Sunday, March 24, 2013


An angel of a production.

Sought out because it was directed by my director love, John Tiffany.

And I'd forgotten altogether that it was written by my writer love, Enda Walsh.

(Based on a movie so let's not give them all of the credit. But still.)

There were many good things about the show.

The set. A chocolate box of a pub set squished inbetween the theatre walls with a strategically placed behind the bar mirror so you didn't suffer nearly as much as you might've if you were sat loftily above it all in the cheap(er) seats.

The opening. For it began before the show started with the musicians and likely actors too having a fine ol' time serenading each other in the oak-panelled chocolate box.

The story. Chocolate box charming but with a proper arthouse film ending.

The music. Magic. (Though the sound levels were variable at some points but I was seeing a preview for about a third of a regular West End show ticket price so I expect this will be sorted. And this is really nit-picky anyway.)

The acting. A measure of their success is that the little Eastern European vested drummer is the NTS' darling, one-time star of Black Watch and subsequently, various other triumphs (such as Zinnie's miserable oh whatever it was - the dystopic future civil warring bleak nothing nice will ever happen again only death play. The Wheel.). Totally didn't recognise him.

The interval. They set up handrails and served drinks on the stage. ON THE STAGE. If I hadn't been in the angel's share of the theatre, I'd've hastened myself down to buy something anything just to stand on a real West End stage. But I feared I'd not make it down in time and would end up locked out.

The dialogue. Punchy, spare, unpredictable, evocative as the smell of baking bread.

The choreography. How I coveted John Tiffany's (or John Tiffany's choreographer's) eye for little subtle Black Watch letter-reading-stylee choreography to just nicely punctuate a lyric. 

The charming little Phoenix Theatre. Handily placed for a pre-theatre visit to Foyles.

The how much they meant it. (Or appeared to.) The main girl appeared to cry during the curtain call.  Which was something of a standing ovation.

And the story the story the story. Telling you anything about it at all would spoil the surprise. But suffice to say this sentimental fool spent big portions of the first and the second half gulping back her tears because it was Just So Beautifully put together.

I would like to fold this show up and store it in a music(al chocolate) box and take it out whenever I'm feeling that life isn't very fair. As it's the perfect reminder that life often isn't very fair but most of the time, it's still pretty special.


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