Four amazing shows.

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Four amazing shows.

Postby Barry » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:03 pm

July 30th 2017

Yep, an indulgent four amazing shows in just under 48 hours; presents and booked months ago whilst working.
Angels in America Part 2 - NT screening
Venus and Adonis - RSC
Salome - RSC
All male Mikado - Sasha Regan

So four amazing shows, all playing with theatrical conventions and theatricality, and smashing any gender types through the fourth wall, and all utterly memorable.
Angles, well it does desere to be the play of the Twentieth century, and this does need to be the landmark production. I think it worked hugely well in the cinema, allowing for heartbreaking close-ups as well as the spectacle, and both were there a plenty. The play is simply too big to get one's head around, but the best scene for me was a scen set in front of a Mormon diorama where various characters in the narrative appeared as waxworks - darn, it's hard to describe what it was about but a piece of fantastic artifice once again managed to pull all the strings of the plot together in a simple metaphorical image. The nT, who have just had a couple of duds, certainly need to be applauded for this stupendous achievement.
Venus and Adonis, was just an hour, in the Swan and I was front row, inches from the puppet action. And this was truly charming, inventive, but you can tell it slightly predates War Horse. Glorious puppetry full of intimate and sensual detail, requiring much choreography from the puppeteers. beautiful and delicate.
Salome, in the same space, and actually, same seat, a few hours later. Still playing with theatricality but rather full of familiar tropes. It didn't worry me that Salome was a man, but the ubiquitous army fatigues, cheap S&M bondage gear, and tall willowy black drag queen to show decadent we all are were tiresome. What was not tiresome was the performances of the central quartet. There seems to be a theme here of playing with theatrical conventions and performances. Yep it's all about the performance.
And then yesterday, still glowing from last years' HMS Pinafore, I saw Sasha Regan's all male Mikado, and it was simply joyous, and inventive, and beautifully sung. With no hint of Japanese settings or costumes, and with the male cast, the theatricality is released and the team can have fun, and they certainly did. But so wonderfully sung, and the Katisha and KoKo relationship was unbelievably tender- Katisha's costume was a masterpiece of simply imagination. I could not have enjoyed this more, and had it not been for a quick trip to an eye hospital to help a friend, I would have sat through it all again.
Yep, the lesson is don't be literal, in any way, but start with the performances and a strong visual image to define the conventions.
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