20 February 2007

Boeing, Boeing by Marc Camoletti
and Beverley Cross

Gloria - Tamsin Outhwaite,
Bernard - Roger Allam
Bertha - Frances de la Tour
Robert - Mark Rylance
Gabriella - Daisy Beaumont
Gretchen - Michelle Gomez

Directed by Matthew Warchus
Designed by Rob Howell

This version in it's run at The Comedy Theatre........D6

A comedy of door - a farce, if you will. Not something I would normally rush to see but the cast list and director were too much of a pull.

Mark and Michelle stole the show for me but that is high praise amongst some wonderful performance. The set was in a glorious tri-crhome arrangment playing on those ice-cream colours of a globe.

Mark's perspiration bothered me but all credit to Tamzin who had to prolong a snog through it.

I had a really good laugh and the time flew by.

Celeb in the audience : Maria Aitken, Chris Morris and I think Anastasia Hille

13 February 2007

The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter

Ben - Jason Isaacs
Gus - Lee Evans

Directed by Harry Burton
Designed by Peter McKintosh

The Trafalgar Studio 1 - C7

Sharp and thoroughly entertaining. I am sure they stole each other's lines a couple of times but they seemed to recover. Jason looked the part - underworld spiv......I was a bit distressed by his palour. Lee was fine and they took three curtain calls.

We had a small child in the audience who didn't understand the contract an audience makes with each other and the performers but in some ways that added to the show.

Only criticism, the end black-out didn't work. It wasn't crisp enough or perhaps the timing was just off.

Celeb in the audience:- nil that I saw, very poor !

10 February 2007

Happy Days by Samuel Beckett

Winnie - Fiona Shaw
Willie - Tim Potter

Directed by Deborah Warner
Set Designed by Tom Pye

In it's short 2007 run at the Cottesloe E15

So much to thrill in this. It is impossible to take your eyes off Fiona, lost as she is in a barren rocky landscape. She had a big black bag like mine, full of things. Sam Shepherd and his daughter? were in the audience in house seats so near my standby.

It’s very bright when you first go in. Not great for my eyes and I was quite near the front (immediately behind the cheap seats) so I had to adjust to the glare. It certainly gave the impression of arid inescapable desert. I was amused that to pass some time she hummed the tune to the Archers at the start of the day. I wonder I that was in Beckett’s original text.

They played the Happy Days (Fonz)theme as we went into the interval.

Overwhelmingly delightful.

Celeb in the audience : Sam Shepherd

Man of Mode by George Etherege

Dormiant - Tom Hardy
Medley - Bertie Carvel
Handy - Thomas Goodridge
Young Bellair - Amit Shah
Old Bellair - Madhav Sharma
Lady Towlney - Shelly King
Emilia - Abby Ford
Mrs Loveit - Nancy Carroll
Belinda - Hayley Atwell
Pert - Penny Ryder
Harriet - Amber Agar
Lady Woodvill - In dira Joshie
Busy - Sharon Maharaj
Sir Fopling Flutter - Rory Kinnear
Foggy Nan - Sarah Annis
Barman - Tim Lewis
Assistant at Loveit's shop - Lizzie Winkler
Customers at Loveit's shop - Meryl Fernandes, Sheena Irving, Lorraine Stewart
John Trott - Peter Caulfield
La Tour - Jamie Bradley
Driver - Ralph Birtwell
Photographer - Mark Tinter
Mr Smirk - Neil D'Souza

Directed by Nicholas Hytner
Designed by Vicki Mortimer

In it's 2007 run at the glorious Olivier O42

Rory Kinnear is magnificent and the audience loved him. It actually much easier to do that OTT stuff (a bit like Charles Surface) but he still wore it well. The costumes and sets were glorious. Mrs Loveit’s red dress could not have effectively be worn by many people but Nancy looked amazing. Tom Hardy is a beautiful thing. He’s so relaxed and despite his annoying boyishness he is sexy, Bertie was naughy which adds to my respect for his repertoire. Fantastic choreography and music during the scene changes – one of which got an applause.

Celeb in the audience : Mark Gatiss

05 February 2007

Waves by Virginia Woolf & The Company

Kate Duchene
Michael Gould
Anastasia Hille
Kristin Hutchinson
Sean Jackson
Liz Kettle
Paul Ready
Jonah Russell

Directed by Katie Mitchell
Designed by Vicki Mortimer

In it's 2006/7 premiere run at the Cottesloe C20

The night started well because the man picking up his ticket in front of me was Michael Sheen, beaming away as always. What a happy soul and with good reason right now.

I was initially annoyed that the only seat I could get was on the captioned night because it is so distracting but luckily my seat was too far forward and on the other side so I could hardly see it. However, there were moments during the production when I found it handy to double check the intention of the sound effect.

This is a remarkable production. In simple form, the company are reading Virginia Woolf's book but it seems to start almost like a radio dramatisation with people making noises to match other actions. In the first half here are two video cameras on sticks and one mounted from direction above to look down the middle of a run of four tressle tables. Behind the tables there is a back projection screen.

The company interchange their roles between the visual and the audio characters. I am hopelessly inadequate to explain this. They operate the cameras and perform the details of the story visually but the dialogue and inner thoughts of the characters portrayed are voiced somewhere else on the stage. The choreography of the front of camera action is incredible because so much of it is in extreme close up…..no room for mistakes. They make their marks every time. It wouldn't work if they missed.

In the second half one of the cameras is off sticks and hand held on a steering wheel mount. Some of these shots are even more amazing that the first half.

The piece itself is heartbreaking and passionate. There are little pockets of humour and they are carried off wonderfully. I am so annoyed I saw this so late in the run. I would like to see it again but not so soon and it closes on Thursday. It's a one off – like a Robert Lepage event. Sigh.................

I should look at some detailed reviews to see if they have found a way to articulate this experience.

Celeb in the audience : Michael Sheen

01 February 2007

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Tom Wingfield - Ed Stoppard
Amanda Wingfield - Jessica Lange
Laura Wingfield - Amanda Hale
Jim O'Connor - Mark Umbers

Directed by Rupert Gould
Designed by Matthew Wright

seen during it's premature preview period in the beautiful but snooty Apollo, Shaftesbury Avenue

This started it's previews earlier than advertised so tickets were eagerly given and very cheap good seats.(J5)

I didn't think I was going to settle into it too well when Ed Stoppard kicked us off but as it went on.....and as Amanda calmed down a little it because absolutely magical. It's hard not to enjoy Mr T Williams but it's also easy to murder one of his productions. The design was simply but beautiful and it had also been thoughtfully scored. There is a beautiful effect during one of Tom's monologues that must be so simple but I wanted it to last forever. Just sparkling shadows all around the the auditorium and stage but it transported me.

I didn't enjoy Ms Lange until Amanda calmed down but from then on she was magnificent. She has an inner serenity that was eclipsed by the requirement of the role in the first 30 minutes or so.

Amanda Hale gave a stunning performance for someone so young and so fresh from RADA. She'll go straight on my 'one to watch' list. Bless Mr Williams for the female roles have a deal more texture to them than the male but all the cast did well and were well received by the audience.

Celeb in the audience : none spotted by me!