Sunday, May 29, 2011

I made sure to celebrate my freedom this weekend as it shall be my last uninterrupted one for a little while.

I celebrated by catching up on all sorts of menial things - such as answering emails addressed to me 4 to 6 weeks ago.

But I also celebrated with two delightful cultural (in the loosest sense) outings.

Dunsinane was not loose culture. It was pure culture.

A so-called sequel to Macbeth, a joint production with NTS and the RSC and boasting a poster with the wide-eyed charms of Siobhan Redmond, my heart was heavy at the prospect of seeing it. More dread beating on the chipped-shouldered Scottish drum, I feared.

I tried my hardest to stop the bus getting me there in time, leaving not nearly enough time for the journey. But the Lord was smiling on me again and I not only got there with minutes to spare but the ticket man tried to sell me a concession.

I shouldn't have worried.

The critics aren't being nationalistic.

They're just being reasonable.

It didn't put a foot wrong.

The set was really smart. Suggestive enough but gave them beautiful flexibility. (I was particlarly horrified to see them making use of a screen to hide sordid impropriety in exactly the same fashion that I have planned for the festival. Roxana has clearly been rifling through my blocking notes while I left them vulnerable and unattended on the Cuban coach.)

The acting was lightly, delicately served up. Just dramatic enough. Enabling me to successfully overlook their silly warlike costumes (olden times style - SO not my cup of tea). I even liked Ms Redmond.

The directing. I'm jealous. She did a fine job. It was all signposted well enough but without any heavy hands; the important bits left suitably ambiguous.

The band. Of course I was in love with them from the minute I saw their instruments scattered in readiness in their little portion of the stage. I wish my this August Music Man could see them and steal ideas.

The script was delivered courtesy of Mr Greig. I'm already a devoted fan of his. And he beautifully overdelivered, particularly in the light of my meagre expectations. Lovely language. Veering confidently from sad bits to dramatic bits to very funny bits. Brilliant use of the Gaelic - as people cleverer than me have noted. Even his narrator worked.

The only thing I can't comment on fairly was the story. It leapt off at a cracking pace. It kept me wide awake for the first half - no mean feat given my recent debauch. But I'm afraid the second half and - fatal error! - my sly slip down to the front of the (upper) circle which therefore gave me a ledge on which to rest my heavy head combined to defeat me. I took a little nap approx halfway through. (I say 'halfway' but really, how could I tell? I slept.) So I missed the denouement. Which was a shame as the tailend of it - complete with lovely effect which I shan't ruin for those of my readers who shall be in attendance later this week - sounded satisfactorily wound together. But how could I really tell?

So - and the caveat is only fair - what I saw, I loved. To my enormous surprise. Which only makes it better. Right? I look forward to finding out the actual story later this week.

Today, in stark contrast to these rarefied pleasures, I watched the fourth of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. It was silly nonsense. And I was glad to see that their director hasn't been stealing any of my ideas.

Though Enobarbus with gold teeth, dreadlocks and the charm of the devil....? Maybe.


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