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.


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April 2015



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