Top Ten (ish) Theatre of 2015

The full list :

Knight of the Burning Pestle (globe)
Assassins (Menier)
The Hard Problem (NT)
The Ruling Class (Trafalgar Studios)
The Merchant of Venice (almeida)
Anything Goes (touring)
Othello (globe schools)
Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (NT)
Everyman (NT)
The Car Man (Bourne)
The Merchant of Venice (globe)
As You Like it (globe)
King John (globe)
The Beaux Stratagem (NT)
Richard II (globe)
Ballet de Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Nell Gwynn (Globe)
Three Days in the Country (NT)
In the Heights (KX)
Harlequinade (branagh company)
As You Like It (NT)
The Hairy Ape (old vic)
Macbeth (Young Vic)

Anyway, in date order, the top 10 were

Knight of the Burning Pestle (globe) – completely bonkers. 17th century panto, meta, backstage, then turn up the knobs until your audience hurts itself laughing and then KEEP GOING.  And add morris dancing, monsters dressed as barbershop poles, and princesses in towers who nearly fall out of them.
Assassins (Menier) – When Sondheim is touched by genius and produces obsessive black comedy.  And then has Catherine Tate and Aaron Tveit and Simon Lipkin AND Jamie Parker as the banjo-strumming narrator and the play ends with Jamie Parker pointing a gun in your face.
The Merchant of Venice (Almeida) – They set it in Las Vegas. Launcelot Gobbo is an Elvis impersonator. The caskets thing is a reality tv show that’s been going on so long it’s completely fucked up Portia. The ‘court’ is a mob justice dungeon out in the desert. And it turns out Elvis is the perfect soundtrack to Merchant of Venice. No-one ends up happy.
Anything Goes (touring) – fuck you, tap dancing, full on Cole Porter with a PG Wodehouse book. *jazz hands*
The Car Man (Bourne) – Bourne company, sex, violence, tension and jealousy. The audience will be in their bunk and needs an ice bath.
King John (globe) – Do not mess with the progeny of Eleanor of Aquitaine, ‘kay? Possibly the most politically relevant Shakespeare around.
Richard II (globe) – Charles Edwards, stop being so charming.
High Society (Old Vic) – Go away, you’re interrupting the party.  Duelling pianos.  Dancing on the pianos.  Drunk Tracy. True Love. Boring fiancés. Jamie Parker as a cynical journalist.  Surprising lean Rupert Young.
As You Like It (globe) – close scrape, this one, but the fools. oh my Bill, James Garnon as Jacques doing ‘All the world’s a Stage’, and then the tennis match-like sparring between the fools…
Harlequinade (Branagh) – If we are going to have 1940s backstage hapless players farce, then it will be perfectly timed comedy and having Branagh being an over the hill Romeo company manager, Zoe Wanamaker being a grande dame, enthusiastic promoted guardsmen, tea, and then a policeman will turn up 2/3rds of the way through, DAMMIT.

The WORST. Avoid if possible. In order of awfulness:

The Hairy Ape (old vic) – Completely incoherent.  Sound and fury signifying nothing sums this play up.  I couldn’t tell if the performances were any good because the play was so fecking awful.

The Hard Problem (NT) – Stoppard being Stoppard.  But completely over-egged and really quite boring.

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (NT) – civil war and everyone trying to figure it out afterwards by squabbling and then squabbling as they meandered through the countryside.  needed to be cut in half.


Random thoughts re: famous literary/ music/ artworks inspired by dreams and nightmares

okay, so it’s well known that a lot of Lovecraft’s work was inspired by his childhood hatreds, allergies and nightmares. (with added massive racism)

Paul McCartney was apparently convinced that he heard the first bars of Yesterday in a dream.

Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher was inspired by a dream.

Plenty of works have been inspired by dreams, nightmares, your childhood nightmares…

My mate was talking about this yesterday.

Me: ‘if I based it on mine, they’d all resemble sleep paralysis, except I always knew there was no-one in the room with me, so no incubi or aliens.’

him: ‘what are the symptoms again?’ *recounts* ‘That sounds an awful lot like what happens to Kitty Pryde and Jean Grey in Dark Phoenix Saga.‘

us: ‘Dear Chris Claremont, we have questions about your adolescent sleep patterns.’

Statues of racists

Had a debate with my mum about the thing for pulling down Rhodes’ statues.

My viewpoint is that if the people who live and work in a place don’t want it there (for what he did or aesthetically), they’re allowed to remove it.  She feels very strongly that you shouldn’t remove it, who are they to decide if the people who put it up and previous generations were okay with it, and how wide a net should you cast for majority vote at a university. Just those there now?  What about people on the university board? Why don’t we get rid of Caligula statues because he did horrible stuff? I pointed out that we got rid of images of Jimmy Saville and she had no objection to that.  Caligula has been gone long enough that no-one cares.  Rhodes will still be in the historical record, they just don’t want to have to pass his image every day.

She has this… really weird attachment to statues and images.  Like, just because one set of people in the past felt strongly enough to put the money up to put a statue up, no-one down the line should be able to remove it.

I asked how she felt about buildings that people don’t want any more. She doesn’t think that’s the same thing.  I don’t see why.  You don’t want it or what it represents (or no-one remembers who it is and what they represent and think it’s ugly), majority vote of the people who have to live with it should be allowed to get rid of it.  thoughts?

Ink and favourites

I have the Kree Star on my wrist.  Specifically done in the style of Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel costume.  Logically this would normally mean that Carol (and Captain Marvel thereby) was my fave superhero.  Except… not so much?

I like Carol.  Like, really like her.  But never my fave. Quite a ways from my fave, actually.  Tim Drake and Dick Grayson and Midnighter and Emma Frost and Kamala Khan and Starfire and Harley Quinn and Pete Wisdom and Meghan and the whole Excalibur crew under the benevolent whisky sodden dictatorship of Warren Ellis rank waaay above her.

The ink was, like most of my ink, a result of ‘vaguely thinking of ink for a while, vague ideas of content, possibly even a specific-ish place, then opening a comic and going ‘THAT’.  In the space of about two seconds.  I’d liked the idea of stars somewhere visible, vaguely stars and lines, no idea how, then one day i opened the latest issue and my brain pointed out that the Kree Star with attendant band would look absolutely aesthetically perfect as an inside of wrist design.  So I walked into a tattooist, and booked an appointment.

My actual fave is Jenny Sparks.  Who never had a logo.

I wonder if the logo had been suitably aesthetically pleasing I’d have got it inked on me.10665896_696629480420471_1211040769_n