tomorrow. I am so ready for autumn right now.
allochthonous: (Default)
Full of glee because I achieved my Azerbaijan visa (no mean feat) and my Georgian work permit today, so I am all set to get back home next week. Vienna is nice and all and has good cake and drinkable coffee, but I am missing khachapuri.

For reasons of misplaced cultural enthusiasm I ended up this evening at a performance of Hamlet at the Burgtheater which I think is effectively the Austrian equivalent of the National. What I did not realise was that this was entirely uncut, although the 5.30 start time should perhaps have tipped me off; we didn't get out until 11. Bum-numbing qualities aside,  it was actually pretty good (well, Hamlet and Gertrude and weirdly, Rosencratz, were excellent; everyone else sort of so-so and they did some weird thing where a different actor played Ophelia when she was mad which I thought was just odd) with a  young Hamlet which makes him so much less tiresome (he still is fairly tiresome, but I find it way more forgivable when played by a 20-something as opposed to a pushing-40, which seems standard in the UK these days), and a slightly bizarre set like the interior of a sad 1980s conference centre, but five and a half hours of Hamlet is generally far more Hamlet than anyone needs.

But the final scene was entirely worth the preceding five hours as after all that Serious Acting everyone let rip: I've never seen such stupendously histrionic death agonies. The duel was great, which it isn't always, but was totally overshadowed by Gertrude rolling around on the floor behind them while Hamlet wasn't going to let deadly poison prevent him from emitting earsplitting shrieks between every line. Meanwhile Claudius sort of stood around forgetting to act until it was time to die and then he collapsed tenderly into Osric's arms, and then young Fortinbras came in and giggled like a psycopath and beat up Horatio. It was superb.
allochthonous: (Default)
I have had a fairly hectic couple of weeks - a nastily timed bout of flu means that I am about two hundred quid out after missing two flights to the Netherlands, and then I was at one of those conferences last week which has stuff basically scheduled from 7am to 9pm, and you find yourself having extended meetings until 1 in the morning while the restaurant staff are just begging you to leave. But now I am back in Tbilisi, which is lovely and autumnal, and I had the odd realisation that for the first time my flat feels more like home to me than my parents' house. Better late than never, I suppose.

Surprisingly, I went to the theatre a bit in London!

Edward II )

Much Ado About Nothing )

What are you reading now?

Nearly done with The Moonstone, which was free on the kindle, and long so good for plane trips. It is apparently one of the first detective stories in English, and very similar in tone to the Sherlock Holmes books (though obviously much longer). Good fun, give or take the very of-its-time attitude towards those wacky Hindoos (sic).

What have you just finished reading?

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, which I got from a recommendation by someone on my reading list. One of the best YA fantasies I've read for quite some time: dragons, excellent worldbuilding, ace female characters, and a love interest that doesn't overwhelm the whole plot. Although I agree with the original rec post, which said that it would have felt slightly more realistically if Seraphina herself had been aged up a bit. She pinged me far more as late teens/early twenties than sixteen.

What will you read next?

It's nearly Republic of Thieves time! I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies (now containing actual women!) and can't wait to see what Lynch does with this.

Hamlet, RSC

May. 5th, 2013 12:09 pm
allochthonous: (then you can tell if it's summer)
London in three consecutive sunny days shocker! Honestly, this is the loveliest spring I can remember in London for years. If only it holds out for the bank holiday. I am sitting in the garden painting my nails and trying not to get cat hair stuck to them, which is tricky, since Oscar has decided the bowl of yoghurt and raspberries I am eating must be the most delicious thing ever and refuses to be rebuffed. I have a friend's wedding this afternoon, at which there should be many people I have not seen in months and lots of booze, which is always a good combination.

The other day I headed up to Stratford (upon-Avon, not the one with the Westfield and the Olympic park) with my mother to see the new RSC Hamlet. I hadn't been for years (in fact, possibly not since Historiesfest '08) and I wanted to check out the new theatre; plus, I am a Jonathan Slinger fangirl and will watch him in anything, even Hamlet. The theatre was lovely and felt agreeably like the Courtyard, of which I have so many fond memories, and the atrium was decorated with old props and costumes, including an excellent bear which I was sorry to find out hadn't actually been in A Winter's Tale.

Hamlet ) 

Right, time to get outdoors for a bit, then just time to catch up on last night's Doctor Who before the wedding.
allochthonous: (i cannot rest from travel)
Lack of information on the job front (I know where I'm going, just not when or what I'll be doing when I get there is making me very bad company. Three people in the last couple of days have asked if I'm OK because I seem really distracted; mainly when they ask this I'm mentally calculating what is the shortest amount of time in which I can pack up all my life and head for the hills and did I order the next six months' worth of contact lenses yet (answer: no.). I am supposed to find out for sure one way or another tomorrow, but it is frustrating not to know.

OK, so *deep breaths* good things. I have been to the dentist and don't have to return for another two years (having seen what my mum has had to endure over the years, I will never be able to thank my dad enough for passing on the Good Teeth gene); I have climbed a lot this week and managed another 6A today (and also fell repeatedly off three 5s, so you can't have everything I suppose); I found a cashmere sweater and a Monsoon dress in a charity shop for under twenty quid for the two of them; David Tennant is going to be in Richard II at the RSC this winter AND they seem to be doing the other history plays as well. 

What are you reading now?

This Cold Heaven by Greta Ehrlich, in which she describes a number of trips she made to Greenland over several years, including a winter season she spent there. I will do a proper review of this at some point because it is fantastic - lyrical, poetic and full of absolutely fascinating stuff about the history and culture of the Inuit. Greenland still one of the strangest and most beautiful places I've been, and one day I would love to do a winter visit. A plan is germinating of heading back there with a couple of friends this summer to walk the Arctic Circle trail which will be ten years since I visited (Christ, I left school nearly ten years ago? When did I get so OLD?) and this book is making me want to leave immediately.

What have you finished reading?

I was staying at a friend's place, and picked up an Enid Blyton which I hadn't read - one of the St Clare's books I think? - and blew through it in a couple of hours. I couldn't get enough of those when I was about nine, but I was horrified on the reread about how awful all the girlsare to each other. Why did I ever think I would've liked to go to St Clare's or Malory Towers? I would have been mocked, sent to Coventry and made to play extra lacrosse.

What will you read next?

I found Crossing Places: Journeys among the Armenians in the Oxfam bookshop the other day so I might give that a go. Bread and Ashes is still looking at me accusingly, but it is hardback and quite big, so not very comfortable to read in bed.

Right, I am off do to my fifteen minutes of Memrise Russian and look at climbing harnesses.
allochthonous: (gin o'clock)
I am not totally convinced about this Barclays Front Row business at the Donmar Warehouse. They release a bunch of ten quid tickets for their curret production every Monday morning, but the damned things sell out in a couple of minutes. Previously I haven't been able to get any for Julius Caesar; today I got a couple in my basket, then the site jammed and they didn't go through. I know the previous system of day tickets discriminated against people with actual jobs which might look askance at their employees taking the morning off to hang around in Covent Garden, but it was quite sociable and you could go on coffee runs to Monmouth. They still do standing tickets, so I think I'll just get one of them. Fortunately this production of JC seems to be fairly heavily edited.

Celebrated Twelfth Night (or possibly Thirteenth Night, depending if you see Christmas Night (which may or may not be Christmas Eve) as First Night or 0th Night. Tricky.) with a readthrough of Twelfth Night with [personal profile] kerrypolka and [ profile] hoshuteki  and various other lovely people and a superb dog. I drew the spotlight part of the Second Officer, whose crowning moment in which he arrests Antonio (allowing him to break off for a monologeue or two en route) is surely a highlight of Elizabethan drama; also, Sebastien who has not a brain in his pretty little head and is marvellously unfazed by strange women dragging him in off the street and marrying him, and also unable to recognise his twin sister in drag and Maria, who is all about the Witty Banter with Sir Toby & co., but this is a little obtuse when you do not have an annotated edtion, which we did not. Ah, Shakespearean comedies. Still, fantastic night sadly brought to an early close by the vagaries of Sunday public transport (one day, Berlin). I am liking the date-appropriate readthroughs. Julius Caesar on the Ides of March? Henry V upon St Crispin's day? The possibilities are endless.

I am trying to obtain Caucasus books but there does not appear to be a whole lot of travel literature around, and what there is is out of print. Gap in the market? I THINK SO.
allochthonous: (london)
When I was away I had a vaguely drunken conversation with a Parisian expat about how living abroad makes you appreciate your home town more, and about how when we go home we stand on bridges and love our cities. And that is exactly what I do when I come back to London, I come out of Embankment and cross the Hungerford Bridge and look at St Paul’s and the Eye and the Gherkin and the Shard (which has certainly come on a bit since I last saw it) and Tower Bridge in the distance and think that there are not many places so beautiful. I estimate it will be at least a couple of months before the usual irritations start welling up and I shall want to be elsewhere again. But for the moment, wandering around my town which I love with a pretentious coffee in my hand (a cortado from Notes tastes just like burnt caramel, it really is outrageously good), I am perfectly content and know I will always come back here.

I am also going to the theatre a lot too (by which I mean the Globe, because £5 tickets are a wonderful thing).

Henry V, BBC (contains a lot of ranting) )

Henry V, The Globe )

Richard III, The Globe )

So that’s my life at the moment: theatre and London and seeing people who I haven’t seen for months (if you are in London and I haven't seen you then I should! Let's go to the pub!) and also jobhunting (that is a lie. I am not jobhunting at all). I have no idea what's going to happen next (in which respect I haven't advanced much since graduating four years ago, which is not an encouraging thought), but no doubt something will turn up. In the meantime, London is awesome. That is all.

allochthonous: (Default)
So that was a bit good. As [ profile] angevin2 predicted, part 2 was lots better than part 1, mostly because the overall mood of the play is much more sombre, so SRB's take on Falstaff in particular fit the tone very well. Also, the play ends on such an emotional gutpunch, that anything is forgivable so long as the last scenes between Hal and his father and Falstaff come good, which they did here, and how.

All things considered, this is not a very uplifting play )

I am very curious as to how much of the plot is clear to people who don't know the plays at all. The political thread running through the tetralogy has so far been almost completely lost, which makes me think that the motivations of a lot of the antagonists must seem a bit opaque (people rebelling just for the hell of it? Why not?), and is Henry's guilt about Richard coming through at all? Hmmm, it'll be interesting to see whether they keep the line about reinterring Richard's body in Henry's pre-Agincourt prayer in Henry V next week. Which I won't actually get to see until the end of the month, but at least when I do I'll be back in London. Once more unto the breach.
allochthonous: (Default)
I have to go buy a compass, but it's too hot and I don't wanna. Instead I am ambling from cafe to cafe drinking iced coffee and rewatching Henry IV part 1. Things could be worse.

In before Part 2 (just)! )

Anyway, overall judgement reserved until I've seen part 2, but so far, so good. Also, I still don't have a Shakespeare icon, how is this possible?
allochthonous: (Default)
I am having issues with the weather at the moment. Belgrade, this is not OK.


This was a particualrly nasty shock coming straight after a week in Amsterdam, which required a blissful number of layers and the frequent use of an umbrella. In response to this unprepossessing weather, I am resolutely working from home this week (home air-conditioning unit >>>>> office air-conditioning unit) which has the added benefit of my colleagues not having to put up with a constant muttered refrain on the subject of the weather in Foreign Parts in general and the Balkans in particular. Two weeks to go before I can escape off up a mountain somewhere.

In the meantime, it's histories time! I've been looking forward to the BBC adaptations of the second tetralogy for ages, and last weekend was Richard II.

Dodgy religious imagery ahoy! )

So yes, good stuff (I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun watching them without plenty to complain about), and I am very much looking forward to the Henry IVs (the buzz at the moment is that they are the best of the four). Bring on Falstaff as a Jesus-St Ursula hybrid (only joking, Richard Eyre, please don't).

PS on a still-Shakespeare-but-not-histories note, somebody tell me why we haven't had Chiwetel Ejiofor's Hamlet yet? I was wondering this earlier today and I googled and found him doing the Hecuba monologue from Hamlet on youtube and ow, I need the rest. Preferably at the Donmar Warehouse, so you can get close enough to see him properly. Somebody want to get Josie Rourke on that stat?

ETA Important point related to medieval headgear: anyone know how historically accurate the scarf/turban/giant sock combo everyone was wearing on their heads is? They really distracted me for a good proportion of the indoor scenes.
allochthonous: (Default)
I woke up this morning with the worst hangover I've had in years, and worst I've ever had that didn't involve vodka and/or tequila. This is atrributable to my boss's habit of proclaiming Thursday as going-out-night, and merrily ordering round after round of cheap wine (actually, she doesn't even need to do that anymore. The barman sees us coming and cracks out several bottles immediately.) So today was wholly unproductive except in the lying-in-bed-feeling-miserable sense (I am so lucky I can technically work from home; my housemate, who was ina similar state, had to be at a conference at 9 am this morning), and I really needed it to be productive, so now I get to spend all evening angsting about the work I've failed to do while simultaneously feeling rubbish. Never drinking again, etc.

In happier news, the BBC has started releasing more information about their "Hollow Crown" series of films of the Shakespeare histories, now showing in July, as far as I can tell. This is a clip from the Thea Sharrock-directed Henry V - it's Henry and Montjoy, "We are but warriors for the working day...".

Obviously it's difficult to say much about the final product from a nintey-second clip, but it's interesting to see what's there so far. Outrrrrageous French accents are in (well, maybe not so outrageous since as far as I can tell they have recruited actual French actors) and King Henry has a very fidgety horse. I love "We are but warriors...", almost more than the St Crispin's day speech: it's a wonderful bit of defiance and desparation (and bad jokes - unaccountably they seem to have cut "There's not a piece of feather in our host/Good argument, I hope, we will not fly"), and as such I generally prefer it to be a bit less low-key than it's played here. It's also a bit weird that his entire army seems to have vanished in the ten or so lines between St Crispin's day and this scene, but maybe they're just all hanging out off camea. Oh well, pointless to speculate too much at this stage, and I like Hiddleston a good deal as an actor (his off-the-cuff Harfleur speech the other day wasn't bad either) so I'm pretty excited for this.

Annoyingly, I can't find a youtube version of the clip from Richard II (Patrick Stewart doing "This royal throne of kings...", accessible here if you're in the UK), presumably because it doesn't contain Tom Hiddleston, who seems to have acquired via his stints in Thor and The Avengers an alarmingly devoted legion of fangirls (the comments on the video above are instructive). I'm sure it will turn up sooner or later, and in the meantime I am crossing my fingers for a glimpse of Simon Russel Beale as Falstaff. What with Jamie Parker's Henry at the Globe too, this is going to be a gooooood histories summer.
allochthonous: (Default)
Happy belated birthday to Shakespeare; this poem is for his wife, who I (and apparently Carol Ann Duffy) always think got rather a raw deal.

Anne Hathaway
Carol Ann Duffy

'Item I gyve unto my wife my second best bed ...'
(from Shakespeare's will)

The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas
where we would dive for pearls. My lover's words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights, I dreamed he'd written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer's hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love -
I hold him in the casket of my widow's head
as he held me upon that next best bed.

The Globe Theatre's Globe to Globe Festival is starting this week and I am so very, very jealous of those of you with tickets. I read a great article about Shakespeare in the Soviet Union that makes me even more annoyed I won't be seeing any of the former USSR versions. Someone needs to give the Globe (well, every theatre) a massive chunk of cash to be used purely for recording their output.

allochthonous: (Default)
Jeremy Irons will play Henry IV, with Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff, and Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal (Irons looks even more grim and Henry IV-y than usual in the picture accompanying that article) in the BBC Henry IVs next summer. This plus a Ben Wishaw, Rory Kinnear and Patrick Stewart-full Richard II, and Hiddleston going on to star in Henry V adds up to one giant IS IT 2012 YET. Note to self: arrange matters so I am back in the UK when these are broadcast.
allochthonous: (secret shakespearean boyfriend)
Royal Mail has issued a set of stamps to commerorate 50 years of the RSC. I like that they have stamps for the individual theatres as well.
allochthonous: (we make the golden journey)

My dissertation placement does not appear to be working out and I may have to make a last-minute dive to India, which is problematic because the funding application deadline is tomorrow, and I am unlikely to know by then which is going to happen. SO MUCH RAGE. To keep me from beating my brains (or someone else's) out with a hammer, here is a book meme.

The book I am reading: Travels in West Africa, by Mary Kingsley. She is a hero of mine: a dutiful Victorian daughter who stayed at home nursing her parents until they died, whereupon she packed up and headed straight out to explore Gabon. She is one of the best and funniest travel writers I have ever come across and I must write a proper post about her. This edition I got off Amazon is sadly abridged (how could they possibly miss out her epic battle with the crocodile in her canoe?) but still brilliant.

The book I am writing:  I am finding that combining my favourite genres of alternate history, fantasy and historical adventure into a swashbuckling, heroine-dominated thriller set in Reformation Europe is not working out in a particularly coherent manner, but is great fun to imagine all the same.

The book I love most: I am deeply suspicious of anyone who can provide a one-book answer to this question. That said, the book I turn to most for comfort reading when I am tired or upset is The Towers of Trebizond, by Rose Macaulay. It is possessed of one of the greatest opening lines in literature, and anyone who doesn’t want to read it after that has no soul. “’Take my camel, dear’ said my Aunt Dot as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass”.

The last book I received as a gift: Alice Albinia’s Empires of the Indus for Christmas. I am trying to read more female travel authors, and this is supposed to be excellent: she follows the Indus along its entire length, travelling through some of the most dangerous parts of Pakistan on her own. I’m saving this as a treat for when term ends.

The last book I gave as a gift: I am my mother’s primary book consultant when she buys presents for her teenage godchildren, and she has recently distributed on my advice copies of Nation, by Terry Pratchett (one of his best recent efforts, IMO) and Temeraire, by Naomi Novik (anyone who is not reading these should be. Napoleonic wars with dragons – what’s not to love?).  My friends and I tend to lend rather than give books (I guess because we’re cheap students), and I have recently lent out The Hunger Games far and wide. I have a small collection of texts on my phone sent by lendees at 3 am, all variations on “DAMN YOU I PICKED THIS UP TO READ ONE CHAPTER BEFORE BED AND STAYED UP ALL NIGHT FINISHING IT”.

The nearest book on my desk: Gender and Climate Change: An Introduction and Dirty Russian: Everyday slang from 'What's up?' to 'Fuck off!'. My Russian teacher would be so proud.

Other things that have made me happy today are the casting news for the BBC Richard II (I don’t know enough about Ben Whishaw to tell if he’d be a good Richard, but Rory Kinnear as Bolingbroke? Yes please) and the news that the Pratchett Watch books are being made into a CSI-style police procedural, which could prove to be a stroke of genius if done well.

Now it's back to writing country non-specific travel grant applications again. I need this week to be over.

allochthonous: (Default)
The trailer for the RSC production of Macbeth, starring Jonathan Slinger (much beloved of those who've seen him in - well, anything, but especially the histories) is here. Try and ignore the wildly OTT strings and the woe-Macduff's-dead-children-are-dead visuals, and let Slinger give you chills: "Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more..."

I cannot wait for this production.


Dec. 1st, 2010 03:09 pm
allochthonous: (secret shakespearean boyfriend)
I came out of the National yesterday evening to see snowflakes billowing like smoke in the blue and yellow spotlights lights over the side of the building and spiralling up the windtunnels create by the theatre's rather peculiar architecture. None of it is settling, exactly, but the sheer joyof being in a heavy snow shower, of looking upwards and feeing the whole sky falling into you is something I've never seen enough to get tired of. If I had a time machine one of the first places I would visit would be one of the winters when the Thames froze and frost fairs were held on the ice (maybe 1814, when there was an elephant). There is a book in a shop near uni full of beautiful Dutch pictures of Thames frost fairs and I am having winter envy. Someone needs to rebuild old London Bridge so it slows the river flow and the Thames can freeze again.

I was seeing Hyntner's Hamlet, which I thought in general was very good (Kinnear was great, though a touch on the old side), but wasn't totally sold on all of the casting (dubious about Polonious, and Horatio was basically just there - the guy next to me said that he might as well have been Hamlet's imaginary friend, given he doesn't talk to anyone apart from the guards at the beginning). The fnal scene was dead good though, one of the most convincing and least silly-looking duels I've seen. Also, Shakespeare directors: please find some way to indicate Ophelia's madness other than having her take her kit off. Sheesh.

No more snow today. I would mind less if I didn't keep getting texts from my sisters about sledging and snowball fights.
allochthonous: (Default)
Man, LJ hates me this evening, I've tried to post this about four times. Clearly LJ is not a fan of the second tetralogy. 

Anyway. Although I knew very little about the play apart from a few YouTube clips of the BBC Jacobi version and the odd historical novel, Richard II was probably the one I was most interested to see this weekend. Julia and Cherie talked it up like mad to me beforehand (never mind the acting, the shoes were apparently something special) and, of course, there were certain members of my flist who might've been the tiniest bit keen on this play. 

Alright, that? Was terrific. Compared to the other plays it was light on the action (I realised at the end it was the only one without a battle or six), but it never dragged at all, and having set things up so perfectly, it leaves you with a dreadful sense of inevitability about the ensuing events over the next century. 

Briefer (somewhat) notes for the H4s, as I'd just be repeating myself for a lot of it. But overall, these two were vastly better than when I first saw them six months ago - way, way more polished. J and C were seeing them for the third time and confirmed that there'd been a big improvement every time. 

allochthonous: (Default)
We had what must have been a professional snorer in our room Thursday night, so I awoke Friday feeling slightly zombified myself. Plays at 10.30 pm, 3 pm and 7.30 pm were a slightly scary prospect on two hours sleep, but fortified with a triple espresso, I managed not to embarrass myself by nodding off.

Oh, these were fun. I realise that I haven't been especially critical, largely because I don't know the text very well at all, so my review has sort of degenerated into a list of "bits that were cool". A lot of the stuff I've said is probably really obvious to anyone who knows the plays well, but it was a great treat seeing them for the first time so superbly done.

Richard III I know slightly better - I've never seen it in the theatre, but I have seen the McKellen film a couple of times, and I think I must have seen the Olivier version as well. Still, by this point the lack of sleep was catching up with me slightly so I wasn't especially on the ball for this one and I have far fewer notes.

allochthonous: (Hal is hot)
When I was in primary school, every year a local theatre company would come in and do a Shakespeare workshop with us, and we would learn about a play and do some acting, and then go and see a (much abridged) production of it. We did Julius Caesar, Macbeth and, for some reason, A Winter's Tale, despite the fact that it confused us more than all the rest put together. Then, one year, we did Henry V. I remember very little about the workshop (except that the guy in my class who got to be Henry had been Macbeth the previous year, which we all considered to be the height of unfairness), and less still about the production, although I must have taken a certain amount in. About a week later my friend's mother, in a desperate attempt to distract us from using her little brother to fish for frogspawn in the pond, put on a video of Branagh's 1989 film of that play. I was transfixed. I was nine or ten and I didn't understand a lot of the words, but I remember that they sounded right, far better than the paraphrased meanings we'd been given in the workshop, and that the scene at the end of the battle with Doyle's incredible "Non Nobis" made me cry. I borrowed the video and watched it again and again, demanded a proper video of it for Christmas, and continued to watch it religiously. There was blood! There were men with swords! There was poetry! How could this possibly be boring? My mother took me to a proper production - I don't think it was even a very good one, but it was enthralling nonetheless. Since, for some reason, our local theatre didn't keep a permanent production of Henry V to feed my obsession, I tentatively began to branch out a little and discovered that some of this guy's other plays were pretty okay too. But Henry V was the play that got me hooked on Shakespeare, and exposure at an impressionable age has rendered me clinically incapable of missing a production of this play if I can possibly help it. So  yeah. I was just a little bit keen to see this one.

I was a little iffy about the RSC productions of the two parts of Henry IV I saw over the summer and not entirely sure what Geoffrey Streatfeild as Hal would do with Henry V, but, childhood crushes are powerful things, so I made the epic trek to Stratford-upon-Avon this morning (I don't quite understand how this bloody town can be equally impossible to get to from anywhere in the country, but they mange it. I bet if you started from Stratford itself, it would still take you three hours and you'd have to change trains twice).

In summary: YES. Much better than the Henry IVs, although they need to leave the aerial acrobatics alone for a while and cut back on the music. This ensemble really is magic; I would love to see an understudy performance of one of these productions, just to see how much changes. Since Mum fortunately sees Shakespeare as Improving, she's offered to get me tickets for Christmas for all eight plays when they do them back-to-back in March (while technically I suppose I could wait til they come to London, I think it would be more fun to see them in Stratford with all the other crazy people who think 24 solid hours of the Histories is the greatest thing ever).

Aaaand it's two thirty in the morning and I need to sleep.


allochthonous: (Default)

April 2015



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