Janet (j4) wrote,
Janet
j4

Catching up

GUIL: So you've caught up.
PLAYER (coldly): Not yet, sir.
GUIL: Now mind your tongue, or we'll have it out and throw the rest of you
away, like a nightingale at a Roman feast.
PLAYER: Took the very words out of my mouth.
GUIL: You'd be lost for words.
ROS: You'd be tongue-tied.
GUIL: Like a mute in a monologue.
ROS: Like a nightingale at a Roman feast.
GUIL: Your diction will go to pieces.
ROS: Your lines will be cut.
GUIL: To dumbshows.
ROS: And dramatic pauses.
GUIL: You'll never find your tongue.
ROS: Lick your lips.
GUIL: Taste your tears.
ROS: Your breakfast.
GUIL: You won't know the difference.
ROS: There won't be any.
GUIL: We'll take the very words out of your mouth.
ROS: So you've caught up.
GUIL: So you've caught up.
PLAYER (tops): Not yet!


It's taking me a long time to catch up, times being what they are. But I know that the longer I procrastinate, the less likely it is I'll ever catch up with anything.

On Thursday sion_a and I went to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at the ADC Theatre. We were also, surprisingly, joined at the last minute by hoiho; I suspect the amateur players would have been flattered to know that somebody drove 100 miles just to see them.

Like all critics I'm a director manquée, which is to say I'd make a thoroughly manky director; but it's a play I know well, so I'm quite fussy about how it's done. Ros & Guil were played very fast-paced and nervy, which was not in itself a bad thing, but it felt as though it was taking a while for them to find their rhythm (the characters are clearly supposed to be ill at ease in their roles, but the actors shouldn't be). The actors (unlike the characters) settled down, however, once the magnificent Player King took possession of the stage; towering over the rest of the cast both physically and vocally, he manipulated everybody else in and out of their roles with his lugubriously louche tones, clearly in control throughout the play.

The characters from Hamlet were all rather colourless and washed-out; as they were all dressed in white I suspect the intention was to fade them into the background (it's certainly one interpretation of the Shakespeare/Stoppard split, but it's probably not the one I'd choose); unfortunately, when this extends (intentionally or otherwise) to having them speak less-than-audibly and act less-than-brilliantly, the potential dramatic effect is lost.

The scenery was simply and neatly done, appropriately selfconscious without being intrusive -- fairly minimal parchment-coloured backdrops in stylised shapes, covered with words ("suit the action to the word" scrawled on basic flat boards for the first act; "that is the question" on a crown suspended from the ceiling for the second; and some indecipherable text on three sail-like forms for the third, boat-bound act). Also, the emerging of the Players from the barrels on board the boat was beautifully done -- it's only a minor moment but it's delightful to see it actually work.

All in all a good amateur performance, and it was incidentally interesting to see the new revamped ADC -- no longer a poky little venue but a glass-fronted, shiny, spacious foyer. Impressive use of what is still a pretty small area, but with the theatre itself thankfully remaining fairly intimate (in fact so intimate I nearly didn't get tickets).

Friday was the last day at work in the Mill Lane office, so most of the day was spent packing, or rather shovelling everything into labelled crates and secretly hoping that the whole lot would accidentally get lost/burnt/exploded/eaten en route. The atmosphere was very much like the last day of term at school, when hard work goes to the wall and time is spent tidying desks, playing games, or just generally arsing around. There was certainly a lot of arsing around.

On Friday lunchtime I did something I'd never done before: I actually got properly measured for a bra. I've been getting increasingly annoyed with the fact that none of my bras seem to fit properly, and I needed a strapless bra, so I thought I might as well get the nice ladies at M&S to measure me. In case anybody was wondering, I'm a 36B, but only borderline 'B' cup (B-, must try harder?), nearly an 'A'; so those of you who think I have enormous tits are JUST WRONG, HA. I found a nice multiway bra, as well as one with see-through straps... and some nice knickers ... and some patterned tights... and ended up accidentally spending 50 quid on underwear. Oops.

On Friday night there was a PARTY chez the_heiress and strange_powers, which other people have already written about. The hosts were lovely, the guests likewise, the house was impressive, and the lemon drizzle cake was out of this world. (Okay, so I'm a sucker for CAKE.) Fireworks were summarily exploded, karaoke was flirted with, and Donkey Konga was rhythmically trounced. (I NEED A GAMECUBE.)

The combination of a very comfortable bed and light-excluding shutters resulted in me missing most of Saturday morning due to SLEEP. Oops. Our lovely hosts not only didn't mock, but provided breakfast! You people rule.

After breakfast it was time for more HOT KONGA ACTION, as well as Wario madness -- a hyperactive blast of three-second arcade games for people with no attention span, including games where three players gang up to obstruct the person who's actually playing the games, and games which involve wriggling your eyebrows, staring at other players, or talking while you play. In other words, ideal post-party fare. (I STILL NEED A GAMECUBE.)

Eventually addedentry and I headed back to the big smoke for more fireworks and a gig. The fireworks were magic, and the gig was great: the people who've written about the party have done better gig writeups, but I would just like to say that The Free French were fab. I think rhodri is only trying to reassure us mortals when he claims that playing bass and singing at the same time was difficult for him; I suspect he could have actually done both and written funny LiveJournal posts at the same time.

Most of Sunday was spent shuffling books and CDs and boxes around, before a frantic dash to Regent Street to try to see the Christmas lights being switched on. Unfortunately we missed the switching-on ceremony due to not being able to tell the difference between 5:30 and 7:30; I blame misleading information on the website, but of course they've moved it all now anyway. Still, the lights were still, like, on, and still very sparkly and colourful and oooooooohshiny. Fortunately the shops were shut, otherwise (if my window-shopping was anything to go by) I might have been forced to spend HUNDREDS OF POUNDS on shoes. Also admired the window display in Dickins & Jones, which consisted of scenes from the new film of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. I don't normally go to the cinema much but that's one I definitely will be seeing.

Dinner at Wagamama was delicious and provided me with some sustenance for the night drive home; really, though, it was words and music that kept me going along the dark roads of the M11, just as it's words and music that keep me going through the week.
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