Back from hols and quick theatre reviews

I’m back to work at St Mary’s today after a post-Christmas (well, post-Epiphany) week off. I’m writing this at the point just before I go into work, say morning prayer and open up the emails that have come in to me whilst I was away.

It has been a busy week. I managed to fit in a trip to Yorkshire to see family and a wee theatre trip to London.

Here are a few quick theatre reviews of what I saw.

  • Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake at Saddlers Wells – by some distance the most exciting thing I saw. I’ve come rather late to this one but loved it. (Except the ending which reminded me of Brokeback Mountain – how often gay couples only end up together when they are dead).
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • Ghosts at the Trafalgar Studios – A very good production of this Ibsen play though I was surprised when I got in that I’d already seen a strikingly similar production of the same play at the Citz a while ago. Outstanding question – why did the maid and her father sound as though they came from Govan when they were supposed to be rural Swedes?  Apart from that, all made sense and this was quite gripping.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Not I, Footfalls and Rockaby – the Beckett trilogy at the Royal Court. This was the one I booked in advance and indeed the one that prompted me to book the trip. A rare chance to see Not I, not least because of how difficult it is – the actor hangs upside down on the stage and delivers a monologue “at the speed of thought” whilst the only illumination in the whole theatre is a tiny pencil spotlight on her lips. This was chilling, fascinating theatre that plays with your mind.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • From Morning to Midnight – a German expressionist piece at the Royal National Theatre. Brilliantly done. But should it have been done? I was far from sure. Reminded me of that terrible production of the Seven Deadly Sins that Scottish Opera did a few years ago.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Mojo – a relatively new play at the Harold Pinter Theatre. This one didn’t work for me at all – far too shouty. Odd that the people in the stalls seemed to think it was hilarious and those in the Royal Circle didn’t. How does this happen?
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Not a bad trawl. Add to that three big sung services in musical churches in London, a hour or so looking at favourite things in the National Gallery, some good food and good company and you’ve got a flavour of what I was up to.

I was in London for three nights, by the way and managed to come back without blisters.