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Posts Tagged ‘culture’

nothing to be done

So, how was the play?

 I really think there’s only one word to describe it: phenomenal. 

Let me tell you this – it is one thing to see a movie and comment that there was great acting, but you must always keep in mind that there were probably 10 (or more) takes and a whole bunch of editing between what you’re watching and the actual acting. Obviously, live performances are very different from this.  The actors only get one take and, *gasp* there is NO EDITING!

So much the better, as far as I can say.

Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were both astounding.  They delivered their lines with an excellence of timing and expression that was entirely absorbing.  Each movement and syllable – every breath – was wholly characteristic.  They did not falter.  Their performance was at times hilarious and heart-wrenching. Their laughter was infectious and their tears (purposefully crocodile or otherwise) were saddening.  I would go back again, night after night, if I could.

The best Waiting for Godot I have ever seen. Even Kate agreed, stating that you can quite obviously identify the quality of the acting. 

I wish I could re-live it.  I would sit closer to the stage, if possible, and I would ensure I was better prepared.

I realise there are three other actors that I have left out of my review and I apologise, but my mind is full of Didi and Gogo.  I promise a more comprehensive review of their (substantial) acting talents at another time.

For now I leave you with this revelation: I am going to the ballet with Kate on Friday.  Yes, The Ballet (shock, horror!) and yes, that means two cultural outings in one week.  My brain might explode. 

xo

A

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Kate and I are going through to the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh tonight to see Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in a production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot

There are quite a few major excitements involved with this.

First – Ian McKellen.  I adore Ian McKellen.  It’s something to do with the timbre of his voice, I think.  He’s immediately threatening and comforting in equal measure.  Whenever I hear his voice I know I’m going to like whatever it is he has to say to me. He could call me up and tell me that the entire Earth is going to implode and everything is going to go up in a rather impressive ball of fire and I’m pretty sure I’d only be mildly upset.  In a nutshell, I adore him.

Second – Patrick Stewart.  Need I say more?

Third – Ian McKellen AND Patrick Stewart.  Together.  Gandalf and Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Together. Holy much of the muchness. Wow and WOW.

Forth – (am I boring you yet?) Waiting for Godot. I first read this play when I was about 16 and it really made an impression.  No, seriously, it made an impression on my face because I fell asleep reading it during study-hall.  It does grow on you, though.  S was asking me what it’s about last night and I said, “nothing.” and he kept asking me.  But my answer wasn’t wrong or lacking – the play is essentially about nothing at all.  But that’s the point! Two men standing at the side of the road beside a tree talking to each other for hours about nothing consequential (inherently, that is.  Considered wholly their conversation is anything but inconsequential…), and waiting for someone who never shows up?  And they are charging money to see this?  Yes, yes they are – and I’d have paid twice as much as I did to see it staring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart.  Elizabeth and I used to do a scene from Waiting for Godot for Forensics (acting, not cutting up dead bodies) and man, were we terrible.  But we loved it.  I think it might have been our favorite of all the scenes we did.

Fifth – It’s in Edinburgh.  Edinburgh may be one of my favorite places in the entire world.  To visit.  I would hate to live there because what I love about Edinburgh is being a tourist there.  We’re not going to have time tonight to do anything besides ride in a taxi, but we’ll spend a very small amount of time at Waverly Station and that is what I am looking forward to.  Alison will understand this most, I think.

Sixth – I get to see Kate.  She only lives in Glasgow but we see each other once a fortnight.  And who knows how much longer she’ll be in Glasgow for…  SO yes, I am extremely excited to spend the entire evening with my very good friend Kate.

Seventh (and last) – I can’t wait to write a post tomorrow telling you all how mind-blowing the performance is going to be. Don’t bother checking for your credit cards, though, because the entire run of the show in Edinburgh is sold out. 

And no wonder.

Excerpt from Waiting for Godot:

VLADIMIR:
Boots must be taken off every day, I’m tired telling you that. Why don’t you
listen to me?

ESTRAGON:
(feebly). Help me!

VLADIMIR:
It hurts?

ESTRAGON:
(angrily). Hurts! He wants to know if it hurts!

VLADIMIR:
(angrily). No one ever suffers but you. I don’t count. I’d like to hear what you’d
say if you had what I have.

ESTRAGON:
It hurts?

VLADIMIR:
(angrily). Hurts! He wants to know if it hurts!

Do yourself a favor and read it.  But do yourself an even bigger favor and bring a comfy pillow.  It may be one of the greatest works of Existentialism in history, but it has sharp edges and they leave impressions on your face when you fall asleep on it.

xo

A

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I have been to the theatre once in the past 5 years.  I used to go all the time.  We were members of the Great Lakes Theatre Festival and we went every few months to see a play downtown.  Chekhov, Shakespeare, Sondheim, Williams.  And every year The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  Not to mention the Cleveland Orchestra’s Christmas Concert at Severance Hall.  And I miss it.  Terribly.

So I thought I would take a look at what Glasgow has to offer in the way of Holiday Theatre this year.  Considering how culturally enhanced Glasgow wants you to think it is, the choice is rather lacking.  I can see any one of about 50 Christmas Pantos (horrid things aimed mainly at children, their adults, and people with less than 7 brain cells) which I have no desire to do at all, or I can wait until February when the ballet is showing The Nutcracker.  Why in February?  I have no idea.  No idea in the slightest.

Is it really possible that I am so strapped for choices when living in the largest city in Scotland and the third largest in the whole of the UK?  Yes, it would seem so.

I guess I am just unwilling to take a break from the familiar.  The Royal Scottish National Orchestra does have a Christmas Concert, but it focuses on The Snowman, which is apparently a “magical family film” which is played in full accompanied by live narration and music.  How thrilling.  The Glasgow Chamber Orchestra is also playing a Christmas Concert, just the one, tomorrow.  The choir that is singing is the Glasgow Hospitals’ Choir and, while all proceeds go to sick children in Glasgow, it is just too depressing for me.

So what should I do?

I could fly down to London for the day and see what sort of festive offerings they have for me.  I would have my fingers crossed for The Christmas Carol, but that doesn’t seem to be so popular here.  Or I could sit at home in a dark room with my eyes closed, playing a CD of the Cleveland Orchestra’s Christmas music which we bought many, many years ago and I could just pretend I am at a concert.

And, while I am at it, what does a girl have to do to see a live theatre production of a Shakespeare play? Travel to the Globe Theatre in London?  Or wait for the spring when the “narrative ballet” version comes to the Theatre Royal?  Seriously.

On the plus side, The King’s Theatre in Edinburgh is showing a version of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett in April staring Gandalf and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart) for which I have already booked my tickets.  For the first night just in case I NEED to see it again.  And again.  Masterpiece of modern theatre?  I fear that may be an understatement.

Bring on the Christmas season.  And for pete’s sake someone please bring me some culture!

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