We decided last year to try and see more live theatre. Going to the cinema is easy (and something we do at least once a week) but theatre has always been considered more of a special occasion activity.
For many it’s the price that's off putting. Fifteen pounds plus to be entertained for two hours seems expensive compared with average six quid for a cinema ticket. It also appears to have retained something of its 'elitist' tag (particularly opera within the UK - in Italy it's an entertainment form for the masses), which is a shame because there is something wonderful about sitting in the dark watching actors bring a tale to life, the energy they expand, the emotion projected out towards the audience.
As a school student in Nottingham I was lucky enough to have an English teacher who would regularly obtain theatre tickets for one pound. Through him I was able to see Russian subtitled productions, selections from Shakespeare, and modern interpretations of classics. Those stories and experiences have lasted and explains why my first foray into writing was a play.
While in New Zealand the original cast tour of Alan Bennett's 'The History Boys' came to the Wellington Festival (and if you haven't seen it, go at once) plus we got to see a production of 'Play it again, Sam". Today we saw Rebecca and it was…okay. Just okay, nothing special at all. Nigel Havers was good but the rest of cast appeared to sleep walk through the production. It didn't seem to have the same gothic sinister chill of Hitchcock's film (I can't remember the book. It's been more than ten years since I've read it) and Mrs. Danvers was just not malevolent enough.
Will it put me off spending that amount of money again? No. Like any art form a great many productions are flawed. Few if any can be considered perfect but that doesn't mean they are any less worthy.
Saddam Hussein has this morning been sentenced to death by hanging. This has been supported by both John Reid and Margaret Beckett, neither of which has questioned the actual death verdict. Coming from a country that neither has nor supports death as a punishment do you think this was the correct sentence to bring against him or is this just going to cause his martyrdom within the Sunni community?
Read this week:
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
Website of the week: