28 August 2006

The Life of Galileo by Bertold Brecht

Galilieo Galilei - Simon Russell Beale
Cardinal Inquisitor - Oliver Ford Davies
Ludovico Marsili - Bertie Carvel
University Chancellor/Rude Official - Tim McMullan
Sagredo - Duncan Bell
Little Monk - Zubin Varla
Cardinal Barberini - Andrew Woodall
Andrea Sarti - Ryan Watson
Andrea Sarti (oler) - Bryan Dick
Virginia - Elisabeth Dermot Walsh
Cosimo de Medici - Jamie Manton
Court Chamberlain - Ian Barritt
Philosopher/Clavius - Simon Merrills
Mathematician/Official of the Inquisition - Christopher Gilling
Sugnora Sarti - Julia Ford
Federzoni - Dermot Kerrigan
First Monk/Cosimo (older)/Guarding Monk - Tristram Beint
Second Monk - Amit Shah
Senior Cardinal - Ian Barritt
Cardinal Bellarmine - Sam Spruell

Directed by Howard Davies
Designed by Bunnie Christie

A translation by David Hare at the Olivier

An incredible production. Simon Russell Beale is an awsome sight. A fantastic cast bringing this intense investigation to life.

15 August 2006

Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan

Richard Nixon - Frank Langella
Jim Reston - Elliot Cowan
David Frost - Michael Sheen
Jack Brennan - Corey Johnson
Evonne Goolagong - Kate Roscoe
John Birt - Rufus Wright
Manola Sanchez - Amerjit Deu
Swify Lazar - Kerry Shale
Caroline Cushing -Lydia Leonard
Bob Zelnick - Vincent Marzello

Directed by Michael Grandage
Designed by Christopher Oram

At the Donmar Warehouse during it's first run

Despite the restricted view from my seat, this was a dynamic production. More later, I hope........

I have taken my time to come back to this because I thought/hoped I'd see it again after it transferred.

Remarkable piece of writing, the likes of which we expect from Mr Morgan but this is so tight and electric to see on stage.

Performances are staggering and what should have been a potentially short and boring story is an incredible intelligent journey to a masterful expose. The characters who are charged with the expositional stuff like Renton and Birt give it to us without a hint of clunkiness. The pacing is exsquisite and the protrayals of the well known characters were just wonderful/hilarious.

14 August 2006

Titus Andronicus - William Shakespeare


Saturninus – Patrick Moy
Bassinanus – Simon Wilson
Titus Andronicus – Douglas Hodge
Marcus Andronicus – Richard O’Callagghan
Lavinia - Laura Rees
Lucius – David Sturzaker
Mutius – Thomas Padden
Quintus – Elliot Guiraloarocca
Young Lucius – Hugh Wyld
Publius – Jake Harders
Valentine – Thomas Padden
Caius – Simon Wilson
Plebian – Chris Emmett
Nurse – Claire Nielson
Emilluis – Chris Emmett
Peasant - Elliot Guiraloarocca


Tamora – Geraldine Alexander
Alarbus – Ben Crystal
Chiron – Richard Riddell
Demetrius – Sam Alexander
Aaron – Shaun Parkes

Directed by Lucy Bailey
Designed by William Dudley

Witnessed at Shakespeare's Globe on Bankside

The smoked filled yard came alive with the return of Rome's victorious general Titus Andronicus as he was processed around the yard on what seemed to be a mini zip-up tower. He was clothed in full Roman fighting dress and 2cm squares of black confetti were flung from the upper balconies. What with that and the amazing velarium, Ridley Scott and Arthur Max would have been proud.

The production never lost it's pace from that moment. The confetti device was used on a couple more occassions with multi coloured strips and at one point little strips of paper with the words 'Terra Astraea reliquit' (and justice returns to earth)which was clever.

I watched this from the farthest back wall of the yard where I was safely out of the action but for those a couple of feet in front of me it was a testing experience. Groundlings needed to have their wits about them as they never knew when some of the action would take place via these two zip-up towers being hurled around the yard.

Douglas and Shaun were magnificent and so was Geraldine Alexander. There was much blood and gore and it was really well done. The humour that one expects at the Globe was also readily available. Lavinia's demise was handled so well. She was so piteous and so bloodied and in the wrong hands it could have been ridiculous.

I am seriously thinking about seeing this again from one of the upper balconies. I think it would be great fun to watch the action from above.

07 August 2006

Sunday in the Park with George by James Lapine & Stephen Sondheim

George - Daniel Evans
Dot/Marie - Jenna Russell
Old Lady/Blair Daniels - Gay Soper
Nurse/Mrs/Harriet Pawling - Joanna Redman
Jules/Bob Greenberg – Simon Green
Yvonne/Naomi Eisen - Liza Sadvoy
Boatman/Dennis - Alasdair Harvey
Soldier/Alex - Christopher Colley
Celeste 1/Elaine - Sarah French Ellis
Celeste2/Silent Artist - Kaisa Hammarlund
Mr/Charles Redmond - Mark McKreacher
Louis/Billy Webster - Ian McLarnon
Franz/Lee Randolph - Steven Kynman
Frieda/Betty - Anna Lowe
Louise - Lauren Calpin/etc

Directed by Sam Buntrock
Designed by David Farley

at the Wyndham's on a Monday night sitting behind David Tennant

I had my reservations about seeing this because the original production was one of the most magical theatrical experiences I had ever witnessed.

I cannot find fault with this production. I preferred the original way in which the Chromalome was handled and I suspect that was due to lesser technology at the time, ironically.

Simply beautiful performances from Daniel and Jenna. A superb evening.

Celeb in the audience : David Tennant

04 August 2006

Under the Black Flag by Simon Bent

In England
Executioner - Andrew Vincent
King Charles I - John Dougall
John Silver - Cal MacAninch
Tom - Gary Collins
Ebenezer Silver - Howard Ward
Mary Silver - Jacqueline Defferary
Ann Silver - Jane Murphy
Mission - Robin Soans
Harold - Matthew DUnphy
Cromwell - John Dougall
General Harrison - Howard Ward
Bosun - John Dougall

Kees de Keyser - Nicolas Tennant
Ben Gunn - Paul Hunter
Calico Jack - Joseph Marcell
Black Dog - Ciaran McIntyre
One-Eye Pew - Trevor Fox
Billy Bones - Paul Rider
Teach - Andrew Vincent
In Rabat Sale
Hamlet - Mo Sesay
Isabelle - Jacqueline Defferary
Sultan of Morocco - Joseph Marcell
Sula, The Sultan's Daughter - Akiya Henry
English Ambasador - Robin Soans
French Ambassador - Mathew Dunphy
Edward - Paul Rider
Frederick - Ciaran McIntyre
Angel - Akiya Henry

Directed by Roxana Silbert
Designed by Laura Hopkins

seen as a groundling at the Globe. I think this was it's first run.

It's great fun from start to finish. It follows a typical Shakespearean format much the same as Pericles etc where father looses daughter then finds her three hours later!

Most of the characters have a point where their entrance is via door 1 through the audience. I stood within a couple of feet of Cal and Nicolas etc several times. There is a scene where Cal's character plus his father and his best friend are challenged to remove their clothing in order to compare c@ck size. Sadly, only the father completes the request but the scene is hilarious. Cal does spend quite a while with his shirt off and the rest of the time with a billowy shirt barely buttoned. He cuts a dash as a pirate.

He shows a great range of emotion. Most of the saucy dialogue is in the first 15 minutes to get everyone's attention. There are many gags and many Shakespearean lines and references.

Nicholas was much more theatrical than the last time I saw him but he was fine as the major pirate and had the best costume. Cal lapsed his accent once but soon recovered.

Titus Andronicus was on for the matinee and it sold out!! A matinee! Even all the Yard tickets were sold! I really need to see this and I am so cavalier about turning up to theatres on the night and getting a cheap ticket. I guess I shall actually have to book ahead. Black Flag was probably three quarter full in the seats and half full in the yard. I prefer it that way because I like moving around (away from the talking tourists!)