marjorie73: (Default)
 The weekend was busy. After seeing Hir, I stayed overnight in London, due to plans on the Sunday.


A little while back, I saw that Sir Ian McKellan was doing a one-man show, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You  to raise funds for the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, as the theatre wasn't given any Ats Council funding at all in the latest round of grants. 


Given that it was a fundraiser, tickets were, of course, expensive, and at first, I didn't think I could afford to go. But then, just s the tickets wet on sale, I got some money from my bank to say 'sorry we fucked up and locked you out of your account for months', so I decided that it should be spent on something frivolous and self indulgent, and booked my ticket!


I booked for the matinee, which meant I had time to visit the National Gallery - one current exhibition is The Caged Bird Sings, a tapestry triptych designed by Chris Ofili.



It's very beautiful. The gallery has displayed it in one of the side galleries and persuaded Ofili to create a mural of temple dancers to surround the tapestry. 

 

 

 

 

It is stunning, and the colours of the tapestry are incredibly effective against the greys of the mural.

 

 

 

I hadn't realised the exhibition was there, until I went into the Gallery, so it was a lovely surprise! It's on until 28th August, so plenty of time to see it if you wish!


I also had time to see a second small exhibit (in which photos were *not* allowed) of some of the works of Giovanni da Rimini, who created beautiful religious art work in Rimini in Italy in the early 14th century. I do have a soft spot for medieval art!


And there was just time to visit this,one of my favourites of the collection!



Then I met up with a friend for lunch. At her recommendation, we went to Yauatcha in SoHo, where we ate vast quantities of delicious dim sum (the Venison Puffs were my personal favourite), although sadly I hadn't time for dessert, so I shall be forced to return at some point...


And so, we parted, and I set off to see Sir Ian McKellan!

marjorie73: (Default)

I had a very Shakespeare-heavy start to the week.


On Monday night I went to see a local, amateur production of 'Return to the Forbidden Planet'. For. those who have not seen it, this is Shakespeare's lost Rock and Roll masterpiece - very loosely based upon 'The Tempest', with words stolen from all of Shakespeare's other pays, and (live) music from Rock'n'Roll's heyday, and Dan Dare / Thunderbirds style.


it is tremendously entertaining! I saw a professional production (set and costume designs by Gerry Anderson of Thunderbirds fame) years ago, and loved it, and have wanted to see it again, ever since.


I enjoyed this production, although it would have benefited from  larger stage, and the performances were a little patchy, but all in all, it was good fun. (And I still want to see another professional performance!)



Then on Tuesday, I went to Bristol Old Vic to see SpyMonkey's 'The Complete Deaths'.


They have decided (as one does) to combine, in a single performance, all 75* of the on-stage deaths in Shakespeare's plays.


(*If you include the black, ill-favoured fly from Titus Andronicus. 76 if you include Ophelia despite the fact she really dies off-stage)

(C) Chris Riddell / SpyMonkey

I heard of the show via Chris Riddell,who illustrated a number of the Deaths, for the programme, and who has also illustrated the complete deaths card gayme, and as one of places that the show is touring to was Bristol (as part of 'MayFest,) I decided to go.


It was a lot of fun - the deaths were presented in a huge range of ways. I am not certain whether it is Cleopatra's burlesque striptease, or all the Macbeth deaths presented via the medium of interpretive dance (by performers wearing flesh-coloured latex kilts) which will stay with me the longest .

The Shakespearean deaths are interspersed with interactions between the cast - Toby Park as the earnest intellectual, determined to confront the complacent audience with their own ultimate deaths, Aitor Basauri, longing to be a serious, Shakespearean actor (and having conversations with Shakespeare's disembodied head from time to time) Stephan Kreiss, nursing an unrequited (and at times very vocal) love for his colleague Petra, and  Petra Massey herself, determined to include the death of Ophelia.


I am not sure how much fun this would be if you don't have at least a passing familiarity with Shakespeare's plays, but if you do, it's highly entertaining, witty and extremely enjoyable.


Oh, and I bought the cards. And can now play a beautifully illustrated game of death top trumps.

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