18 January 2009

August: Osage County by Tracy Letts

Violet Weston - Deanna Dunagan
Barbara Fordham - Amy Morton
Bill Fordham - Jeff Perry
Beverly Weston - Chelcie Ross
Jean Fordham - Molly Ransom
Ivey Weston - Sally Murphy
Karen Weston - Mariann Mayberry
Mattie Fay Aiken - Rondi Reed
Charlie Aiken - Paul Vincent O'Connor
Little Charles - Ian Barford
Johnna Monevata - Kimberly Guerrero
Steve Heidebrecht - Gary Cole
Sheriff Deon Gibeau - Troy West

Directed by Anna D Shapiro & designed by Anna D Shapiro

Celeb in the audience - Danny Webb and someone else who I don't remember......must check my Tweet. P31

Not wishing to be too contravertial, this was a little too American for me. Lots of loud family angst and grandstanding. I'd love to see a more subtle translation of this piece and perhaps the film will achieve that. I'll get back to you on that in 2 years' time!

Wouldn't have missed it. Felt good to have seen some of the cast in the Christmas Quiz and I never missed an episode of Midnite Caller so there was a degree of satisfaction there, even if Mr Cole was underused (since he seemed to be one of the few members of the cast who brought the tv talent of underplaying to the production).

Glad I came. Glad I didn't have a top price seat. Wonderful functional set, by the way.

13 January 2009

La Cage Aux Folles by Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein

Albin - Douglas Hodge
Georges - Denis Lawson
Jean-Michel - Stuart Neal
M. Renaud/Edouard Dindon - Iain Mitchell
Jacob - Jason Pennycooke
Anne - Alicia Davies
Mme. Renaud/Mme. Dindon - Paula Wilcox
Jacqueline - Tracie Bennett
Francis - Adrian Der Gregorian
Etiene - Ben Deery
Coletter - Leanne Harwood
Tabarro - Robert Maskell

Les Cagelles:-
Phaedra - Ben Bunce
Mercedes - Darren Carnall
Hanna - Nicholas Cunningham
Chantal - Nolan Frederick
Bitelle - Gary Murphy
Angelique - Dane Quixall

Directed by Terry Johnson
Choreography by Lynne Page
Design by Tim Shortall
Seen one last time at it's transfer venue of The Playhouse down on the Embankment. Website Here.

Celebs in the audience: Nick Hytner, Russell Tovey, Alex Jennings, Rosamund Pike, Lee Mead and more L9

I actually shed some tears of joy watching this again. The passion of the performers is so infectuous and we were so lucky to be in the middle of a huge bunch of people who had come on an outing hell bent on enjoying themselves. The ovation seemed to go on forever. I can't believe Mr Norton will come close to the pleasure of Mr Hodge but as a production, this cannot fail to be a good evening's entertainment.

10 January 2009

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Hamlet - David Tennant
Claudius - Patrick Stewart
Gertrude - Penny Downie
Ghost - Patrick Stewart
Polonius - Oliver Ford Davies
Laertes - Edward Bennett
Ophelia - Mariah Gale
Reynaldo - David Ajala
Horatio - Peter De Jersey
Rosencrantz - Sam Alexander
Guildenstern - Tom Davey
Marcellus- Keith Osborn
Barnado - Ewen Cummins
Francisco - Robert Curtis
Player King - John Woodvine
Player Queen - Ryan Gage
Lucianus - Ricky Champ
Prologue - Roderick Smith
Dumbshow King - Samuel Dutton
Dumbshow Queen - Jim Hooper
Dumbshow Poisoner - David Ajala
Gravedigger - Mark Hadfield
Second Gravedigger - Sam Alexander
Osric - Ryan Cage
Priest - Jim Hooper
Voltemand - Roderick Smith
Cornelia - Andrea Harris
Lady in Waiting - Riann Steele
Page - Zoe Thorne
Court Attendant - Samuel Dutton
Fortinbras - Robert Curtis
Captain - Roderick Smith

Directed by Gregory Doran and designed by Robert Jones
Beautiful seat in the Novello, London - G20
Celeb in the audience - Gregory Doran was there with Deborah Finlay, apparently Catherine Tate was there and we also saw Jonathan Pryce in the front row of the circle.

I am self conscious about writing any notes about this. I really enjoyed it because of some favoured elements and in spite of some loathed ones. Some very good stuff going on here.

06 January 2009

In a Dark, Dark House by Neil LaBute

Terry - David Morrissey
Drew - Steven Mackintosh
Jennifer - Kira Sternbach

Directed by Michael Attenborough
Designed by Lez Brotherston

Seen in it's UK premiere at the Almeida with nobody of note in the audience as far as I remember. We had cheaper side seats but were encouraged by the ushers to move into a more central seat.

First of all I would like to say two things:- Lez - I want to live in your set. Neil - do you mind that I have put a comma in the title?

Wonderful performances in the head-to-head two hander with a gorgeous interlude from Kira in the middle. When you watch Neil's work, you know there is going to be mental sadism and probably a sickening twist. I realise the production varies from night to night but I felt that a look from Terry in the first act was so pronounced that it brashly flagged up what might have been a plot twist at the end. Who knows if that happens every night.

The 'Talkback' on stage chat with the cast was very insightful and thankfully, there were very few daft questions from the audience and even those were treated with respect by those on stage.

I have so many more thoughts & hope I remember to come back when I find the bit of paper I wrote them on !!