Wednesday, 28 March 2007

The Girls' Guide to Hunting & Fishing - Melissa Banks

I've had this book for years and tried to read it way back in 2002. Didn't really like the Catcher-in-the-rye-ish narration at first so I'm glad that the style shifted quite quickly away from that pre-pubescent voice. The book as a whole had several styles and voices but belonged firmly to the 'Sex-in-the-city-oh-why-are-men-so-rubbish' moaney genre. Am quite glad that I left it behind in Geneva airport.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Sin City

Sat 18th March

Liked the noirish B&W quality but it was just a little bit too violent for my liking. Fell asleep during this one too but I'd be more inclined to give it another go.

Tideland by Terry Gillian

17th March

Very strange movie - quite sinister too. Took the form of a childish nightmare and I inadvertently fell asleep.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Radio 4 goodness

Perfect accompaniment to work. Just heard this . My little secret pleasure as I'm supposed to be monitoring phonecalls. Heh heh! Now it's Lucy Porter (top comedienne who was headlining @ Comedy Candy* last Thursday - big it up little lady) playing Regina Spector - class! (excuse the MC/DJ speak, thought i'd balance it off after my previous post which became a bit of a lit crit review!

* fantastic evening kicked off by Justin Edwards playing his comic songs.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

The Tempest - RSC @ Novello, London

14th March

Fantastic vision of The Tempest as a post apocalyptic hinterland by Rupert Goold. Aside from King Lear, this is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays simply because it contains so many verbal imageries of the sea. I love the sound of the compound words in the play like 'sea-sorrow', 'sea-storm' and it is ironic that the 2 non-human characters in the play, Ariel and Caliban have some of the most elegant lines in the whole cannon. There was an excruciatingly long pause as Prospero realises how hardened his heart has become after Ariel tells him he would show compassion if he was human. In this version, Ariel is rendered almost frozen and immobile through the spell Prospero has place on him which has a whole raft of Beckettian overtones. The clowning between Stephano, Trincalo and Caliban was some of the best I'd ever seen and both Antonio and Sebastian were played with the right combination of sarcasm and cynicism. I loved the opening storm scene and Gonzalo's little speech about his socialist vision of utopia without a dependency on oil seemed so modern, especially in light of the war on Iraq.

Being one of Shakespeare last plays in the Romance genre, the themes of redemption, reconciliation and transformation are pretty potent ideas. I was still in a thoughtful mode this morning contemplating the filmic, stage images and felt strangely cleansed and transformed. I really wish more Shakespeare plays were presented in this way.

Hootenanny @ The Big Chill House, King's X

11th March

Lovely afternoon which was a heady cocktail of comedy, mates, alcohol and some nudity thrown in for good measure. Run by my good friends Phil Nichol and Janice Phayre we were treated to the talents of Suskin, Nick Doody, Justin Edwards and Gary Wells. We were treated to a fabulous butterfly dance and I also ended up line-dancing with the tallest woman ever!

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Charlotte Hatherley @ Carling, Islington

Went to the gig because Gruff's good mate was playing. Loved her voice and unpretentiousness. Really fresh and honest singing. 'Be Thankful' is a really beautiful track and comparisons to PJ Harvey are just a result of lazy journalism.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Apollo/Children of Adam/Themes & Variations - Royal Ballet @ ROH

5th March

Gruff's first ballet and I'm so glad that he enjoyed in. The dancing was sensual and we got to watch the great Darcey Bussell.

The History Boys by Alan Bennett @ Wyndhams, London

An excellent play which lived up to the hype. AB weaves all the differing stands of arguement about the nature and value of education. In today's world of league tables and parental anxiety about schooling, AB's play gives much food for thought. What is the point of being able to simply pass exams when you can't really learn? Can knowledge be examined? Is there no merit in learning for learning's sake? It was laced with so much humour and wit in the repartee between pupil and teacher. I liked the 80's soundtrack and use of filmic material - can't see how it would work on film when it has some highly theatrical and poetic monologues. Definitely want to try to read the script at some point.